Discover Calabria’s Ionian coastline, with its immense, white beaches and large plantations of jasmine and bergamot – a citrus fruit much favoured by the perfume industry, which uses it for its most sought-after scents – which stretch for miles, uninterrupted save for a scattering of relatively modern towns and beachside resorts.
Even here, though, by heading just a few miles inland, it is possible to discover countless treasures that are still untouched by mass tourism, from the Cattolica church in Stilo, and the ruins of abandoned settlements such as Brancaleone Superiore to the waterfalls of Bivongi and atmospheric, historic towns like Riace and Bova.
The Costa dei Gelsomini – the Jasmine Coast – offers a perfect marriage of coastal and inland geography. Still a well-kept secret, it draws visitors in search of genuine experiences and contact with the real Calabria, an ancient, yet sophisticated land.
Marvel at the splendid Cattolica church in historic Stilo, and walk through the narrow streets of the town centre
Visit the excavations at Epizephyrian Locris, the Roman villa at Sasignana and the archaeological complex at Bova Marina
Witness the hatching of baby loggerhead turtle on the beach at Palizzi
Discover the Marmarico waterfalls, the tallest in Calabria, at Bivongi
Dance to the rhythms of the tarantella and other traditional folk music at the Paleariza festival
Share in the warm welcome the historic town of Riace has offered to incoming migrants in recent decades
Enjoy the historic charms of Bova, cultural capital of Greek Calabria, with its stunning views of the Ionian coast
Take a boat trip at Roccella Ionica, and top it off with a stroll to the medieval castle
Enjoy a close-up look at the largest Hellenistic-era mosaic in southern Italy, which was unearthed in ancient Kaulon where the town of Monasterace now stands
Visit the atmospheric Monastery of Serra San Bruno and the Hermitage of Santa Maria della Stella