Calabria

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Calabria is both a city and a region on the mainland of Italy. The region boasts a spectacular coastline, sensational scenery and a Greek-influenced country-peasant cuisine. 

Although Reggio was at one time settled by the ancient Greeks, there are no buildings of historical note due to earthquakes that have repeatedly devastated the area. Traces of elegance survive, however, in the superb seafront that faces Messina across the Straits, and the main street, Corso Garibaldi, with one of the most animated passeggiatas in Calabria.

There are sights to see, nevertheless. The Museo Nazionale holds the most important collection of archeological finds in Calabria, with examples from all the major Greek sites in Calabria.

The most renowned exhibits in the museum are two bronze statues retrieved from the Ionian Sea in 1972, when they caused a minor sensation. Now they seem almost forgotten in the basement they share with another prize exhibit, a philosopher's head from the fourth century BC.

The most intriguing sight of the area is, in fact, a mirage — an optical phenomenon-cum-legend known as the the Fata Morgana. Shimmering, magical city of turrets and towers appear just beyond the horizon on the Straits of Messina.

It’s named for the superstitious belief among ancient sailors that Morgan le Fay, the half-sister of King Arthur, created the illusions to lure men into a false port and certain death.

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