Monday, February 26, 2018

More Sights in Calabria, Italy


Before we left Calabria, and my husband's hometown of Gioiosa Ionica, to enjoy the celebration of the Feast of Saint Rocco, we visited Badolato, Gerace, and three other nearby towns--Roccella Ionica, Mammola, and Siderno. (All photos will enlarge if clicked on)

Roccella Ionica, situated along the Ionian Sea coastline, originates back to ancient Magna Graecia.  It is dominated by a rocky promontory on which the Carafa Castle stands, which is from the Norman period, built by Gualtieri De Collepietro. The building passed to the Ruffo family for several generations, then the Crotone's Marquis, Antonio Centelles and finally, to the noble family Carafa Della Spina, which partially rebuilt and restored it.  It survived the attack of the Turkish Dragut Pasha in 1553.


The castle ruins are an imposing sight to see! 


The castle is protected by a tall fence, and limited tours are provided.  In recent years, some EU funded restoration has been taking place to help preserve the ruins.


The Pizzofalcone Tower is also located on the promontory. It is the only surviving structures of the ancient castle of Roccella de S. Vittore.  It is a remaining part of defense system along the Calabrian coast that was built to "keep invading barbarians out."


The views of the castle, tower, and also the town and shoreline below were so very picturesque. Despite its ancient origins, Roccella today is a modern town with many tourist attractions. Its beaches are often awarded "Blue Flag" certification for excellence. Every year Roccella Ionica hosts a jazz festival called "Rumori Mediterranei" that has become appreciated by both the public and music critics.


We visited Mammola one afternoon to dine in one of its famous "pescestocco" or stockfish (dried Norwegian codfish) restaurants.  Mammola is a charming village located between the Serre and the Aspromonte Mountains.


Legend has it that the natural mountain spring waters found in Mammola are mineral rich and provide the dried cod with exceptional flavor as it is soaked.  The meal we enjoyed had a sampling of all the traditional ways that the cod is prepared and it was all very delicious!  


Another afternoon, we visited the town of Siderno, to enjoy its beaches along the Ionian Sea. The water was crystal clear and warm.


Unlike Roccella, whose beaches are fine sand, the shore of Siderno is made up of small pebbles. Years ago I collected quite a bit of pretty pieces of sea glass from the shore, but I did not see much on this trip.


Siderno has a pretty walkway along the coast, called a "lungomare" in Italian.  There were terrible storms a few years ago and much of the walkway had to be rebuilt.


My husband's oldest sister and her husband live in Siderno, and she prepared one of the most delicious meals we enjoyed in Italy! A son and daughter-in-law and granddaughter were also visiting from the US at the time, so we had a belated birthday celebration for my sister-in-law.  Wonderful memories with family, and more beautiful Calabrian moments to savor.

We would next be leaving Calabria and flying to northern Italy, to visit my husband's relatives in Genoa and Bologna. We also took side trips to Verona, Padua and Lake Maggiore. More about those places in future blog posts!

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48 comments:

Maggie said...

Dear Pat, I am enjoying your wonderful travelogues of Italy and Calabria, in particular, so much. The history, food and scenery are all amazing and you describe everything so interestingly too! To be able to visit your family and celebrate special events together must have made this trip even more memorable for you both.
Happy Mosaic Monday
Maggie.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Wonderful tour of another ancient site - love your beautiful photos.

Vee said...

Simply beautiful! I think it is fabulous that Vinny’s sister prepared the most delicious meal. It certainly looks amazing. And how fun to have a family reunion of sorts just in time for her birthday! She must have been so pleased.

Erica Sta said...

I' m a great Fan of Italia!

From the Kitchen said...

I love the old buildings. It shows how young our country is. Oh, the food!!

Best,
Bonnie

Cathy Keller said...

As always, I wish I had gone with you on your trip. I especially like the seaside pictures. Basking in the sun sounds wonderful right now with the weather outside threatening. Have a grand week!

NC Sue said...

Gorgeous. Thanks so much for taking us along and for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2018/02/preparing-for-next-exhibit.html

Linda W. said...

I'm really enjoying your Italy trip recaps!

Tamar SB said...

Gorgeous!!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

How wonderful your lovely photos convey, Pat. The imposing castle looks quite precarious. I'm glad they are going to try to save what is left. These priceless pieces of history should be saved for posterity.
How wonderful to hop around Italy visiting your husband's family! What beautiful memories you all must have. I hope you are all well by now. ♥

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The beach is just gorgeous! You really got to experience it all while you were there! Thanks for sharing! Hugs, Diane

Angie said...

Oh, Pat! Another delightful collection of pictures (not to mention the memories). My favorite is the town nestled among the hills - I am guessing all the buildings are clustered along the main road through town. It makes me happy that the buildings/homes have not crept too far into the hills (like they would here). The food looks scrumptious!!!

Ruth Hiebert said...

That is such a different world from where I live, yet so beautiful. Looks very mountainous.

jeannettestgermain said...

