After Class Activities
Our program allows you plenty of time to discover your new country, culture, traditions and everyday life after your class is over. On weekends students can arrange to take optional excursions to other cities or local places of interest or just head for the beach!
Taste Calibria Cooking Course
Learn all about the variety of Mediterranean cooking in this course. On top of various pastas, typical vegetable and meat dishes form the basis of Calabrian cooking. Learn the various ways fish can be prepared: grilled, baked or marinated - creativity knows no bounds. Lessons are led in Italian by experienced local chefs.
3 afternoons per week, not available in August.
10 lessons for $210
Main Sights: Get to Know Capo Vaticano
The Cape, a beautiful rocky area by the sea, lies in the town of Tropea. The gray-white granite of the rocks is fascinating study for geologists from all over the world. A panoramic view of the clear waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, seen from the highest point of about 124 metres, makes one understand why the Greeks, the Romans and later the Normans stayed there. Today more and more travellers are going to Cape Vaticano for the art, culture, relaxation and the fun.
Calabria, the region where Capo Vaticano lies, is the Southern part of the Italian peninsula, and has a beautiful, wild landscape, fine weather and a National Park in the Sila Mountains. The lower part of the region is mostly agricultural, growing citrus fruits, olives and chestnuts.
There are many attractive sights in the region – the old Aragonian Castle, the National Museum of Magna Grecia, the Norman Castle and Cathedral of Gerace etc. And for ice-cream, try ‘Tartufo’ the special ice-cream of Pizzo – on the Tyrrhenian Sea coast.
For those interested in archaeology, there are well-preserved excavation from early settlements, temples, statues and columns which reveal the traditions and customs of earlier periods.
On clearer days one can see as far as Sicily and the island of Stromboli with its active volcano towering some 2000 m above sea level.
Excursions: Explore More of The Region
The medieval town of Tropea is situated by the sea, in the Southern part of Italy. The Tyrrhenian Sea coastline of the town is a beautiful sight, with cliffs, beaches and resorts.
The maze of tiny lanes and streets in the town still has traces left of the old era – walls and fortifications. There are plenty of restaurants with pizza, seafood and traditional meals using the town’s specialty – the sweet red onions.
Tropea is also famous for the prehistoric museum situated on the cliffs, the monastery Santa Maria dell’Isola, and the cathedral dating from the Norman era. The region is a magnet for archaeologists since there are many ancient Greek and Roman ruins around here.
Situated at the tip of the toe of the Italian peninsula, Reggio Calabria is close to the island of Sicily. It is a very old city, and has seen many earthquakes and tsunamis. The earthquake of 1908 almost destroyed the whole city, which was later rebuilt. It is well-known for its beautiful panoramic sea view, and the ‘Fata Morgana’, a mirage seen from Reggio – over the sea.
The city of Reggio Calabria was founded by the ancient Greeks in 720 BC, and later became a part of the Roman Republic. Some visible historical ruins of the Greek wall and Roman baths can still be found. Other places of interest are the Art Gallery (Pinocoteca Civica), the cathedral (Duomo) and the Church of the Optimates, which shows Byzantine-Norman influence, dating back to when the region was part of the Empire of Byzantium.
The Sila range is divided into the Sila Greca, the Sila Grande and the Sila Piccola, and the highest peaks are nearly 2000 meters high. The mountain slopes are covered in oleander, fir, beech and pine forests.
The Sila plateau consists of lakes, rolling hills and valleys and has a beautiful nature reserve, the National Park, which is full of a wide variety of flora and fauna. The forest known as Bosco di Fallistro, just outside of the village Camigliatello are very famous. The giganti della Sila, trees over 500 years old, six feet across and 130 feet tall, grow here.
The range is a good place for hiking in summer. The views of the Ionian and Tyrhennian Seas are striking. In winter it’s one of Italy’s best cross-country skiing areas. And one may even spot a gray wolf or a golden eagle.
Vibo Valentia is the chief town of the province by the same name, Vibo Valentia. It was founded as a Greek colony called Hipponion, and grew steadily until the 2nd century, when it came under Roman influence, and was named Valentia.
In 476 AD, under the Byzantine rule, it was attacked twice by the Moors, and later, in 1235, the name was changed to Monteleone of Calabria. It was a well-known cultural centre during that period, and in 1928 the name was changed back to Vibo Valentia.
The ancient Norman-Hoehenstaufen Castle, which was built around 1000 AD on the site of the Greek Hipponion civilization, is a well-known tourist attraction today. The Walls of Hipponion and its eight towers, which were once built to protect the colony from invasions of the enemies, and the 9th century Church of Santa Maria Maggiore e San Leoluca are also places to visit.
