Calabria is a small region in the farthest south of Italy, in the toe of the boot. Surrounded by the Tyrhennian and Ionian Seas on three sides and by the Basilicata region in the north, it is separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina. In general, Calabria has a temperate climate, with hot and dry summers and mild winters. Its landscape is quite varied with sandy beaches, a rocky coastline, and three vast mountain ranges inland. These mountain ranges practically cut off the region from the rest of Italy and heavily influence the weather.
There are five main provinces in Calabria; they are Reggio di Calabria, Catanzaro - the regional capital-, Crotone, Cosenza, and Vibo Valentina. Travelling between the main cities is possible by the regional train network, but for many attractions, accommodations, and villages you will want a car.
Historically, Calabria struggled with tourism; the region is underdeveloped and remote, with few attractions to draw tourists. However, in recent years, crime has gone down, despite being the main region for Italy’s notorious Mafia. Expect to see tourism in Calabria rise as more people venture out of Naples to more far-flung areas of Italy. And, with so many beaches, Calabria is sure to be a popular vacation destination for both Italians and foreigners alike in coming years. Be sure to book your hostel well ahead of time in the high season or around any holidays.
When searching for hostels in Calabria, look for “ostello” or “la casa dello studente” as both will get you budget accommodation. There are very few European-style hostels in the region; consider a guesthouse - “la pensione” -or agriturismo for an authentic Italian experience.
After you have found the perfect hostel accommodation, explore Calabria’s beaten paths. The region was part of Magna Grecia in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, so there are some archaeological highlights like the Riace bronzes, now in the museum in Reggio Calabria.
Roman influence is evident in the many baths and theatres that have been uncovered, while Byzantium culture is prolific in the religious architecture. The 9th century Byzantine church in Stilo is a tentative UNESCO World Heritage site, and well worth a visit.
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the region’s many hiking trails, hidden mountain villages, and beaches. Whatever you choose to do in Calabria, you will enjoy it!
Hi, I'm Jakob Lombardi,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Calabria hostels. Welcome.