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Article by: Chris Dunkerley chris.dunkerley@thegpg.com Published: 21/11/2007

Belmonte Calabro is a beautiful hillside village only a few kilometres from the Tyrrhenian Sea and at 280m above sea level it boasts stunning panoramic views of the coast, both mountain and sea views! Marina di Belmonte is the villages sea side resort area, directly in front of the hill side town and it has a beach / lido area and even a small marina / harbour.

Belmonte is positioned as one of the 13 most beautiful and historical villages of Calabria. Located on the west coast of Calabria about 30 miles north of the airport at Lamezia. It is on a stretch of beautiful coastline between Amantea and Paola that are both lively and cosmopolitan coastal towns with a large selection of shops (small & large), bars, restaurants, etc. Paola is the birthplace of Saint Francis (San Francesco di Paola is his official title) and there are regular festivals and celebrations in the town.

Belmonte has its own fortress which was built in the year 1270 by Sergeant Beaumont by order of Karl of Anjou. The village also has an historic centre, some people call it "a jewel of architecture" with palaces of the aristocracy from the 16th Century. In The old section of town there are many small angular lanes and staircases, which don't allow car traffic. This creates a wonderful calm and safe area to walk around or to relax in a cafe with a cool drink.

On the highest point of the village directly opposite to the ancient fortress there is the main church Santa Maria Assunta with the high bell tower. The remains of the fortress today contain a little museum, a bibliotheca and the office of Pro Loco (Information).

The view terrace "Belvedere Principe Ravaschieri", named after an ancient prince of Belmonte, offers a marvellous panorama on the mountains, the sea and on a clear day it is possible to see some of the small volcanic islands near Sicily.

On the hill Bastia is the mausoleum of Michele Bianchi (Italian journalist and fascist politician), a 35 m high pillar with a big crucifix. Inside there is a corkscrew staircase that leads up to a viewpoint.

Wide meadows with grazing herds of sheep can be found about 2km away from Belmonte and these can be reached by a picturesque walk from the village up through the pine forests. On the walk and when high in the forests there are many stunning panoramic views over the surrounding hills, mountains and the coastline. The area can also be easily explored on bike or horseback.

If you get hot on your visit to Belmonte you can easily cool off with a dip in the clear blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea that is only about 3 km away from the town. The Belmonte beach area is a fully serviced “lido” during the summer months with umbrellas, sun chairs, refreshments, etc.

There are also many water sports in the area from snorkelling, SCUBA diving, windsurfing, kite surfing & surfing (slightly further south), and sailing. Between Belmonte Marina and Amantea there aret two rocks ‘le Scogli di Isca’ that jut out of the sea. The area has been a WWF nature reserve ‘Oasi Blu Isca’ since 1991 to protect the beautiful and rare fauna and flora.

The area is rich in tradition and the culture, food and architecture has had many influences over the years. Bread is still baked in old wood-burning stoves

and typical specialities of the Belmonte include: tomato sauce, cheese, salami and vegetables pickled in oil. Belmonte is also well-known for figs and for the ‘Pomodoro gigante’, an enormous species of tomato, which were both (and still are) exported worldwide.

Belmonte is a beautiful, quiet, traditional Calabria village by the sea and it is worth a visit if you are in the area... and if you are not; why not plan a vacation to Calabria and discover the history, food, wildlife, countryside and the friendly welcoming people of this region.


External Article Link: http://www.property-partnership.com/overseas-property-guides/overseas-property-guide.cfm?id=90

Article Link: http://www.property-partnership.com/overseas-property-guides/overseas-property-guide.cfm?id=90

Please contact the author at chris.dunkerley@thegpg.com for more information.


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