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Calabria Ionica

From Cirò Marina to Isola di Capo Rizzuto, passing through the city and hinterland of Crotone.

Calabria Ionica

Our journey starts in Cirò Marina, sea edge town which, in addition to being a renowned summer tourist destination, turns out to be a veritable treasure chest simply brimming with art and history. This is where, between a swim in the crystal clear sea and an hour or two lazing on the sandy beaches, visitors can take a tour of the Punta Alice archaeological site and admire the temple of Apollo Aleo. A great number of artefacts left here by the ancient Greeks and discovered in the course of various excavation projects, are now housed in the Civic Museum of Cirò Marina and in the Archaeological Museum of Reggio Calabria.

Proceeding southbound, half way between Strangoli Marina and Crotone, we come across the Neto river, Calabria's second most important waterway. The Neto flows in to the Ionian sea, forming an estuary which provides one of the most interesting wetlands on the Ionian coast, attracting numerous species of migratory birds.

Crotone, the eastern most point of Calabria, founded by the ancient Greeks, still conserves the traces of its glorious past and, indeed, is one of the region's most important art cities. The Carlo V Castle is, arguably, Crotone's most impressive historic building. It was from the castle that the ancient city walls commenced, and can still be seen to this very day, enclosing the ancient heart of the city within its powerful embrace. The fifteenth century Church of Santa Chiara, complete with annexed convent, boasts a magnificent pavement in Neapolitan majolica. Wine lovers will want to taste the Cirò, the first wine produced in the Crotone area to obtain DOC status.

Just ten kilometers from the city of Crotone, lie two important cultural institutions: the Archaeological Museum of Capo Colonna and the Antiquarium of Torre Nao, this latter housing the numerous archaeological findings retrieved from the seabed just off the promontory of Capo Colonna.

The Museum marks the entrance to the Archaeological Park of Capo Colonna, on the promontory of the Marine Reserve of Capo Rizzuto: a protected area which also comprises the town of Isola Capo Rizzuto. This is where to see the one surviving column of the once 48 columned Temple of Hera Lacinia. Capo Rizzuto is one of the most fashionable seaside resorts of the Ionian coast, famous for its long sandy beaches.

From here, Le Castella is within easy reach. This attractive seaside town boasts both a well equipped tourist harbour and stunning Aragon fortress, this latter sitting like a giant sand castle right on the beach.


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Useful links
Calabria and Basilicata (all hotels)
Crotone Hotels
Isola Capo Rizzuto Hotels
Cirò Marina Hotels