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Europe > Italy > Southern Italy > Calabria > Reggio di Calabria

Reggio di Calabria

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Reggio di Calabria is a city in Calabria on the toe of Italy. It's a ferry port for the short crossing to Messina in Sicily. It's of great antiquity, being part of the Hellenistic region of Magna Grecia, but there's little of that to see nowadays. The city has suffered repeated earthquakes, and was pulverised by the terrible quake and tsunami of 1908. Then came heavy Allied bombing in the Second World War. After the war the city suffered from economic slump and organised crime: 'Ndrangheta (organized crime) are believed still to exert a strong grip over local authority and businesses.

There are long-held plans to build a bridge from here to Sicily, but preparatory work was cancelled in 2013.

Lungomare

Find tourist info at 1 Ufficio Informazioni Turistiche, Palazzo San Giorgio (at the City Hall next to the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II (Piazza Italia)), +39 0965 3622269, .

Get in[edit]

Map of Reggio di Calabria

By boat[edit]

Boats for Messina in Sicily leave from the port of Reggio, and from Villa San Giovanni, 14 km further north. In Messina they land either in the main downtown port, or at the northern terminal 4 km away.

  • Bluferries. Hydrofoils (take cars) hourly from VSG to Messina downtown. On foot €2.50, cars €37-€60.
  • Liberty Lines. Fast catamarans roughly hourly from Reggio Calabria, no vehicles. On foot €3.50 single, €6.50 return.
  • Caronte & Tourist. VSG to Messina only with car. With car €36.
  • Meridiano Lines. Ferries Messina downtown - Reggio Calabria (every 2 hours 24/7, taking 40 min). On foot €1.50, car €15.

Reggio ferry terminal is at 1 Stazione Marittima (just north of Stazione Lido).

By train[edit]

Long-distance trains from Milan, Rome and Naples call at Villa San Giovanni ferry port 14 km north, then stop at 2 Reggio Calabria Centrale, Piazza Garibaldi. There's a left luggage office inside the station, open 06:00 to 18:00. The plaza just outside is the bus terminal, with frequent connections to the ferry port. Lots of cafes and fast-food kiosks here. Reggio Calabria Centrale railway station (Q3970657) on Wikidata Reggio di Calabria Centrale railway station on Wikipedia

Regional trains run along the coast from small towns such as Scilla and Tropea to the north, and the airport and Palizzi to the south. These also stop at local stations within Reggio, e.g. Santa Caterina and Lido, which are closer than Centrale for the ferries to Messina.

By plane[edit]

  • 3 Aeroporto dello Stretto (Reggio Calabria Airport REG IATA) (at Ravagnese, about 5 km south). Alitalia fly from Rome FCO, Milan LIN, Turin and Bergamo. Blue Panorama also fly from Rome and Milan. Buses run from the airport to downtown and the port. Reggio Calabria Airport (Q1432582) on Wikidata Reggio Calabria Airport on Wikipedia

Lamezia Terme airport (SUF IATA), 130 km north, has budget flights by Ryanair and EasyJet, who don't fly to Reggio.

Get around[edit]

Local buses mostly all run to Piazza Garibaldi, in front of Stazione Centrale. The bus company is ATAM (Azienda Trasporti per l'Area Metropolitana di Reggio Calabria), toll-free: 800 43 33 10. Buy tickets in any newsagent or tabaccheria. A single ticket valid for 75 min costs €1.50.

See[edit]

The Bronzi di Riace
  • The elegant main promenade is Lungomare Italo Falcomatà, paralleling Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Midway along is the modern Amphitheatre (Arena dello Stretto/Anfiteatro Anassilaos) 2 .
  • For city strolling follow the mostly pedestrianised Corso Garibaldi, which crosses the main squares of piazza Garibaldi, piazza Duomo, piazza Camagna, piazza d'Italia, and piazza de Nava.
  • 1 Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Reggio Calabria), Piazza Giuseppe De Nava, 26 (100m from Lido Station), +39 0965 898272. Tu-Su 09:00-20:00 (last admission 19:30). From the 8th century BCE, many Greeks fled their homeland to settle in south Italy and Sicily. This "Magna Grecia" influenced Roman culture, and founded cities such as Naples and Syracuse, before eventually being absorbed into the Roman Republic. This museum shows their story and artefacts. The highlight is the Bronzi di Riace, two full-size bronze sculptures of bearded nude warriors, cast about 460–430 BCE. The statues are kept in a special room with restricted access: visits are scheduled every 20 min, with the first 20 min watching a film in the "pre-filter room", then viewing the statues for another 20 min. €8; on Wednesdays €6. National Museum of Magna Græcia (Q519204) on Wikidata Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia on Wikipedia
  • 2 Duomo / Cathedral (Basilica Cattedrale di Maria Santissima Assunta in Cielo), V Tommaso Campanella 46. Rebuilt in modern Romanesque after its predecessor was wrecked in the earthquake of 1908. Reggio Calabria Cathedral (Q1736209) on Wikidata Reggio Calabria Cathedral on Wikipedia
  • 3 Castello Aragonese (Aragonese Castle) (at the historical centre), +39 0965 362111. Tu-Su 08:30-13:30 & 15:30-18:30. Just a masonry shell, sometimes used for concerts, you come for the panorama of the city. It's named for the Kings of Aragon who re-built it in the 14th century. Free. Aragonese Castle (Q3662304) on Wikidata Aragonese Castle (Reggio Calabria) on Wikipedia
  • 4 Chiesa degli Ottimati (Chiesa di Santa Maria Annunziata) (next to the castle). Chiesa degli Ottimati (Q3668035) on Wikidata Chiesa degli Ottimati on Wikipedia
  • 5 Santuario di Sant'Antonio (Basilica di Sant'Antonio), Via Sant'Antonio al Santuario (On top of Collina degli Angeli hill overlooking town, 500 m from the centre). Rebuilt in gothic style in the 20th century.
  • 6 Villa Genoese Zerbi, Via Zaleuco 5 (midway along promenade). Usually closed. Built in Neo-Gothic style in 1925, it's only open for exhibitions, eg as a satellite of the Venice Biennale. (Q4012033) on Wikidata it:Villa Genoese Zerbi on Wikipedia
  • Palazzo Mazzitelli is an office and retail block on the corner of Via Fata Morgana 3
  • Piazza del Populo has a market. It's overlooked by the former fascist barracks Casa del Fascio and memorial 4
  • 7 Basilica dell'Eremo (Santa Maria Madre della Consolazione), via Eremo Botte (1.5 km E of city centre). Rebuilt in modern style in 1965, this is where the Madonna sets off on her annual procession. (Q3635667) on Wikidata it:Basilica dell'Eremo on Wikipedia

