From Sardinia yesterday, today we’re going to island hop with my fellow Calabria resident Cherrye Moore of My Bella Vita:
La Gita Italiana: Visiting the Aeolian Islands from Calabria
The idea of una gita Italiana is tempting, not only to our far-flung friends and family, but also for those of us who call this country home. I’ve written before about how deceptively difficult it is here in Calabria to pull yourself away and travel to other parts of the bel paese.
Not only is travel expensive and transportation slow, but since we live here, jobs, duties and responsibilities take precedent and unfortunately for the wanderlust in our hearts, travel plans are put on hold.
However, I recently heard of a — dare I say — easy, day trip you can take from several points in Calabria to the enchantingly beautiful Aeolian Islands.
This mini-cruise day trip has been active for years, but in the past, passengers had to be in either Vibo Valentia or Tropea early in the morning to catch the boat for their day-long cruise. If they weren’t staying in these cities, they’d have to wake up even earlier, drive from their hotel or B&B, locate the marina, find appropriate parking-and still be ready to set sail by 6 or 7 AM.
Luckily, some of that has changed.
Travelers can now take a charter bus from almost 40 different bus stops across Calabria, on both the Ionian and Tyrrhenian coasts-and easily catch their morning departure in Vibo.
From Vibo Valentia, the cruise heads to Lipari-the largest and liveliest island, where you can visit the beaches, take a bus tour of the island or shop.
After a short break on Lipari, the ship sets sail for Vulcano, most known for its sulfuric mud baths.
After lunchtime, the cruise departs for its final stop-Stromboli, the second largest active volcano in Europe-after its Sicilian cousin, Etna-and home to the famous Sciara del Fuoco, which can only be seen on night tours of the islands.
Most people who have been to the Aeolian Islands agree you need to plan at least an overnight trip, but the mini-cruise is a fun way to sample the islands while providing day trippers with a memorable experience of these famous Sicilian islands.
Cherrye Moore is an American freelance writer and Calabria tour consultant living in Catanzaro, Calabria. You can read about traveling in Calabria on her site, My Bella Vita, and also join her on a epicurean adventure via the Calabrian Table Tour in October.
Grazie mille Cherrye!
Be sure to come back tomorrow when we’ll be traveling to the opposite end of the boot — to Piemonte!