THE CEDAR RIVIERA
‘Riviera dei Cedri’ is the landmark that identifies a stretch of Tyrrhenian coast of Calabria which also includes a part of the mountainous area which lies immediately behind the coastal area. The name comes from the widespread cedar cultivation, a citrus cultivated only in this corner of the Earth, used by Jews from all over the world for their sukkot celebrations.
Capo Tirone Beach and Belvedere Marina
One kilometre long pebble beach characterizes this seaside promenade. It ends at the North with the tip of Capo Tirone Gulf where there is a spacious terrace that offers a 360 ° view between the sea and the mountains.
The Aragonese Castle of Belvedere Marittimo, dating back to 1046, is a medieval structure located on the top of the historic centre. The plant is quadrangular with a small and merlated tower; A highest dungeon in the curtain of a particular architectural value.
Its model is reproduced in the miniature park of Italy, in Rimini, Northern Italy.
Belvedere Marittimo area includes part of Pollino Park, the largest Natural Park in Italy. It is possible to move from zero meters above the sea level to over six hundred meters of altitude, going through a sixteen-kilometre path of the typical Mediterranean landscape.
Convent of Capuchins
In 1595 a monastery was built at Belvedere Marina in honour of Saint Daniele Martyr. Capuchin friars following St. Francis of Assisi live here. Its wooden altars of monastic-baroque style, its blades and its tabernacles are particularly beautiful. The relics of Saint Valentine’s, lovers’ protector, can be found in the first chapel.
Diamante offers a six kilometre long beach which goes up to the Cirella hill. Here you can find the remains of an ancient Roman villa and you can admire the homonymous island that preserves a thick Mediterranean landscape and on the top an ancient watch tower. In this place, the young Italian singer Francesca Michelin has shot the video of her recent hits.
PRAIA A MARE AND SAN NICOLA ARCELLA
(20 km north)
Dino Island and Caves
Dino’s island is the largest of the two Calabrian islands which lies on the northwest coast of the Tyrrhenian coast, not far from Praia coast, extending for about 50 hectares with an altitude of up to 100 meters. On the northern slope there is a small mooring pier which leads to the cottages located in the upper part of the island.
The sea erosion on the limestone rocks has produced several caves, such as the “Monaco”, the “Sardines”, where there are stalagmites, “Waterfalls”, “The Lion” and the “Blue Grotto”. However, the most interesting cave is the Gargiulo Cave, which lies 18 meters below the sea surface and extends for several meters.
The Magical Arch is one of the most famous and photographed coves in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is particularly suggestive for its rock arch that forms a large natural portal suspended between two headlands framing the buccaneer cave, Enea’s beach and the beautiful lagoon. Its colour range from dark to light blue according to the position of the sun and the shade of the rocks on crystalline water.
Madonna della Grotta Sanctuary
The Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Grotta is one of the most important places of worship and pilgrimage in Southern Italy. It is located between from three natural caves on Vingiolo Mount. The Sanctuary represents a place of memory, the guardian of the Christian traditions, an authentic oasis for spiritual life. It is a place of rare natural beauty located in an uncontaminated area.
(40 km north)
The Christ’s statue in Maratea is the second largest one after that in Rio de Janeiro. It is located in the old town of Maratea, also known as the Castle, and was realized by the Florentine sculptor Bruno Innocenzi (Florence 1906-1986) upon the request of Count Stefano Rivetti of Valcervo. It was erected in 1965 on the top San Biagio Mount where a commemorative stone cross was built.
(35 km South)
San Francesco di Paola
The Sanctuary-Basilica of Paola represents the spiritual heart in Calabria, the centre par excellence of the devotion to St Francis. Over the last five centuries, St Francis has fascinated all those people in search of the absolute. The community that lives there, in the wake of St. Francis himself, remains a meeting point and a link between God and Mankind.