It is from the city of the strait, on the Calabrian shore, where begins the weekend to discover the villages of Bova and Gerace.
Let's depart from what Gabriele D'Annunzio defined as "the most beautiful kilometer of Italy", the promenade of Reggio Calabria, at Bova's turn, after a sweet breakfast with almond paste.
It is the Ionic estate, which runs from Reggio to Taranto, to give us breathtaking scenery on the southernmost Italian seas, and on eastern Sicily.
From Bova Marina we climb to the ancient village of Bova, perched on the eastern side of the Aspromonte almost a thousand meters high. The ascent gives us views of the coastal arch, as well as the typical natural scenery of Aspromonte.
Among the most important centers of Calabrian greek culture, Bova was an ancient bishopric, and has a cathedral that dates back to the first centuries AD.
The quaint village is overlooked by the ruins of the Norman castle, dating to the X and XI centuries, and offers a lumpy alley where we lose ourselves in search of the most beautiful and characteristic sights, discovering the gentle palaces that witness the history and importance of the village. The beauty of the village, its views and its history combines the rich and varied cuisine of southern Calabria that offers so many specialties.
We allow ourselves a nice salami dish, including the unavoidable soppressata, with wild fennel and chili pepper, capocollo, bacon and a bit of nduja.
Among the cheeses we try the Asparagus pecorino cheese and goat cheese.
Return to the Blue Ionian Sea when we descend to Bova Marina and climb the Calabrian coast to Gerace. Until Locri is a succession of seaside, sometimes extraordinarily deserted beaches, and small hamlets that look north to Africa and Greece, the other side of the world beyond the sea.
From Locri we go down to Gerace, located on a sandstone cliff almost five hundred meters high, in which is preserved an extraordinary historical heritage.
It is a continuous alternation of squares, alleys, portals, sumptuous palaces and monumental churches including the Cathedral, Calabrian Norman jewel, one of the largest religious buildings in the region, dating from the XI to XII century. Only a part of the walls and a tower are left of the castle.
Gerace is also also sea breaks and craft shops where to get lost in precious ceramics.
A good parmigiana with eggplant, mozzarella, ham, tomato and breadcrumbs, and squashes with and without anchovies, accompanied by a good White Melissa wine from the Catanzarese lands, are the best trip to the flavors of the area before closing the weekend with a sip of Bergamino, the typical reggin liqueur.