Calabria is the region situated in the southeast of the italic peninsula, in the area between Campania, Basilicata and Sicily. It is a mainly hilly landscape, as crossed by the Apennines. The central part of the area is covered by a vast forest, the Sila Grande and the Sila Piccola.

The ancient Greeks and the Italics, followed by the Romans and the Byzantines had an influence on the genesis of the Calabrian people. After the Norman Conquest, the region, like the other areas of the Italian South, was a part of the Kingdom of Naples, sharing its fate until 1860, when the South of Italy started being a part of the Kingdom of Savoy.
Because of the frequent Saracen incursions, the inhabitants of the centres on the coasts on the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Sea left and rebuilt their homes on unapproachable mountains seeking shelter. Nowadays, many villages and cities have a maritime and a rural part.

Today’s Calabria consists of the provinces of Cosenza, Catanzaro, Crotone, Reggio Calabria and Vibo Valentia. Although considered one of the economic “poor“ regions of Italy, Calabria offers beautiful scenery and an incredible architectural, cultural and artistic richness, a richness resulting from its historical developments, making the region unique. The ethnical-linguistic minorities enhance the uniqueness, as Albanese (Arbëresh), Greek (Grecanics) and Occitan is spoken among ten per cent of the Calabrian population, contributing immensely to the traditional originality. It is my favourite Italian region, maybe more than Salento, and I think that it is definitely worth discovering…

31.03.2005 / Translated from italian by Giorgia Guarini

Arbëresh girls, Sila in winter