Myth and water around Lamezia Terme, Calabria, Italy

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011. Filed under: Destination Guides Europe Italy Legendary Landscapes Myths & Legends

Roadside hot springs, Caronte, Calabria, Italy.

We’ve been using Calabria as a back door to Sicily for a few years, preferring direct flights to Lamezia Terme to non-direct flights to Palermo.  Car rental is a lot easier at Lamezia, too.

La Mimosa hotel, ristorante & pizzeria.

La Mimosa hotel, ristorante and pizzeria, Caronte, Calabria, Italy.

This time we stayed in the area for a few days to decompress and explore.  Our first stop is always the quiet train station mensa to eat, then La Mimosa on the Caronte mountain just outside town.  La Mimosa’s rooms are modest but everything works, the staff are accommodating and the food a favorite with locals including the police.

Calabria’s dense forests harbor wild pigs.

We took a short walk up the hill to get our flight kinks pummelled out with scented hydromassage at Terme Caronte.  Now a big modern spa authorized by the government to provide health services, Terme Caronte has been offering water cures since 1716.

The spa’s symbol is Caronte (or Charon) himself, the boatman of Greek myth who ferries the dead across the Styx.  There are free spots to soak alongside the road just opposite the spa and here, near the source, it is easy to imagine Charon poling his way across the Hades-hot, underground river.

An unofficial soaking spot across the street from the Spa.

If you’d like to jump in the ocean, the big bay of the Golfo di S. Eufemia is not far. Hotels and restaurants adorn the Gizzeria and Falerna lidos but clues to the area’s hardscrabble past are not hard to find.

Calabria is famous for its cheese, red peppers and sausage.

Between Calabria and Sicily.  Between a rock and a hard place.  The Straits of Messina have an ancient myth of their own but that’s a tale for my next post.

Scilla, Calabria, with the Straits and Sicily beyond.

Scilla, Calabria, with the Straits and Sicily beyond.

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