Do[edit]

  • Ride the ferry across the Straits for the view, even if you don't intend to visit Sicily. You need a conventional car-ferry for this, where you can get out on deck: on the fast-cats you're closed in behind salt-crusted windows. Check also that your return ferry brings you back to your starting point (whether Reggio or Villa San Giovanni) and not to the other one 14 km away.
  • The second Saturday in September sees the religious procession Festa della Madonna della Consolazione. The Madonna's effigy is carried from the Basilica dell'Eremo (Church of the Hermitage) along Corso Garibaldi to the cathedral.
  • Watch a show at 1 Teatro Comunale Francesco Cilea, Corso Garibaldi (Located in front of Palazzo San Giorgio), +39 0965 312701. This 1500-seater neoclassical building hosts various musical and theatrical performances.
Lido Comunale
  • Lido Comunale: for €1 you get a day-pass to this northern beach, a changing room, use of showers, etc.
  • Watch football: Reggio's football team is Urbs Reggina 1914 and their home ground is Stadio Oreste Granillo, 1 km S of the main railway station. They've suffered a number of match-fixing and financial scandals, and, as of 2019, languish in Serie C, the third level of Italian football.

Buy[edit]

  • Bergamotto liquor is similar to Limoncello. It's flavoured with the Bergamot Orange, a citrus resembling a lime, cultivated only here. The oil of the orange also flavours Earl Grey Tea.

Eat[edit]

  • Cordon Bleu, Corso Garibaldi 205, +39 0965 814907. Daily 07:00-00:00. In a verandah-tent spilling across the street, and hard luck on the passing traffic. Acts posh with waiters in black tie and white tuxedo, paper hats on draught beer, etc., but it's basically a glorified fast-food joint. Equally good for snacks and main meals.
  • La Dolce Vita (Pizzeria Braceria), Via Cardinale Tripepi 7, +39 0965 24874. Tu-Su 07:00-00:00. Handy choice near Parco Caserta.

Drink[edit]

  • Pepy's Beach, Lungomare Falcomata (mid-way along main promenade). open 24 / 7. Good place to have a quiet beer, limoncello, bergamotto or cocktail while looking across at Sicily and listening to the waves hitting the rocky beach.

Sleep[edit]

  • Albergo Noel (B&B Al Duomo), 114 Via Francesco da Paolo (just off river quay Via Argine Destro Calopinace), +39 0965 330 044. Small and central. There is another Albergo Noel at 13 Viale Genoese Zerbi. €40 for a double.

Go next[edit]

  • The main reason anyone comes to Reggio is to cross the straits to Sicily. And so should you. Ferries land there at Messina, which (like Reggio) is just a ferry port with little reason to stay. So either continue south to Taormina, Mount Etna, Catania and Siracusa, or follow the north coast to Milazzo the port for the Aeolian Islands, and further west reach Palermo.
  • Scilla is a charming old fishing port 22 km north of Reggio, looking over the Straits at their narrowest point. Here stands Ruffo Castle, atop a headland with good beaches to either side. Regional trains stop in Scilla.
  • 8 Pentedattilo (about 45 minutes drive from Reggio, the nearest public transport is to Melito Porto Salvo or Anna, 8-10 km). A well-preserved ancient mountain village in southern Calabria. It's overlooked by a five-pronged rock formation, hence its Greek name daktylos penta, i.e. five fingers. It became tumbledown and deserted - a "ghost town” - but from the 1980s was gradually reconstructed and repopulated. There's an arts & crafts "Paleariza" festival here mid-summer, and an annual short film festival in late August. Pentedattilo (Q2407749) on Wikidata Pentedattilo on Wikipedia
  • 9 Aspromonte National Park (Parco Nazionale dell'Aspromonte) (You need a car: follow SP 7 towards Gambarie), +39 0965 743 060. Ranged over a great pyramid of granite, reaching almost 2000 altitude, with several rare species. The main facilities are at Gambarie ski resort (1,311 m). Aspromonte National Park (Q778921) on Wikidata Aspromonte National Park on Wikipedia
Routes through Reggio di Calabria
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NaplesSalernoPaestum  N Strada Statale 18 Italia.svg S  END
becomes Autostrada A2 Italia.svg  W Strada Statale 106 Italia.svg E  MetapontoTaranto



This city travel guide to Reggio di Calabria is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.