Reggio Calabria

About Reggio Calabria
Reggio CalabriaReggio Calabriais a bustling town in Calabria. It is located at the tip of Italy’s “toe” and just over the water from Sicily. Reggio Calabria was nearly destroyed by a devastating earthquake in 1908. It was rebuilt according to elegant plans. Reggio Calabria is a port that is pleasant and friendly. Reggio is an important transport hub for ferry service to Sicily. It is also known for its archaeological museum. It was once the capital of Calabria, but it is now a provincial capital. Reggio Calabria is sometimes called Reggio di Calabria. This distinguishes it from Reggio Emilia, a town with the same name in Emilia-Romagna.

Reggio di Calabria tourist information
Rhegion, an Ancient Greek settlement, was a key part of Magna Graecia (the Greek colonization of Italy). Because of its close proximity to Sicily, and its shipping route through Strait of Messina, the site has held a strategic significance over the centuries. The city is not the only important place to visit in Reggio. Two famous Greek bronze statues found in Museo Nazionale Reggio are located fifty miles from the city. They were discovered near a village named the Riace Bronzes or the Bronzi di Riace. These sculptures are larger than life and depict heroic warriors. There is much speculation about their origins and creator, but they are rare and beautiful mementos from the past.

The National Museum of Reggio Calabria (Museo Nazionale di Reggio Calabria), is undoubtedly the most important tourist attraction in the region. Many tourists visit Reggio just to see the museum. The museum also houses the Riace Bronzes and a wonderful collection of exhibits from Rhegion, as well as other Greek sites in Calabria. In a room that is shared with another beautiful bronze sculpture, the head a philosopher, bronze statues take pride of place. Mondays are closed. It is located at the northern end the town centre near the seafront, on Piazza De Nava. Reggio Calabria Lido is the nearest station. See below for additional travel advice. Marcello Piacentini was the architect of Rome’s EUR District in the 1930s when he designed the grand museum building.

View to Reggio di Calabria, Sicily and the beach
After the statues, Reggio Calabria’s greatest asset is its long, panoramic seafront. The promenade’s long, wide length is ideal for strolling and enjoying the stunning view of the Mediterranean to Sicily. Another walk is located at a lower elevation and directly on the shore. There are sunloungers for rent in some of these ‘beach’ establishments. The famous Fata Morgana, a mirage that shimmers in the sky above the sea, is visible sometimes from Reggio.

Due to the many vicissitudes of Reggio, the historic sights are not very well preserved. There are some ruins near the seafront, including a stretch Greek wall and Roman baths. Other tourist attractions that you might enjoy while here include the Pinacoteca Civica municipal art gallery, the cathedral (Duomo), which was rebuilt following the 1908 earthquake, as well as the Villa Comunale public garden. Corso Garibaldi runs parallel to Reggio’s seafront, a few streets further inland. Piazza Italia is the central square.

Reggio Calabria transport, travel and ferries
Reggio Calabria serves as the final stop for Intercity and Eurostar trains that travel south from Rome and Naples along Italy’s Tyrrhenian coast. Regional trains also stop at Calabria stations. Stazione Centrale is the main railway station in the town. It’s located at Piazza Garibaldi, the southern end. You can leave your luggage at the station, and there is a decent self-service caféteria. The railway station has a small tourist information office that can help you plan your trip and give you a map of Reggio.

Stazione Lido is Reggio, located at the northern end on the seafront. This station allows you to walk or take a stroll to the port. If you’re travelling by public transport and have suitcases, it is best to stop at Stazione Centrale and drop them off at the left-luggage desk. You can then take a bus or a long walk to get to the museum.

ATAM operates urban buses that serve the centre of Reggio di Calabria. The bus service connects Stazione Centrale to both the museum or the port. Buses depart from Piazza Garibaldi on the far side, which is opposite the station. There are usually bus drivers waiting to offer advice. Near the museum, most buses heading north stop. The 13 runs to the port’s waterside, but is less common. It loops around to the north. The bus number 125 connects the port to the airport and stops in Piazza Garibaldi. You can purchase bus tickets at a bar near the bus stops.

The Stazione Marittima port in Reggio is located to the north of town, just a few steps from the museum and Stazione Lido. Ferries depart Reggio di Calabria to go to many destinations. The timetables vary depending on the season. The most popular service is to Messina, which is located opposite Reggio on Sicily’s coast. Trenitalia runs a fast, efficient hydrofoil service. It departs from a pavilion near the jetties. There are also slower ferries. Ustica Lines operates daily hydrofoil services to the Aeolian islands, several times per day in summer. These services are more susceptible to being disrupted by bad sea conditions. The waterfront has a small travel agency that sells tickets for Ustica Lines. It also provides information about these services. There are sailings to Malta from Reggio. Aliscafi is the Italian word for hydrofoils.

Aeroporto diello Stretto is Reggio’s own airport. It serves mostly flights within Italy. Lamezia Terme and Palermo in Sicily are the most convenient international airports.

Reggio di Calabria
Scilla is a charming fishing village that’s only half an hour by train from Reggio di Calabria. It is one of the most beautiful short trips. Further up the Tyrrhenian Sea, you will find the Costa degli Dei (‘Coast of the Gods’), where Tropea is the most well-known resort.

Because Reggio is located in Calabria, Sicily, and the Aeolian islands, it makes a natural part of any tour. Continue reading: South to Calabria: A travel itinerary

Accommodation
Reggio isn’t the place that travellers would spend their time in, but it can be a good starting point for a trip to Sicily or Calabria. Reggio has plenty to offer, and there are many day trips or outings that can be made. If you’re looking to spend a few nights in the area, Reggio is a good choice.

The E Hotel, a brand new hotel designed on the beachfront, is convenient for both the port and the archaeological museum. B&B Possidonea 28, a modern B&B, is a great value.