The Costa degli Achei (Achean Coast) extends along the expansive Plain of Sibari between the mighty hills of the Pollino Massif to the north and the last foothills of the Sila Greca to the south. The coast was named on account of the large number of Greeks who inhabited the area and the subsequent foundation of the ancient colony of Sybaris.
The entire Plain of Sibari has been excavated, leading to the discovery of many precious ancient artefacts at the indigenous site of the Oenotrians known as Francavilla Marittima, the ancient Oenotrian city of Cossa in the locality of Paludi and, in the same area of Sibari, a major Magna Graecian colony which is also the site of the Archaeological Park of the same name.
The northern part of the Costa degli Achei, between the seaside resorts of Roseto Capo Spulico, Amendolara and Trebisacce, extends along the foothills of the Serra Manganile, the easternmost offshoot of the Pollino Massif. To the south, it radiates towards the Plain of Sibari, the geographical and touristic heart of the Costa degli Achei, which culminates with a coastline dotted with wide and shallow sandy beaches with pebbly seabeds.
Sibari is one of the most famous seaside resorts of the Costa degli Achei, offering a variety of tourist villages and beaches of fine sand alternating with pebbles and stones. The Lakes of Sibari are also particularly popular among tourist and are equipped with 2,800 berths for mooring and maintaining boats.
Roseto Capo Spulico, a satellite town of Sibari during the Magna-Greek period, was well known for its cultivation of roses whose petals were used to stuff the mattresses of the Sybarites. The town of Roseto is mentioned time and time again in the major tourist guidebooks on account of its many tourist attractions, its environmental protection and its well-conserved landscape. It is particularly well known for the Castrum Petrae Roseti, a fortified castle which defended the coast of the Upper Ionian Cosentino. The castle itself is one of the most impressive in the whole of Calabria, partly due to its position overlooking the sea which makes it a much-loved tourist attraction.
Since 2006, Rocca Imperiale, also known as the City of Lemons, has been featured in the prestigious Blue Guide created by Legambiente (an Italian environmental association) in collaboration with the Touring Club Italiano (a national Italian tourist organisation). Its coastline hugged by a crystal clear sea and beaches alternating between rocks, pebbles and fine golden sand towards the border with Basilicata make it clear to see why.
History-lovers are strongly encouraged to visit Amendolara, which is steeped in ancient archaeological remains. Owing to the many artefacts found in the area it is thought that the territory was inhabited as early as the Neolithic period and that human presence in the area became permanent during the Protohistoric Age. One distinguishing feature of the beach of Amendolara is its fine, light sand lapped by blue and crystal clear waters with a shallow seabed offering the perfect place for organised dives.
From the upper part of Trebisacce, visitors can marvel at the breath-taking views over the Gulf of Taranto, the plain of Sibari and Mount Pollino.
In ancient times the town was surrounded by a Bastion whose walls are still partially visible. The beautiful Baroque Church of San Nicola is open to visitors and houses a wonderful wooden sculpture of Saint Nicholas of Bari as well as other precious paintings and statues from the 18th and 19th centuries. The Church of San Giuseppe is also well worth a visit and is surrounded by a magnificent pine forest from which you can soak up the spectacular panoramic views.
In Corigliano Calabro, a town of Arab origin, you can visit the famous Ducal Castle which is a symbol of the city and a structure of great architectural and historical interest. Corigliano, recently merged administratively with the city of Rossano, is also known for its commercial port and flourishing fishing industry. In fact, Schiavonea, the marina of Corigliano Calabro, was founded as a fishing village and port used for the trade of agricultural products
The town of Rossano is surrounded by the highlands that precede the Sila and the municipality to which it belongs is part of the Sila Greca Mountain Community. Known as the Ravenna of the South, Rossano is home to the Diocesan Museum which houses the Codex Purpureus Rossanensis. This ancient gospel is considered by experts to be one of the most precious in the world and is listed in the UNESCO Memory of the World register. Rossano is known throughout the world for its production of liquorice, a precious root that is grown in large quantities in the area.
Fun-lovers are well advised to visit the Acquapark, a huge structure that is extremely popular during the summer months.