Then you come from an area that has a history going all the way back to when people lived in caves. Calabria is an area encompassed by the tip of the Italian “boot” sticking out into the Mediterranean which attracted many armies and conquerors. In fact, Calabria has been conquered by the Oenotrians (original inhabitants, 1500 BC, The Egyptians were still building pyramids at that time), Bruttians, Vikings, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Normans. In fact, the Romans called it Magna Grecia (Great Greece). The word “Italy” derives from King Italus of Oenotria. Calabreses are likely to have a mixture of Albanian, Greek, French, Scandinavian, Turkish, Germanic and other ethnic bloods running in their veins.
The cuisine is a southern Italian Mediterranean cuisine with a balance between meat-based dishes, vegetables (especially eggplant), and fish. Pasta is also very important. In contrast to most other Italian regions, Calabrians have traditionally placed an emphasis on the preservation of their food and packing vegetables and meats in olive oil. Also making sausages and cold cuts like, Sopressata and Capocollo, are from there – fish, especially swordfish, sardines and cod (Baccalà).
From the port city of Messina, you can take a ferry across the Straits of Messina to Sicily – a pleasant several hours ferry trip on a sunny day. Calabria is a litle off the beaten path so if you are into peace and quiet, this is for you.
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