Let’s discover another heavenly stretch of the Italian coast. The Costa Viola (purple coast) is a stretch of coastline in southern Calabria that mainly includes the province of Reggio Calabria. It extends for about 35 km along the Tyrrhenian Sea running almost parallel to the Strait of Messina. The beaches that compose this coast are wonderful, little-known places, where peace and unspoiled nature reign. The Costa Viola is divided into four main locations: Scilla, Bagnara Calabra, Palmi and Seminara.
What Makes it Special
Its name undoubtedly derives from the violet nuances that characterize the sea here. This magnificent environment goes from mountain to sea in the blink of an eye. The rocky ridge of Aspromonte dominates this stretch of coast and ends up overlooking the violet waters that bathe it. Dense Mediterranean scrub crowns the panorama and on the horizon you can clearly see the Aeolian Islands and the Strait of Messina. The currents of the latter are the reason why the waters here are clear and transparent. Swordfish fishing is still widespread, especially in Scilla, and has been practiced for thousands of years. The Costa Viola is also the site of myths and legends. On the strait, during very hot days, there is the illusion that the Sicilian coast approaches that of Calabria. This phenomenon, comparable to a sort of mirage, is called fata morgana.
The Seaside Towns
SCILLA is one of the best known among the destinations listed in the area for tourism. This town is well equipped to welcome tourists offering them every kind of comfort. Scilla also makes itself known for its culture and legends, as well as for its priceless beauty. (Read Magical Scilla in Calabria).
BAGNARA CALABRA rises at the foot of the Aspromonte, in the middle of two rocky spurs. This town boasts a long sandy beach whose sea becomes purple. If you are looking for a place to stay during your visit to Costa Viola, this is the perfect location. Over the years, Bagnara Calabra has become a real seaside town, with plenty of summer residences and resorts ready to welcome travelers from all over the world.
PALMI has been hit twice over the course of history by strong earthquakes (the first in 1783 and the second in 1908). Today the town has been completely rebuilt under anti-seismic guidelines. Although much of the artistic and cultural heritage of Palmi has been destroyed, it still preserves its ancient traditions and a breathtaking panorama known as the “balcony on the Tyrrhenian Sea“.
SEMINARA is known for housing more of Calabria’s sculptures from the 1500’s than anywhere else in the region. Unfortunately, the earthquake also affected this area, destroying part of its artistic heritage. Yet, despite this, Seminara is an almost magical place. Its village is immersed in the green of the Mediterranean scrub. The sea and the beaches here are of a unique beauty and an underwater dream for diving enthusiasts. Fine and golden, the coves and beaches are nestled in the midst of rocks and large cliffs, all bathed by a crystalline sea with purple hues so typical of this area.
Exploring the Area
There are countless opportunities beyond the beaches suitable for everyone on the Costa Viola. In addition to visiting the beautiful seaside resorts and the historic centers of the villages and towns that rise from the cliffs, there are many outdoor activities to do as well. How about a canoe excursion in the Scilla area, where a competent guide will advise you on sensational itineraries to follow? If you prefer hiking, the cliff on the Sant’Elia side offers trekking paths that wind between Bagnara Calabra and Palmi. You will find yourself immersed in unspoiled nature with the sea on one side and the hills on the other. Festivals and fairs are practically the order of the day in the four main towns of Costa Viola, where in addition to the fun and hospitality typical of the south, you can taste typical dishes and the characteristic flavors of Calabria.
The Costa Viola is truly paradise on earth. What are you waiting for? Plan your visit to Calabria today!Redattore