Such beautiful views - and what a history (thank you for including that!) - I love the round tower. Oh, I can just imagine the treats they made to eat - interesting about the several ways cod can be prepared! Is there's a connection in history between the Italians and the Vikings? Because they're on opposite sides in Europe).
Love you haven taken us at All Seasons with you to several points of your trip. Your hubby must be very satisfied and happy, he has seen where he grew up:)

ellen b. said...

I'll say it again that visiting family or friends in foreign country is the best way to experience it. Looks like a wonderful trip.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

The trip sounds great, especially the time spent with family. Is that n’duja in those food photos?

Willow said...

What an amazingly beautiful place Italy is! The Ionian Sea coast is exceptional! Thanks for sharing.

Lady Fi said...

What lovely shots - and great views of those ruins.

Jill Harrison said...

thank you for the tour of Italy. We are going for the first time in May. Happy travels.

Barb said...

What a trip you enjoyed. The food looks so mouthwatering delicious! I really enjoy the photos and your commentary.

Michelle said...

I have been enjoying all of the photos and commentary of your trip. I would LOVE to try all of that food!

Ruth Rieckehoff said...

I enjoyed reading about the history of Roccella Ionica. I think it is a stunning place and am glad some restorations are taking place. The feast prepared by your sister in law looks fantastic.

Zaa said...

So Wonderful .. I travel /ALOT... And don’t even think to blog it ... but OMG you’ve shared so much information and excitement... for ITALY... BRAVO for your journaling.. I’m a history buff .. and somehow find it hard to gull the same feeling with kindred spirits .. so I am delighted with your enlightening blog .. I will watch and enjoy.. Thanks for sharing !!!!...Hugs

Amanda McCusker said...

It's so beautiful! What a great adventure :)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Your travelogs are so interesting Pat -- the scenery and ancient buildings and history are fascinating and I would love to try the restaurant food that you mentioned. But the family time (and that beautiful food) must certainly have been the highlight for you. What an amazing visit.

Rambling Woods said...

Oh wow...I would love to do this and really enjoyed taking the trip with you...Michelle

Lorrie said...

I enjoy reading about your travels in Italy, Pat, for it's a place I'd like to visit one day. Our daughter and her husband spent a couple of months in a little town in Calabria one winter - it was very quiet, but I took a book of Calabrian cooking out from the library and enjoyed making some of the dishes from the region. Those old buildings really saw some interesting stories, didn't they?

Tracy said...

Hi, Pat! Thank you so much for visiting at my place! It was great to see you there, and connect again after a long time! Oh, but it's been sooo good seeing about your trip to Italy! TJ & I dream of going to Italy...so much to see, do and eat! We'd love to go there just to eat! ;) Looking forward to seeing more from your trip! ((HUGS))

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Imagining the joy of complete immersion into the cuisine, the scents, the sights and the sea. You must return home feeling so refreshed and inspired by the beauty of life!
Jemma

Al said...

It looks like an amazing place.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

What a great place. So scenic and the food looks great.

Jim said...

Interesting.

Joyful said...

Beautiful holiday scenes. I can feel the warmth of the sun from your photos. xx

Photo Cache said...

Thank you for these beautiful shots. Italy and Spain are two of the countries I would love to see beyond the usual tourist spots.

Worth a Thousand Words

Sharon said...

Oh my, I would love to see those castle ruins. Just this week we started talking about whether to try to return to Italy in 2019. I would love to visit these smaller towns!

indah nuria Savitri said...

Those castle ruins and tower are beautiful! The view from the top is also magnificent! I imagine myself enjoying the beach as well..

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Everything looks old and majestic and extremely interesting! Thanks for showing us this beautiful spot.

Pietro Brosio said...

Thanks for sharing these wonderful images from Calabria!

Louca por porcelana said...

Wonderful pictures!

Michelle said...

Thank you for linking up!

Jan Robinson said...

That water does look beautiful. I feel like jumping in. Good to see the town is still flourishing and how lovely you had a successful family gathering with members from all over meeting up back "home".

Michelle Leslie said...

Beautiful pictures Pat and the trip sounds so amazing, especially since it's a mix of family time and tourist spots. That castle looks so intriguing and those views, wow!!!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Thanks for linking to Ruby Tuesday Too!

Mary K.- The Boondocks Blog said...

Pat the photo of the village in the valley makes me very homesick. It looks exactly like my village. Glad to see you had a great time.

RobinfromCA said...

Hi Pat! I haven't blog hopped in ages but popped over here and saw that you had a lovely trip to Calabria! My grandparents on my father's side immigrated here from Soveria Mannelli. I would love someday to go see where they're from. Your lovely photos let me see the terrain which is exactly how I pictured it. I seem have skirted the area in my travels to Italy having been from Rome north and in Sicily but never to the parts in between. Thanks for sharing the photos!

Barbara Chapman said...

Oh, your photographs make me want to hop on an airplane and fly over for a holiday right now! The beaches and towns are beautiful! Thank for sharing them with us all. I'm stopping by from Mary's Sweet Inspiration party.

Lowcarb team member said...

Such a great selection of photographs.
Great travels.

All the best Jan

Angelique Ouellette-Tower said...

This fantastic post is a FAMILY feature on the April You're the STAR blog hop: http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/2018/04/youre-star-week3-family-april-2018.html
Thanks
Angie