The Jasmine Coast


The coast to the south of Calabria is the Jasmine Coast (or Jasmine Riviera) name that identifies the coastal area of the province of Reggio Calabria on the Ionian Sea. It stretches for 90 km with low and sandy beaches, often enclosed between high cliffs overlooking the sea, where perfectly equipped beach resorts were built. The Riviera is named after the cultivation of the jasmine plant, a beautiful delicate and robust vine, spread throughout the province of Reggio Calabria and typical of this area. The flowers, collected by the gelsominaie, were sold according to their weight, were used in the preparation of perfumes, and were exported to France. In 1928, the Experimental Station of Essences and Essential Oils of Reggio Calabria was instituted. Between Punta Stilo and Capo Spartivento there is a stretch of Calabrian coast characterized by clay-marble hills and green terraces rich in citrus and olive groves that reach the heart of the Aspromonte National Park. It is a strip of land that includes 42 municipalities that are able to offer a simple vacation, even a rural one, surrounded by the beauty of places that are still unspoiled, full of history, legends and traditions. Famous tourist resorts are Riace Marina, Roccella Ionica and Marina di Gioiosa Ionica. From the small plain of Grotteria it is possible to reach Siderno, Locri, a Greek colony founded in the 7th century BC, and the community of Sant'Ilario allo Ionio, Ardore Marina and Bovalino. To the south of the torrent Bonamico, the most important of Aspromonte, there is the last southern stretch of the Jasmine Coast that ends at Cape Spartivento. The area includes seaside resorts such as Africo, Bianco, Brancaleone Marina and Cape Ferruzzano that with its characteristic cliffs interrupts the monotony of the landscape. The Jasmine Riviera has received more than once the prestigious Legambiente blue flags for its waters, one of the cleanest and clearest of Calabria. The Archaeological Park of Locri Epizefiri preserves precious evidences of the glorious history of the Greek colony of Locri; of great interest are the excavations of the ancient Kaulon, today’s Monasterace; the historic centre of Gerace, the town of a hundred churches and Stilo’s famous "Cattolica."

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