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This is an area so little known to the European tourism yet in a delightful land wealthy of natural beauties, such as the Arch of Arcomagno, a natural arch of rock, entrance to an attractive coved beach,  with calm turquoise sea; the Faraglioni of Capri, beautiful sea rocks in the sea of Capri, one of many in the Amalfi Coast; or the Etna Volcano, still active and one of Sicily's biggest tourist attractions.
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Travel and holidays to south Italy - Holiday accommodation in Apulia, Sicily, Amalfi Coast, Calabria, Basilicata and Eolian Islands.



Travel and Holiday to south Italy, Calabria, Pollino, Sila, Aspromonte, Scalea, Tropea, Sibari, Riviera dei Cedri, Reggio Calabria, accommodation by the sea or rural

 

CALABRIA - RIVIERA DEI CEDRI


FIND ROOMS HERE    LEISURE    SHOPPING    EXCURSIONS     Town Geographical Position


The Riviera Towns


 

Riviera dei Cedri Map

The Tyrrhenian coast of the province of Cosenza, stretching as it does from Tortora to Paola, is bounded to the north by the river Noce which marks the border between the regions of Lucania and Calabria for about six km, to the south by the indented coast, and to the east by the coastal mountain range named after the city of Paola and by a number of hills-the extreme appendages of the Apennine range-of a dolomitic nature formed by limestone and crystalline and schistose rock. The coastal line, which measures about 90 km in length forms a series of long broad sandy beaches alternating with tiny, moon-shaped bays embedded between promontories jutting out into the sea, with upland plains and overhanging rocks. Now and again the coastline is interrupted by springs, torrents and rivers fed by rainfalls which are abundant especially on the ridges, between October and March.
The sea with its reefs of rocks, the hills and overhanging cliffs, land terraces and sandy gorges dug by the rainwater, rocks jutting out into and out of the sea, mountains and multifarious hues of the luxuriant vegetation have combined with the action of endogenous and exogenous energy over the ages, making this into one of the most interesting stretches of the earth under the most diverse respects; whether physical, geologic, economic, historic, or artistic.

Man settled in this area as early as the pre-historic age. Life and civilization along this coast indeed date back to the Old Stone Age; Acheulian bifacial hand axes left by homosapiens on the Rosaneto in Tortora date from about one thousand and fifty thousand years ago, the cave named Grotta della Madonna at Praia were used as early human dwellings, man lived in the shelter-cave named Grotta del Romito, at Papasidero, for a span of over a thousand years, and then switched over to hut-life in the 7th century B.C. at Petrosa di Scalea, its historic centre a maze of streets with arches, steps, and a splendid seafront below, also has the Talao Grotto, where Palaeolithic remains have been found.
A straight road leads to Cirella, while on a rocky site slightly inland stand Grisolia and MaierÓ', two small villages barely separated by a valley, but before these on this same road the next main town is Santa Maria del Cedro, hence the name "Riviera dei Cedri", where the main Citrus is grown and picked which is used in making essences, liqueurs and candied fruit. It graciously sits at the end of the Citrus plantations and olive groves.
 

Cirella marina is a restful spot in the middle of olive groves, just below the ruins of the old village,

further away from the water, where ruined churches and buildings lie in total silence. Facing the sand and pebble beach, 4km long and 40km wide, is a deserted rocky island, the delight of snorkellers and those who love the characteristic Mediterranean vegetation. Calabria has one of the least polluted expanses of sea for public bathing, according to a recent study by the Ministry of Health. Diamante has a wider beach with its crystal clear blue water and is well known for its 130 Murales painted on the walls of its historical centre.

 

Belvedere, slightly further south, has another characteristic: a kind of clay, derived from the calanques and fiumare, enabling potters to carry on their old tradition. There is even a church completely decorated with ceramics.

Sangineto, Cetraro, Acquappesa, Guardia, Fuscaldo and Paola make up the rest of the Riviera dei Cedri, all having splendid beaches, where the cooling presence of the Catena Costiera lying parallel to the sea, with its woodland and glades, mitigates the summer heat. The coast stretches more or less unchanged with a series of towns and villages, and fine sandy beaches.

 


The Riviera Towns    


 

Praia a Mare

 

stands by a long sandy beach, opposite the mythical Island of Dino, where, as the legend goes, Ulysses once landed and where you can find the natural grottos of "The Lion" and the "Azure" Grotto. Praia a Mare is the first inhabited resort that you meet along the Tyrrhenian coast. Visit the Sanctuary of Saint Maria of the Grotto, which is inside a natural grotto, reached by a long flight of steps, containing a wooden statue of the Madonna and Child that dates back to XIV century. Much of Praia's history is contained in this grotto where many Palaeolithic, Neolithic and Roman articles have been found.

 

Aieta

 

whose origins are ancient, has developed around the recently restored Martirano building, one of the most imperious and beautiful constructions in Calabria. The historical centre of Aieta is characteristic for its medieval architecture. Today, Aieta owes its fame to its gastronomical traditions, and its arts and crafts, especially its textile works and gastronomical delicatessen.

 

Scalea

 

with its medieval structures and characteristic houses, built almost one on top of the other, is one of the few resorts on the Calabrian coast to have an historical centre so well preserved with its Byzantine churches, antique castle ruins, medieval buildings, and breathtaking view of the coastline with its long beaches of dark volcanic sand, and steep rocky inlets. Palaeolithic remains have been found in the cavern under "Torre Talao" which was the sentinel tower built to protect the town from invaders coming from sea.

 

Papasidero

 

is a town in the immediate Calabrian hinterland, where time seems to have stood still. Its medieval character and antique traditions are kept alive in the every day way of living of its inhabitants. Visit the church of Saint Mary to admire the frescos.. or the "Grotto of Romito", in the locality of Avena, where a primitive carving of an ox has been found on one of the Grotto's walls. This was set to be one of the most ancient works of art performed by prehistoric man. A copy of it has been reproduced and is now held in the National Museum of Reggio Calabria.

 

Diamante & Cirella

 

is a famous resort, known internationally for its 130 Murales, painted in the historical centre by artists from all over Europe, and its promenade in the form of a long terrace. Between Scalea and Diamante lies the small resort of Cirella with its historical centre where traces of its mythical past can be found. Cirella has been destroyed and rebuilt from various dynasties in ancient past but is now one of the most beautiful and characteristic little towns of the "Riviera dei Cedri" and is part of Diamante.

 

Verbicaro

 

is one of the most well-known areas, belonging to the "Montana Community" in the Tyrrhenian Cosentino region, for its wines, homemade salamis and authentic traditions. The social wine cellar has been producing wine for quite some time and can enjoy from a few years the classification of the wine that takes the name from the same town, as a DOC. The characteristic procession, held to celebrate Good Friday is quite spectacular with its parade of religious disciples who beat themselves in physical penitence, in remembrance to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Visit the historical centre, full of medieval architecture and the church of the Madonna of the Nevi, where Byzantine frescos can be found.

 

Paola

 

is the chief religious centre of Calabria with its Sanctuary of Saint Francis of Paola, founder of the order of the "Minimi" friars. The sanctuary is built 2 kms from the town centre of Paola and adjacent to the hermitage grotto, where the young saint spent many years in hermitage and prayer. Visit the church in the convent, with its cloisters and the area where the saint performed his miracles.