ITALIA

Gourmande

   Where food & wine meet culture and lifestyle

VIOLET MEDITERRANEO: CALABRIA

“All things  are painted with different tones of purple colour, giving birth, every evening, with its spectacular reflections, to a constantly renewed vision”. Enclosed between the sea and the mountains, Costa Viola, did not remain unnoticed to the eyes of Plato either. The colours of Aspromonte reflect on the water in the sunset, among ancient ruins and an amazing variety of natural landscapes.

If these good things remain, something is changing though. Old hamlets abandoned to the decay are born again as hotels, where artisans, farmers and fishermen’s houses are being rented.

Up to Bagnara, the jagged cliffs hide little bays and caves you can’t miss, like Cava Janculla and Grotta delle Rondini. Here you can find the best of Calabrian cuisine: from “Nidi di gambero (shrimp) with orata fillet in sweet and sour sauce with oil, vinegar, rosemary and grapes” to “pennette di pesce spada (swordfish)”. Taverna Kerkira (corso Vittorio Emanuele 217 Bagnata, tel. 0966372260; menu starting from 45 €)is one of the most refined places of the area. Together with Altafiumara Resort & Spa at Villa San Giovanni (Santa Trada di Cannitello, altafiumarahotel.it, starting from 160 €): sea view suite in the park and contemporary artwork from Mario Schifano to Emilio Isgrò.

 

Parenthesis of arts

Artistic installations and sculptures among gardens and Mediterranean vegetable gardens at the MuSaBa (musaba.org), park-museum created by the artists Nik Spatari and Hiske Maas: very innovative.  It’s in Mammomla, in Vallata del Torbido.

 

Eco trekking

In hamlets forgotten by time, submerged in the silvery landscape of Aspromonte, in  Pentedattilo, there are five rock spikes looking like 5 fingers pointing to the sky. You can find an accommodation in a private house and, as well, you can walk along old trails, cobblestoned streets and nature. Here an International short film festival is hosted (from 23rd  to 25th  August: pentedattilofilmfestival.net and for trekking and Mediterranean accommodation, naturaliterweb.it).

 

La via del Bergamotto

This incredibly precious essence, contended by master perfumers in half of the world, smells like Southern lands and the Mediterranean Sea. It’s no any kind of bergamot.  It’s the Calabria DOP one (certified by Consorzio di Bergamotto di Reggio Calabria, bergamottoconsorzio.it).  It strengthens the lightest smells, weakens the strong ones and lets the base shades emerge.

The Via del Bergamotto runs for about 140 kilometers from Villa San Giovanni sullo Stretto to  Gioiosa Jonica, particularly around Pentadattilo, where the most refined type, called the Fantastico,  is grown.

 

An original idea: Ugo Sergi’s Bergamotto gardens protect biodiversity and can as well be visited: better if in late Autumn, little before its harvesting (agriturismo il Bergamotto, Contrada Amendolea, Condofuri (RC) - Tel 0965.727213).

 

 

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