Calabria is the "toe of the boot" of Italy. You won't have to worry about being crowded out by North American tourists when you are down here. Their loss.
The Region is quite scenic, their are plenty of beaches. We found this to be a very inviting region of Italy.
Yes, on our first trip I did almost pay an insane "service charge" to a very nice fellow when I was buying my tickets for the ferry to Sicily, but that could have happened anywhere — and in the end he was very helpful. In any regard, we have been back in the area a couple of times and we enjoy the area.
Capo Vaticano on the Calbrian coast. It is located just outside of Tropea. On our first visit to Tropea, we were on our way from Room, and traveling to Sicily. It was a longer drive than we had anticipated and Tropea was over 600 km from Rome - it was time to stop.
Glad we did as we found Tropea to be a good place to stay in Calabria.
The beach along this coast is one of the best in Italy. Well, there are many "best beaches" but this ranks up there. Spaghetti Eden offered good sand and the water was clear and a rich blue-green.
As you drive into the town you are not really away of the setting of the city until you walk to the where the streets end, and before you is the small island with the monastery and the sea below.
The town has a great evening promenade.
In 2001 we stayed at the Hotel Terrazzo, it was fine and a short walk to the center of town. When we returned in 2003 we stayed at the Hotel La Bussola. While the hotel was not small and right on the beach -- everyone's dream hotel -- it did serve some of the best pasta we had on the trip.
In this area, some of the best red onions of Italy are grown. The onions of Tropea are particularly noted as being good. "Cipolla di Tropea" or Tropea's Onion are the specialty. Tonino in the Corso, one of the better ice cream stops (gelateria) in Tropea produces, of course, a red onion ice cream. Nope, did not try it.