THE MOST BEAUTIFUL
VILLAGES AND TOWNS
Calabria's beautiful villages are characterized by their charming narrow streets, colorful houses, churches, offering visitors a glimpse into the region's rich history and culture.
Calabria's beautiful villages
The name “Borghi più belli d’Italia” (the “Most Beautiful Villages of Italy”) is a quality label awarded by the association of the same name since 2001. Its mission is to help small Italian towns and villages preserve their great and unique heritage of tradition, culture, history and art. Today, 258 towns in Italy already bear this distinction.
In Calabria, 19 of the “Borghi più belli d’Italia” can be found! These are the villages Aieta, Altomonte, Chianalea, Fiumefreddo Bruzio, Morano Calabro, Oriolo, Santa Severina and Stilo, as well as the Grecan villages Gerace and Bova and the Albanian village Civita.
Altomonte and Stilo
The name “High Mountain”, which means Altomonte, aptly describes the location of the village above the Esaro valley. Known to the Romans as Balbia, it was given its present name only in the 14th century, and the well-preserved old town is dominated by the magnificent 14th century church of Santa Maria della Consolazione with its Gothic ogival portal. In Piazza Castello is the 12th century castle that has been used as a residence since the 16th century. Today there is a hotel inside.
The picturesque Stilo is world-famous for the Cattolica, whose ruins are enthroned high up on the top of Mount Consolino. The castle was built in 1071 by Roger the Norman, who adapted it to the vegetation of the mountain like a chameleon. The closer you get to the church, the more fascinating the sight of the jewel. The origins of Stilo and his name have not yet been clarified. The village owes its nickname “Città del sole” (City of the Sun) to his most famous son Tommaso Campanella, who lived in the monastery of San Domenico. The philosopher wrote the book in 1602 as the utopian scenario of a just world.
Diamante and Squillace
The lively town of Diamante on the Costa dei Cedri is not only known for the annual Peperoncino Festival in September. The city stands out above all for its numerous “murales”, the wall paintings, which were created by around 80 artists in the summer of 1981. Further traces on the walls and walls were left by some poets who visited the place in 1986. Meanwhile about 250 colorful murals can be admired here, and new ones are added from year to year.
Squillace is picturesquely situated on a green hill at 340m inland, surrounded by green and olive groves. This beautiful place is famous for its thousands of years old ceramic art, which is still practiced today. In numerous arts and crafts shops in the old town of Squillace you can get great souvenirs. The imposing Norman castle from the 12th century towers above the village with its well-preserved fortification and round tower. At that time it was used as a prison, in which the above-mentioned philosopher Tommaso Campanella, for example, was imprisoned for several years because of his free-thinking ideas.
Booking and information
Discover the most beautiful villages of Calabria on a custom-made group tour to Italy! We will be pleased to create an offer according to your wishes and requirements. Please feel free to contact us via our contact form, e-mail or by telephone at +49 611 945879 42.