The "toe" of Italy's boot, Calabria is one of the poorest regions of Italy, known for its 'Ndrangheta mafia...but also is renowned for its spicy pepperoncini and beautiful, relatively unspoiled beaches. Other highlights: mountainous , Isola di Capo Rizzuto (with its castle jutting out into the Ionian), Reggio di Calabria (its largest city and home to the National Museum with the famous greek Bronzi di Riace statues), Praja a Mare, and Paola (home of St. Francis of Paola).
...just to the north is Basilicata (including Maratea, a tiny slice of Basilicata on the Tyrrhenian Sea), and across the Strait of Messina is Sicily (and you can also take ferries from Reggio Calabria to Aeolian Islands like Vulcano and Lipari)
Kalabria coast-to-coast hiking trail?
Much of Calabria's most popular destinations are along the western Tyrrhenian coast, in the province of Vibo Valentia, western Catanzaro, and northern Reggio Calabria. This also includes the "Coast of the Gods" (La Costa degli Dei), a section between Pizzo and Nicotera.
popular, beautiful beach town with an old fisherman's village of Chianalea (also nearby is Bagnara Calabra)
Known for its red onions and beautiful seaside beaches and cliffs, near Reggio di Calbria
Santa Maria dell'Isola - famous Benedictine monastery
Sila National Park?
Pizzo (aka Pizzo Calabro) --> fishing village with nice beach? also has a Piedigrotta church built into a cave and castle
Reggio and Environs
Aspromonte National Park --> can go skiing in Gambarie with a view of Sicily! also waterfalls
Reggio di Calabria
Regional capital, an old town not far from Sicily. Most famous for the Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia, which exhibits teh Riace bronzes and other artifacts from when Calabria was controlled by the Greeks.
Most of Crotone Province and half of Catanzaro and Reggio Calabria border the Ionian Sea (the "instep" of Italy's boot)
hill towns: Badolato
Ristorante Dattilo / Azienda Ceraudo → agriturismo with 1 star Michelin restaurant, looks really nice, ancient olive trees
The largest and most northerly province is closest to Basilicata and Campania, with a mix of beaches and hill towns, as well as the Pollino National Park
Beach towns: San Nicola Arcella, Praia a Mare, Amantea
Hill towns: Morano Calabro, Orsomarso, Fiumefreddo Bruzio, Civita (founded by Albanians)
Pollino National Park (where you can go whitewater rafting)
Iitaly Calabria seems to have pretty good stuff
Italy Mamma Mia has pretty good content on Calabria
Cheryl Moore's My Bella Vita - blog about living and traveling in Calabria
Borghitalia.it recommends the following small towns: Alotmonte, Bova, Chianalea di Scilla, Fiumefreddo Bruzio, Gerace, Morano Calabro, Santa Severina, and Stilo...Rick Steves readers recommend Bova, Roghudi Vecchio (a ghost town), and Seminara, a medieval/Renaissance small town on the Costa Viola