Calabria: The Sea & Southern Cuisine
Finalmente!! After 7 weeks our baby, Lou the Daihatsu, finally came home from the repair shop the beginning of September. It was just in time to take us on our last-weekend-before-school-starts summer trip. Our approved vacation time was taken away from us, but we said screw it and modified our trip to two days. With a 95% chance of storms the entire time, we ended up getting lucky with beautiful weather. We only hit rain driving back and were welcomed home with a double rainbow!
Summer was still in full force and school hadn’t started yet, so we took off further south to Calabria the first weekend of September! A bit over 4.5 hours away, the drive consisted of mountainside tunnels, rolling hills dotted with olive trees, roadside fruit & veggie stands, and many beautiful abandoned buildings. Down to the tippy top of the boot, we found crystal clear waters and some of the best southern (and quite spicy!) food that we have had to date!! I fell in love with their sweet red onions, also known as la regina rossa (the red queen), and pretty much every dish I ordered had them in it! From an onion bruschetta to their fileja-style pasta with an onion sauce. I grabbed a bag of these on our way home home and I was eating them for the next week straight! We also had the chance to try the Tartufo di Pizzo. The tartufo di Pizzo is a cocoa-dusted chocolate-and-hazelnut ice cream bomb, invented in the quaint Calabrian seaside town of Pizzo in 1952. Because we ate gelato with every meal, I tried the original and others, such as the pistacchio flavor. Oh, and the middle was full of oozing chocolate! One dish that took me by surprise and I enjoyed very much was ndjua. It is a particular type of sausage with a soft, creamy consistency and a bright red color due to the high concentration of chili pepper- an authentic Calabrian specialty eaten with many dishes.
We stayed in the city of Zombrone at B&B San Carlo– a perfect location to branch out to other Calabrian towns without having to drive any more than 10-15 minutes away! The rooms were literally attached to the back side of a pizzeria restaurant! The owners/staff didn’t speak any English, but I surprised myself, actually having managed to converse with them quite well! Everyone in this region is extremely friendly. Zambrone beach is pretty rocky as you can tell from the pictures, so I’m glad we have learned to always bring our water shoes for any water adventures! To be honest, the second day the waves were quite large and I was hit in the ankle with a rock when a wave took me out and then hit by another rock in the same place from waves stirring them up. Not a great experience, haha, but the blue hue’s of the water were simply so stunning that I forgot to be upset or sad. I don’t remember seeing water as clear as this except for when we snorkeled the Silfra Fissure in Iceland, and you had to be looking under the water to get that full effect.
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Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!
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