So let’s go on an expedition to find out what there is to see in Lamezia Terme, a charming place situated between mountains and sea.
What to see in Lamezia Terme: from nature to architectural heritage
Boasting the Gulf of Saint Euphemia with its 8 km of beaches, hilly areas, the Mancuso and Reventino mountains and the Thermal Baths of Caronte, Lamezia Terme is one of the most visited cities in Calabria. Sea, mountains, hills, plains, white sandy beaches and a breath-taking old town: what more do you need to know to tempt you to visit? Lamezia Terme, let’s face it, has everything it takes to be a dream destination in the heart of Calabria. A stay in the city will allow you to discover the beauty of a place that is truly magical, both in terms of its nature and its urban environment. We begin our Lamezia Terme itinerary right from the historic centre.
Lamezia Terme’s historic centre
Lamezia Terme is a very young city from an administrative perspective: it was only formally established in 1968, following the merger of the municipalities of Nicastro, Sambiase and Sant’Eufemia Lamezia. It therefore brings together the heritage of these three municipalities. This is why you should begin your visit at the Museo Archeologico Lametino, located in the Nicastro district, on the first floor of an ancient Dominican monastery. Spanning from the Paleolithic to the late Middle Ages, the museum itinerary allows visitors to discover the area, its history and its cultural wealth.
After visiting the museum, head towards the Cattedrale dei Santi Pietro e Paolo, located just 300 metres away. Founded around 1100 but completely destroyed by an earthquake in the late 17th-century, it is now characterized by a Baroque style. Admire the façade and then enter inside to view various works dating back to the 17th century.
Continue slightly uphill from the cathedral to enter Via Garibaldi. Here, on the street that leads to the picturesque San Teodoro district, you will encounter the statue of Frederick II, whose index finger points at the ruins of the Norman-Swabian castle that will be discussed shortly. It is an imposing bronze statue that stands over three metres high. Admire it from every angle and then continue towards the San Teodoro district, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Nicastro and Lamezia Terme.
Included in the FAI (Italian National Trust) list of “luoghi del cuore” (places we love), the San Teodoro district is undeniably charming: the alleys lead to numerous little churches, finally culminating in the remains of the Norman-Swabian castle. Built by the Normans in the 11th century to defend the Sant’Eufemia plain, it was then severely damaged by the earthquake that destroyed the aforementioned cathedral: it nonetheless remains one of the most poetic places in Lamezia Terme, from which you can admire a beautiful view of the city.
The “two seas” of Lamezia Terme: the most famous beaches
Lamezia Terme is also famous for its beaches and beautiful sea. The city is made even more picturesque by the fact that part of its surrounding area is located on the Marcellinara Isthmus, which separates the Tyrrhenian Sea from the Ionian Sea. The beaches closest to the city, however, face the Tyrrhenian Sea and we will focus on this part of the coast.
A crystal clear sea and shallow water characterize the Lamezia Terme coast and in particular the Costa dei Feaci, which overlooks the Gulf of Saint Euphemia. Here, admiring the view of the mountains behind and the sea in front, you feel as though you are in a painting.
One of the best beaches close to the centre of Lamezia is the Lungomare Falcone-Borsellino, which, with its long stretch of beach, allows you to enjoy the stunning sea while perhaps tucking into a picnic. The beach is surrounded by nature and it has great potential even if it is arguably still barely exploited from a tourism point of view.
If you decide to stay on the beach until sunset, you should definitely take advantage of the proximity of the so-called Riviera dei Tramonti (Sunset Riviera), a stretch of Tyrrhenian coast where, every day, many people stop to admire the spectacle of the sunset over the sea. It is a natural miracle that you can admire from the beach or comfortably seated in the bars located on the coast: the sky turns red and the wonderful reflections on the water will make your holiday completely worthwhile.
The Lamezia Terme shore also enables you to discover many other wonders along the Calabrian coast. Rent a car and go to discover some of the most beautiful beaches in the region. Tropea, for example, is located exactly one hour’s car journey away, while just 40 minutes by car, along the Ionian coast, you can find the famous Lido di Piantagrande, a true spectacle of nature close to the sea.
Wellness in Lamezia Terme: the Thermal Baths of Caronte
Lamezia Terme is also a wellness destination, as you can guess from the name “Terme”, which means thermal baths in Italian. If you go to the Sambiase district, you can enjoy the Thermal Baths of Caronte, which were known to the ancient Romans. Located at the foot of the Reventino mountain, in a modern wellness centre that has been open for 300 years, you can take advantage of the benefits of its sulphurous water, which has a natural temperature of 39° C. You can treat yourself to a day of relaxation in the centre, or alternatively experience the so-called “gurna”, an outdoor pool in which you can enjoy the sulphurous water and mud for free. You can also take advantage of this outdoor pool in winter, delighting in the contrast between the hot water and the crisp air.
Lamezia Terme’s surrounding area: wild nature and breath-taking landscapes
The surroundings of Lamezia Terme are famous for beautiful landscapes typical of mountainous areas overlooking the sea. Mount Mancuso, which stands 1300 metres high, is an ideal destination for hikers and trekkers. Among acacia trees, pines, firs and beeches you can enjoy the beauty of a mountainous Mediterranean environment: a true natural spectacle.
Fans of hiking and mountain landscapes can also go for trips on the Reventino, a small mountain range that stretches from Mount Mancuso to Mount Tiriolo.
What to eat in Lamezia Terme
Don’t miss out on the most pleasurable part of your stay in Lamezia Terme: the land here produces top-quality products, from both the earth and the sea, which are used to create tasty dishes sprinkled with Lametia, the outstanding DOP olive oil produced in this area.
Talking of olive oil, while enjoying a quick aperitif before dinner be sure to try the so-called “olive ammaccate” (bruised olives), a true speciality of Lamezia Terme cuisine: they are crushed green olives preserved in cold water and then sprinkled with local olive oil, local chillies, garlic and fennel seeds. Taste them and you won’t be able to do without them.
Other typical dishes from the rural tradition include pumpkin soup and ham bone soup, or a rich pasta with beans that you are certain to love. For anyone who wants to sample a truly different dish, we recommend marro, a roulade made with lamb offal.
To visit Lamezia Terme and Italy, you must have a passport or ID card that is valid for travel abroad. The country is part of the European Union.
When is the best time to visit Lamezia Terme? The city is above all known as an excellent summer destination. Summer is the season when you can take advantage of the beauty of the sea and of beach life. However, this area of Calabria is also beautiful in spring and autumn, seasons during which you can enjoy the very mild temperatures and perhaps enjoy a day of leisure and relaxation spent divided between thermal baths, hiking, good food and trips to the beach.