I became a fan of Cherrye Moore’s My Bella Vita blog when she began it in 2006. The story of this adorable Texas native who fell in love with a southern Italian and left everything behind to begin a life with him (IN CALABRIA!) fascinated me. From the start Cherrye’s passion for her new home was clear, and her enthusiasm for learning new recipes, customs, and exploring new places was absolutely enchanting.
It’s been gratifying to watch Cherrye’s business grow into My Bella Vita Travel, the premier genealogical travel company in southern Italy, specializing in ancestry tours to Calabria and custom vacations throughout Southern Italy. Her services, and the Catanzaro B&B Il Cedro she created with her husband, get raves from happy clients. She’s also written guides to the area and has expanded her blog so that it’s an interactive resource where readers find Italy travel tips, Calabrian destination highlights, such as Five Spots in Calabria for Art and Architecture Lovers, recipes such as this truly authentic recipe for Calabrian Lasagna, and a hodgepodge of Calabrian tales.
I’m so grateful Cherrye has joined in to give advice for a Golden Day in Catanzaro:
Calabria isn’t yet a household name for many Italofiles. In fact, many non-Calabrese Americans don’t know of this rugged, wild place – a land almost trapped in time that still very much epitomizes Old Italy.
Come stay at our Bed and Breakfast Il Cedro, set amidst a grove of citrus trees.
For this Golden Day, you can sleep in until 9:00, then head up the Ionian Coast towards Crotone. Just off of the road, you’ll find Le Castella, the massive fortress that is rumored to be the secret hideaway where Calypso held Ulysses in Homer’s The Odyssey. I typically pack a picnic lunch and either eat in the shadow of the ancient Argonese castle or sit on the rocks that line the tiny shore.
If you prefer fresh seafood, my choice is Micomare, (Tel: 0962/795082), located on Via Vittoria on one of the tiny town’s side alleys. For unbeatable views of the castle, ask for a table on the terrace and dine on spaghetti with mussels and clams.
After lunch, continue up the coast, past the hometown airport Sant Anna and turn down the long, dusty road towards Capo Colonna. Capo Colonna is the last remaining temple dedicated to Hera Lacinia that dates from between the 6th and 5th century BC. It’s hard to find, but if you let yourself get lost (in your thoughts!) you can imagine what the Greeks must have seen when they chose the site.
In the early evening, head back to Catanzaro where you can end your mini-tour of ancient Magna Graecia by sampling wines that descended from Greece’s Cremissa – a wine that was served at the ancient Olympics. Dine with us at Il Cedro and then take a stroll along the Catanzaro Lido lungomare, stopping for some award-winning gelato at Marrons Glacès .
Grazie mille Cherrye! I am packing my bags…
Visit My Bella Vita Travel for more info about Cherrye’s customized tour services of southern Italy, ancestry tours, and to sign up for her newsletter. You can also join her on the Calabrian Table Tour held 2-3 times a year, that she hosts and designs with Tania Pascuzzi of In Italy Tours.