There is a bridge that connects Calabria to Italy, but it is not the one situated on the Straits of Messina. It is a light and at the same time strong flow, that starts from Aeschylus' Greece and reaches the present day. It is Mediterranean history, the story of a long pilgrimage, of cruelty, intelligence and desperation, which started with Ulysses, lost between Scylla and Carybdis, and was concluded by Albanian refugees.
In Esaro Valley (Spezzano Albanese, founded by Albanian refugees in the 15th century) if you are lucky you can still get to taste Albanian pecorino. Actually the first shipwreck "survivors" from Argus that landed on Calabria's coasts were the Bronzes of Riace (made in 500 B.C.). Try not to remain bewitched by Tydeus' pretty face (the youngest of the two bronze soldiers) with his copper nipples and lips, ivory eyes and silver teeth. According to Art historians, this cruel charioteer has a satanic sneer that hides the ferocity of a man who has just devoured his enemy and thus has lost the immortality Athena wanted to give him as a gift. Aeschylus dedicated a tragedy "The Seven against Thebes" to the braveries of these soldiers. The bronzes shine in Reggio Calabria's Art Museum, proud of their cruelty. These statues are Calabria's pride, a land where the last western Greeks lived.
Tommaso Campanella instead was a smart charioteer. He was a philosopher from Calabria who wished to build a perfect city. This was the utopia that brought him to heresy and life imprisonment, but he never let go of his dream.
There are many places in Calabria where Tommaso Campanella could build his "City of the Sun". Sun is a fundamental star in Calabria for the ripening of regional Doc wines, such as Lamezia Bianco and Rosso and Cirò, which goes well with red meats, roastbeef, stewed meats, game and chicken. Caciocavallo instead is a dairy masterpiece. It is typical of the province of Cosenza and it is a semi-hard cheese, seasoned by hanging on a rope. There is a Neapolitan expression that takes after this practice: "You will end up like a Caciocavallo!"
An unavoidable stop for gourmets is Parco del Pollino, starting from Mormanno, where excellent Pdo cured meats are produced: soppressata, salsiccia (sausage) and pancetta calabrese (Calabria bacon). Hot spice is the taste that links all local dishes. Putting hot pepper on all of them is a holy custom, more than a gastronomic custom, which expresses the nature and culture of Calabria. Hot pepper, beans, pumpkins, bell peppers, onions (especially from Tropea) are primary ingredients in cooking. Some of the most appreciated first courses are: maccheroni with cauliflowers, pasta with wild fennel, ricotta balls in broth. What has been said strengthens Joyce's theory that: "God created food, but for sure the devil created cooks and (this is our addition) many of them were from Calabria".