One of the things I always want to explore during holidays is the local food. Not the one you can get at the typical touristic places, no, I like to find the small restaurants you can usually find at B locations, a little sideways and a couple of steps away from the big sights. The places where local people go, where ‘mama’ and ‘segnora’ are cooking your food using ingredients from local farmers or fishermen or even their own gardens. The places where you can feel the tradition, the spirit, the lifestyle of the people you’re visiting.
Here are my Top 5 I discovered during my roundtrip across Italy’s beautiful South: Calabria!
Fattoria San Sebastiano in Strongoli (East Coast)
If you’re looking for real Italian sociability, endless delicious local Calabrian food and cozy, rural atmosphere at an old olive oil farm, San Sebastiano is definitely the right place. Between 8.30 and 9.00 p.m. they are serving 4-5 different dishes, including the most delicious antipasti I ever ate. A real sense of taste from fish and sea fruits to local cheese and meat, pasta, risotto and fruits. Every evening, you will enjoy a local cross-over – what a treat! And when you’re lucky, the owner gives you one of his home-made olive oils as a present.
La Scogliera at Le Castella (East Coast)
When you just explored the beautiful Le Castella and the breeze of the sea inspires you to enjoy fresh cooked sea food, have a look at La Scogliera. We went there for lunch and believe me, at latest 2 pm it became incredibly crowdy by Italians 🙂 I really loved that place as you can enjoy very tasty sea food, in the best case catched by the chef himself, with an amazing panoramic view over the sea.
La Fiocina in the small and old fishing village Scilla (West Coast)
From sea food at the East Coast of Calabria to sea food at the West Coast of Calabria. Scilla is one of those traditional small, pitoresc towns, stunningly located directly at the coast. It is straight out of myths and traditionally the home of the fearsome monster Scylla who, along with Charybdis (over the sea towards Sicily) guarded the narrow Strait of Messina and menaced Odysseus as he sailed by. If you don’t believe in this: it is the traditional site of the sea monster Scylla of the Greek mythology. Yes, the Greeks have been here, too. 😉
Walking down the rock you will find a kind of cozy promenade along the coast, but be careful, cross the touristic fist part and walk a bit longer. Then you will come along La Fiocina, a beautiful sea food restaurant with a terrace built directly on top of the water. From fish to scallops and oysters you can find everything you love – as long as it’s from the sea!
Pardes at the island Stromboli
I just can say: what a beauty! You won’t believe it if you haven’t been there. Enjoying your stay whilst sitting at the garden behind the small house with a gorgeous view to the volcano Stromboli and next door: the family is cooking your food like fresh home-made spaghetti with basil pesto harvest from the garden. And it’s away from the touristic hustle and bustle you cannot avoid completely when being stranded on Stromboli island.
Caffé Imperiale in Catanzaro (right in the middle of Calabria)
A day in Calabria without a coffee or something sweet? Impossible.