Lamezia Terme: beautiful southern Italy
Finding a port of entry into Italy not yet inundated by tourists is no easy feat. Savvy travellers choose Lamezia Terme’s airport as a sort of backdoor introduction to Calabria’s startling natural beauty. Flanked by mountains, sea and thermal springs, this is a city begging to be discovered.
Spas and other outings
Locals have enjoyed the Terme Caronte for generations, but they’re not the only ones. The natural thermal springs have a 2000-year history of attracting everyone from the ancient Greeks to the Normans for their healing properties. Guests can soak in the curative waters or choose from a range of spa treatments.
Enotourists are in for a treat at Azienda Agricola Statti, a winery that also produces oil and cheese. Guests stroll through sun-drenched vineyards, visit the olive press and cantina, and can even witness the birth of a calf—two or three are born each day!
The Malta Bastion is a watchtower built in 1550 as part of a defence system along the Tyrrhenian coast against Turkish invaders. Several tower ruins exist in the area, but this one offers a spectacular view of the gulf and appears on Lamezia’s coat of arms.
The Diocesan Museum houses mainly paintings and other works from the 17th and 18th centuries, but the museum’s most famous piece is a 12th-century ivory jewellery box from the Arab-Norman collection.
Alla Pentolaccia is yet to be overrun by tourists, so the ones who do dine here are treated like kings. This family run restaurant’s papà showers foreign guests with affection and insists they sample the region’s specialties, like Morzello Calabrese, while mamma cooks in the back kitchen.
Novecento is the area’s most highly rated restaurant, and offers a taste of 100% southern cuisine. A favourite among Italian diners is the Millefoglie di Melanzana (an eggplant pastry).