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    Amazing Calabria - What to Eat

    A trip to Calabria isn’t complete without tasting 'Nduja, a soft sausage that is packed with chilli. It can be spread on bread, and turns up in pasta dishes such as Fileja con 'Nduja.

    Peperoncino and 'Nduja

    Local restaurants serve the finest in Mediterranean influenced foods. Most of the cuisine of Calabria is heavily influenced by the Mediterranean. Pasta dishes involving peppers, onions and sausage sautéed with or without sauce are very common. Frittatas made with pasta and sausages mixed into the eggs are also prevalent. Eggplant is a favourite dish in the region and is served in a variety of ways. Like the food of Basilicata, Calabria cuisine is often very spicy and sometimes involves the use of chili peppers. Seafood in all its forms is highly popular as well as pork.



    La Scogliera, Le Castella

    Plentiful fresh fish and seafood with a sea view to match don’t come cheap at La Scogliera, which means cliff. The seafood antipasti are on the expensive side for Calabria, but you get big plates of fresh octopus, prawns and marinated anchovies. Pasta dishes include classics such as linguine with clams or mussels.

    Le Chicche di Calabria, Pizzo

    It’s easy to miss this little cafe and deli among the bright umbrellas in Piazza della Repubblica. There are only a handful of tables outside, so get there early to taste generous portions of Calabrese antipasti. The degustazione plate is an excellent introduction to the cuisine, starting with mixed meats such as schiacciata and soppressata, cheeses, then bruschetta and grilled meats.

    Quei Bravi Ragazzi, Tropea

    This tree-shaded restaurant facing a quiet piazza is in the thick of the action during Tropea’s bi-annual blues festival. Musical backdrop or not, it serves good solid Calabrese pasta dishes, including Fileja con 'Nduja and spaghetti with mild red Tropea onions, as well as grilled spicy sausages and pizzas.

    Bleu de Toi, Scilla

    It’s hard to find a more romantic spot on the Tyrrhenian Sea than this restaurant in Scilla’s waterside district of Chianalea, north of the castle. A platform juts out over the water where fresh seafood – including a lot of swordfish – is served. You may be a bit stuck if you don’t like seafood, but the spaghetti with sea urchins or prawn linguine might convert you. When the weather won’t play ball, there’s a cosy interior with a vaulted stone ceiling.



    Il Pescatore, Le Castella

    Bar Gelateria Il Pescatore

    Huge picture windows offer views of the beach on one side and the Aragonese castle on the other in this lively seaside bar that’s a major meeting point. The sea views will no doubt distract you from the plain interior, but do look out for the fascinating wall of photos of villagers taken over the past half-century.

    Bar Ercole Gelateria, Pizzo

    Bar Ercole Gelateria

    Handily located next door to Le Chicche di Calabria (see above) is this bar that reportedly makes the best Tartufo in Pizzo. It’s like a giant ice-cream version of a chocolate truffle, although the version with pistachio ice-cream and an oozing chocolate syrupy centre is quite extraordinary. Its terrace hums all day, the morning cappuccino eventually replaced by the late-afternoon prosecco.

    Caffe del Corso, Tropea

    Caffe del Corso

    A cheery “Ciao, bello!” from the owner greets you in this prime people-watching bar in Tropea’s pedestrianised old town. A few tables outside the entrance are filled with Tropeani having their morning coffee. The larger terrace opposite is the place to settle down and watch the evening passeggiata - preferably with a dish of sharp and cooling mandarin granita.

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