Serra San Bruno:
In the province Vibo Valentia, about 30 km southeast of the town by the same name - Vibo Valentia, lies Serra San Bruno. It is a beautiful old mountain village, set on the Ionian side of the Serre Mountain range, 2,600 feet above sea level.
Serra San Bruno is surrounded by natural beauty – with woods and meadows all around. It was founded around the Priory of St. Bruno of Cologne, and was managed by the monastic complex. The confraternity of Bruno still lives there, and the Priory is a site of immense cultural value.
The beautiful churches of St. Biagio and Our Lady of Sorrows, representing Baroque architecture, set with fine stone doorways and wooden ornaments, are a major attraction, together with the other eighteenth century buildings in the centre of the village.
Serra San Bruno is a farming community, and is particularly well known for its farm products, specifically the sweets, cheeses and mushrooms. It is also a place often visited for its attraction of various crafts such as woodworking, masonry and ironwork.
Museums: Experience The History of Past Generations & Cultures
Calabria has some of the world’s most fascinating museums. The whole countryside is full of surprises, and the museums feature a range of interesting collections – from coins and statues to archaeological and artistic marvels.
Catanzaro’s Provincial Museum:
This museum has a fine collection of the most outstanding pre-historic relics, from the very Neolithic period to the Greek-Roman Age, and a remarkable collection of coins. The museum also showcases ancient documents on silk, and paintings featuring the works of artists from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
The National Museum in Reggio Calabria, located near the seafront, attracts more tourists every year than the other sights in the region. It showcases some of the most important archaeological finds in Italy, including the world famous Greek statues known as the Riace Bronzes. These are full size bronze statues of warriors, found in the sea about 50 miles off the coast of Riace. Other exhibits at the museum include Paleolithic, Byzantine and Arab objects as well as artifacts and tomb outfits from the Bronze and Iron Ages.
Cosenza, situated between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Sila mountains, has historical significance. It has managed to maintain most of the archaeological sites, palaces, and cathedrals. It is well-known for its libraries, the University of Calabria and the Museo Interdiocesano, which showcases the treasure of the Cathedral, and objects demonstrating ancient craftsmanship.
Beaches: Enjoy a Fresh Breeze
The beautiful beaches and coves:
Calabria, a peninsular region on the south of Italy, is surrounded by the Tyrrhenian Sea on one side and the Ionian Sea on the other. The beautiful sea front and the clean beaches are the pride of Calabria. The rocky beaches of the Tyrrhenian coast are very popular for swimming, wind surfing, snorkelling or scuba diving.
On the other side, Sovarato is a very popular resort on the Ionian coast. The weather there is unmatched, and so is the scenery.
Apart from the aubergines which are a speciality here, the fish, especially swordfish, is served and is excellent, eaten either grilled or fried, with a tomato sauce. Tuna, sardines and anchovies are also popular.
Calabria has some wonderful red wines, and also the Circo Bianco – a delicious dry white wine. The local sweet wines Greco di Bianco and the Greco di Gerace are also worth trying.
Festivals and Events: See What They're Celebrating
Calabria being a region so full of history and tradition, there is a festival almost every month, celebrated with great enthusiasm.
Celebrated on Pentecost Day, the festival is known locally as Arbesh and the day is celebrated with Greek-Byzantine dances in traditional costumes in “Santa Sofia d´Epiro.” The day holds special significance all over the world, as in Calabria.
Also a language spoken in the area, it is a festival celebrated between June and July by the traditional population of Bova. It is celebrated with music, dances, and all kinds of musical instruments and is a great introduction to Grecanico culture.
Many different folk festivals, festivities, carnivals, celebrated for many reasons; you can taste local foods, watch people wearing traditional costumes, and listen to folk music and songs.
Fiera dei 100 comuni:
An interesting fair, and a very important event for the municipalities in the provinces, it is meant to encourage trade and travelling, give insight into the history and culture of the 100 locations participating, and their culinary finesses and folklore. This fair gives smaller municipalities the chance to promote their crafts and products and forms a bridge and takes place in locations that change annually.
Carnevale del Pollino:
Children really enjoy this festival. They go around wearing fancy dress. The streets are decorated with confetti and full of visitors, also in fancy dress. Parades and balls are organised, and in general, there is fun and entertainment in Castrovillari with processions, masses, street performers and gastronomic presentations.
Calabria is region with many festivals. Some are celebrated because of the special food the region is known for, while others are religious. There are a number of churches, cathedrals, and monasteries across the county as religion is taken very seriously.
One that is very important festival is the procession of the Madonna, on the 15th of August, which moves through the town and down to the sea. It ends with a wonderful fire display. In Palmi, every year they celebrate the Varia – which is a procession dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Other festivals most celebrated are Easter and Christmas, and they also reflect the Byzantine, French, Greek, Spanish and Albanian influence on the people of this region.