Who doesn’t love Instagram? If you are dreaming of travel or just adding to your bucket list, Instagram is a great place to go to escape even for a short while.
It is lovely to take out your computer on a cold and rainy Sunday, and look at photos of bright sunshine, blue skies and fabulous crystal blue seas.
And for all of the above, there is no place better than Southern Italy for snap after snap of impossibly beautiful images whether in your mind or in your camera.
Diamante means “diamond” in Italian and a diamond it is.
Diamante rides atop a point that juts out into the Mediterranean and curves inland creating white sand beaches and gorgeous seascapes.
The historic center of Diamante (Centro Storico) is a beautiful blend of ancient Italian houses and tiny cobbled vias interspersed with spectacular views of the sea.
Diamante is also known for its murals which present themselves around corners and tucked into alleyways. A morning spent on a hunt for each mural is so fun as you wind your way through the town taking picture after picture to put on Instagram.
Praia a Mare, Calabria
Pete and I just love Praia a Mare. On a Summer afternoon, Praia’s shady, tree lined promenade down the center of town is a treasure chest of Instagrammable snapshots.
Praia a Mare is so spectacular that Pete and I recently purchased a property that we are now renting out on Air BNB
Calabria is studded with gorgeous little hill towns that take your breath away. each one has its own personality and charm however Tortora is one of our all time favorites for billions of Instagrammable views and sights.
Another reason to love Tortora is that our great friend Giacomo and his family live there and they have introduced us to their friends and family.
Any trip to Tortora must include lunch at Al Caminetto, a restaurant in the Centro Storico that is run by the extremely talented Roseangela and her family.
Roseangela is royalty in terms of Calabrian cooking. A meal with her is a feast of traditional Calabrian appetizers, freshly made pasta dishes featuring Chinguale or local wild boar, and freshly made ravioli with ricotta from the local farms.
While we were there, Roseangela gave us a pasta making demo which you can see here. Enjoy watching me mangle a fusilli. It is quite entertaining how she whips them out perfectly while I struggle trying to make something that might pass for a fusilli noodle if it is buried at the bottom of the dish.
I recommend visiting Al Caminetto with a big group and ordering a selection of traditional Calabrian dishes. You wil be amazed at the variety and how delicious it all is.
Tortora also has a beautiful museum where you can see artifacts that have been dug up in recent local excavations, including Etruscan and Ancient Greek artifacts that date back to the era of the Magna Grecia which encompassed Southern Italy.
Tortora is also one of those villages packed to the brim with Instagrammable images. Everywhere you look is something beautiful.
There is portion of Italy where you can see three different regions, Calabria, Compania and Basilicata. You can see them all from our Air BNB apartment on the terrace. In fact the sunsets from our balcony are all Instagrammable and they are different every night.
Maratea is just north of Calabria along the coast. Maratea is known for the giant white marble statue of Christ the Redeemer similar to the one in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
This statue is perched high atop the hill in Maratea. A drive up there affords you the most spectacular views of the Mediterranean found anywhere.
The beaches in Maratea are also stunning as are most beaches in Southern Italy. The Mediterranean turns crystal blue as you journey down South.
Matera used to be called the Shame of Italy. Back in the 1950’s starvation was rampant as was malaria. Many of the people in Matera lived in caves in the rock walls bringing their animals inside with them in Winter for warmth. Carlo Levy, in his book, “Christ Stopped at Eboli” was the first to shine the light on the deplorable conditions in Matera and this caused the Italian government to come in, repatriate the people in better housing and to care for them.
In recent years however, Matera has become an artist’s Mecca with art and music schools popping up, and festivals in Summer. When we visited, we heard music around every corner from opera to jazz to pop. It was quite extraordinary.
Aside from the art aspect however, Matera is, itself a work of art. Made from the local white stone, Matera gleams in the sunlight and glows in the evening as the golden town lights come up.
Most recently, Matera has been the perfect location for movies. The new James Bond movie “A Time to Die” was partially filmed in Matera. (Click here for some awesome footage.)
Santa Domenica Talao, Calabria
Of all of the Instagrammable places I have presented here, my heart belongs to Santa Domenica Talao which is my home.
When Pete and I first looked for property in Calabria, we saw Santa Domenica Talao and that was it. We knew this was where we belonged.
Every day that I walk around the village I see new and beautiful instagrammable views, from the sweeping views of the sea and the mountains to the fruit laid out at my friend Nunzia’s store and the kids playing soccer in the parking lot. There is so much to take in.
We love Santa Domenica Talao so much that Pete and I have purchased a ruin just up from the piazza and a few steps from Nunzia’s store. It is a ruin and we are renovating it and turning it into a BNB so that others can come and enjoy our beautiful village. Check out our renovation project and follow us as we complete it. Then make sure you are there for the grand opening!
Santa Domenica is infinitely Instagrammable but beyond that, when you come you will fall in love with the people. We have so many warm friends there and have been welcomed from the beginning.
As you can see, Southern Italy is a photographer’s paradise. Start planning your trip down. Pete and I are experts in the region and can help you plan the perfect visit. Contact us and we can get you started.