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October 2, 2018

Calabria - An undiscovered country

Stunning cliffs rise from sandy beaches and rocky shores, topped by centuries-old castles that forever gaze out over impossibly azure seas. At the very toe of Italy’s boot, surrounded by the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas and separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina, Calabria is the Mediterranean’s hidden treasure, with a long and colorful history and a unique culture of its own.

The cradle of Magna Graecia, Calabria is a true crossroads of Mediterranean history, from the ancient Greeks, Normans, and Spanish to Byzantines, Saracens, Arabs, and Jews. Its ancient settlements offer a historical cross-section of churches, monasteries, castles, palaces and towns where age-old traditions still survive. Sadly, these traditions include the 'Ndràngheta, the region’s own organized crime group that despite being less notorious than the Mafia or  Camorra became the most powerful crime syndicate in Italy in the 1990s–2000s and is still among the richest and most powerful organized crime groups in the world.

As one of Italy’s least-visited regions, Calabria’s rich culture and heritage is ready to be discovered, and we are delighted to bring it to you this year as a featured highlight of our feStivale. We will see different sides of the region come alive in La vera leggenda di Tony Vilar, a music mockumentary featuring the renowned Calabrian singer Peppe Voltarelli, and A Ciambra, the story of a teenage boy coming of age in a small, crime-ridden Romani community in Calabria. We are incredibly fortunate to have Peppe Voltarelli himself coming to perform at our Gala, whose focus on Calabria will also be expressed in a delicious menu by Civico 1845.