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e-borghi travel 7, Islands and villages: Calabria, The third Italian Island

And this is exactly how Calabria was called more than 50 years ago until, the Autostrada del Sole connected it first with Salerno and later with the rest of the Country. We, however, like to think that this definition was related to the fact that it was firmly attached to the rest of Italy and Europe by that thin isthmus of land just at the Pollino’s height. Actually there are two islands in Calabria that are completely surrounded by the sea: the Island of Cirella and the Island of Dino; but also the wonderful “Le Castella” is practically considered an island because of the invisible “stretch” of land that joins it to the mainland, right in the middle of the “Marine Reserve of Isola Capo Rizzuto”. There are also several rocks and islets that embellish the coast of Calabria with their characteristic shapes. The Island of Cirella, among the groves of euphorbius and the lemons On the Tyrrhenian North-Western coast, facing the ancient medieval Village of Cirella (Diamante) and the remains of the ancient “Cerillae”, the Island of Cirella stands out at 40 metres above the sea level and it’s featured by the typical flora of the Mediterranean vegetation. The seabed of the Island is also rich in marine vegetation (Posidonea oceanica) and rare specimens of Pinna Nobilis, the largest bivalve in the Mediterranean. The island which is only 0.12 km² wide also houses the ruins of an ancient military fort, called Torre dell’Isola, built as early as 1562 to prevent the assault of the Turkish pirates. The Village of Cirella still preserves the ruins of the old medieval city, rebuilt later by the Normans and the amphitheatre is the stage of "Cirella Antica Festival” that together with the local cuisine based on fish and the home-made fusilli (a type pf pasta) attracts thousands of tourists every year. Dino Island, a jewel in the Tyrrhenian Sea Facing the ancient Plaga Sclavorum, now Praia a Mare, there is a very wild island. A rugged 100 metres high rock mountain with numerous caves of rare and suggestive charm and an exciting tourist route. The name of the Island comes from the Greek "dina" which means storm but there are also those who think that the origin of its name is instead due to the presence of a Greek temple (Aedina) built in honour of Venus. Moreover, the Island of Dino has been the scene of numerous and ancient battles, from the top of the Norman tower that dominates the area you could see the ships of the Turkish pirates. In more recent times, however, the Island has also been the object of a luxury dream; the Agnelli family, in fact, for only 50 million old lire, tried to purchase it to make a luxurious resort, only a few trulli (typical limestone constructions), a restaurant and a 1.700 metres long road can still be seen there between the pier and the upper part of the Island. The magical Caves of Dino Island The 50 hectares of vegetation, the cliffs, the many thousand-year-old-caves and the crags are the major natural attractions of the Island of Dino, but also the heart of the “oriented walks”, organized by the Municipality of Praia a Mare to make better known the rich natural landscape heritage of the Island: from the Tower to the Stele to the Madonna della Grotta; from the Belvedere to the Marine Caves. They can all be visited by boat trips and they all deserve to be mentioned: the Blue Cave which takes its name from the colour of its water, the Waterfalls Cave, full of stalactites, stalagmites and pink rocks, the Monk’s Cave with its emerald green walls, the Cave of Sardines, because of the many shoals of fish, the Cave of the Frontone and that of the Lion, so called because of its shape similar to a lying lion. Finally, at 18 meters below the sea, there is the most mysterious Cave of the Island, that of the Gargiulo which is accessible only for skilled divers.

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  • #CirellaAncientFestival
  • #PlagaSclavorum
  • #calabria
  • #cirellaisland
  • #dinocaves
  • #dinoisland
  • #islandsincalabria
  • #lecastella
  • #magicalcavesofdinoisland
  • #marinereserveofcaporizzutoisland
  • #tyrrheniansea

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