Revisit to Calabria

Since the last post we have visited Calabria again and it has reinvigorated our want to live there, for good or for bad.  Unfortunately there are still no more viewings or interest on our house, so we are in the process of changing our estate agent, in the hope that something positive will happen. Therefore, there is no news to give you regarding the house sale, which is a shame and frustrating.

This time I am writing about our visit and including photographs to show what it is like in Calabria, specifically around Scalea and hopefully show the reasons for wanting to live there.

Scalea old and new town - small
View of the old town of Scalea, Calabria

It was the first time we visited Scalea during warmer weather and it was beautiful. We found out that it is not that busy in June, so you can still explore without masses of people around.  More bars and restaurants were open, so there’s more choice and their lidos were set up for people to sunbathe and swim or paddle in the sea. Scalea had a bit of a holiday feel this time.  It was interesting to see how not busy it was even though the weather is good. August is the busiest time of the year for the Italian holidaymakers, when most companies shut down for the summer.

Lido - small
Lido da Pietro, a great little bar on the beach

We spent a few days wandering around getting a feel for the place, making sure it is still an area we would want to live in.  The sea, the mountains, the sun, the food and the people all make it very difficult to say no.

We met up with Tony, the property agent we are dealing with whilst we were there. He showed us a couple more properties and we had a few evening meals and drinks with him.  One of the evenings we met other British property owners, which was interesting and a fun night.  Most of them owned holiday homes, apart from one we met last time we visited, Jamie. He lives there now so he was a good sounding board, but also great company.

We also went about an hour south to the area around Amantea to see further properties with Yvonne, mainly up in the hills. This gives us further options when we are ready to move, so we have a choice of town by the sea or village up in the hills. But we have a feel for Scalea, not sure what it is, but I think that it is the place for us. We can easily escape the busy town (only busy in August) to the mountains or other parts nearby. It is good to know that it is not completely dead in the winter which happens to some other smaller towns in Calabria.

Luckily there was a cycling event taking place during our visit called the Granfondo Terùn – Scalea.  It is the first of an annual race that starts and finishes in Scalea through the hills and mountains of northern Calabria and Basilicata. It is a 130km circular road race with a climb of 2500 metres in altitude. Cycling is a big thing it Italy so it was great to attend the event and to see the cyclists arrive after their race. It was far too early in the morning for the start, we were on holiday after all.

Granfondo Terun - small
Riders coming up to the finish line in Scalea town following the 130km race

Apparently there are various events throughout the year, the Giro D’Italia went through Scalea earlier this year. It will be nice to attend some of the events, when we eventually live there.

At the end of our time there we visited Praia a Mare and San Nicola Arcella, which are just minutes away in the car.  Praia a Mare is a beach resort town, and the beach overlooks the island of Dino (Isola di Dino). There they have lidos, boat trips around the island and probably lots more in peak season.  This is where you can see the quite beautiful Arco Magno a natural rock arch on a boat trip on the other side of Dino island. We haven’t done that yet, so it is definitely on the list of things to do.

Dino Island from Praia a Mare
Dino Island from the beach of Praia a Mare

San Nicola Arcella has a beautiful old town that was very quiet during our visit, but they do properly partake in the lunchtime siesta in Calabria. It seemed like nothing was open, but it was so lovely to have a wander around.  Outside of the old town there are what looks to be mainly holiday homes, so again I guess it will not be that quiet during August.

San Nicola Arcella
Small piazza in San Nicola Arcella

One thing that San Nicola Arcella does have is an amazing viewpoint of Dino Island and Praia a Mare. It blew me away when I saw it in February and I use the photo for my Featured Image on this site, so I had to see it again in the lovely sunshine and yes it was even more beautiful.

Dino Island from San Nicola Arcella
Dino Island from San Nicola Arcella

The final day we had to catch an early flight home from Naples, which was a shame, but it did mean we should be happy to live there one day. Just hope that is sooner rather than later.

I hope you enjoyed reading, until the next time.

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