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About Crotone, Italy

Steeped in antiquity, the ancient port of Crotone on the very ball of the foot of Italy was founded around 710 BC. Those of you who loathed maths at school may find it hard to forgive the fact it was home to Pythagoras (the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides).

 

Crotone's unspoiled centro historico, crowned by the castle of Charles V, lies uphill from the Old Port. Its winding alleyways are home to boutiques selling interesting local crafts. Must-sees include Le Castella, Crotone's other castle built on a small island accessible by foot via a narrow causeway. Begun in the 4th century BC, the philosopher Pliny said that Hannibal constructed its first tower. The Capo Collona archaeological park is a short way along the coast. Its best-preserved and most impressive ruin is the Tavole Palatine, where knights gathered before setting off to the Crusades.

 

Fancy a bite? Not to be missed is quadraro, the local fish soup; the salty and affumicata ricotta called abbespata, the pecorino Crotonese and, most definitely, a glass (or two) of the full bodied Calabrian wine, Cirò DOC. This is the oldest wine in Europe, drunk by Olympic athletes in classical times.

 

Shore excursions in Crotone

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

A Taste of Santa Severina

Activity highRefreshments includedShopping

Duration: 4 hours

Visit one of Italy’s prettiest towns. Walk the ramparts of a Norman castle, see the Byzantine baptistery and visit a farmhouse for food and wine.

Head for the hills on a scenic drive that winds its way to the picture-perfect town of Santa Severina. The town is known locally as the ‘stone ship’, as it’s perched atop a large rocky outcrop overlooking the picturesque Neto River.

Anchored to the shoulder of the hill is an impressive Norman castle, dating back to 1076. You’ll walk its stone ramparts and gaze down on a moat that covers underground labyrinths, and stables, containing fascinating medieval frescoes.

The interior is a feast for the eyes, with breathtaking stucco decorations and artwork by the late Baroque painter Francisco Giordano adorning the walls.

You’ll also visit the town’s pristine cathedral. Make sure you see the glass canopy of the Madonna and the ancient crucifix on the right as you enter. Later, after some free time in the main square, you’ll move on to the Byzantine baptistery, before making your way to a nearby farmhouse to enjoy a delectable spread of local food and wine.

You’ll have plenty to talk about on your 30-minute coach journey back to the ship.

Essential information

This tour operates by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1hour of walking on this tour and surfaces are uneven and cobbled. Flat, comfortable walking shoes are essential.

Discover Calabria

Activity highRefreshments includedShopping

Duration: 8 hours

Discover the heart of Calabria on a tour that showcases its highlights, history, architecture, panoramic beauty, and its fabulous food and wine.

Visit the land of Magna Grecia; a place of Greek gods and Catholic popes; of Baroque masterpieces; of ancient archaeology, picturesque villages and towns, as well as sublime food and wine. Not to mention, the birthplace of legendary mathematician, Pythagoras!

In Crotone, your first stop is the National Archaeological Museum. Amongst other important finds is the ‘Treasure of Hera Lacinia’ – an impressive collection of votive objects found at the site of the Temple of Hera, at Capo Colonna.

Next, the bustling main square, Piazza Pitagora. Your guided walk will whisk you through the local fruit and vegetable market, row upon row of stalls, brimming with fresh local produce.

You’ll also visit the Historical Centre and the Cathedral. After some free time, you’ll continue to a traditional goldsmith’s shop, where a craftsman will show you his techniques. Be sure to pick up a bargain in one of the smaller jewellers.

Afterwards, head off on a short, scenic drive to an authentic farmhouse and sample the local cuisine and fine wines.

Later, you’ll visit one of Italy’s prettiest towns, Santa Severina, known as the ‘stone ship’, as it clings to a large rocky outcrop above the Neto River. Here, you’ll wander the ramparts and highly decorated halls of the Norman castle, with its Baroque paintings, underground labyrinths and medieval frescoes.

Then, a coach drive back to the ship. One of our most popular tours, this is a journey of discovery well worth taking.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot.There is approximately 3 hour walking on this tour over uneven ground and many steps to negotiate.

Magna Grecia Highlights

Activity highShopping

Duration: 3¼ hours

Take a magical history tour that stretches as far back as the 6th century BC. Explore some of Magna Graecia’s most important sites.

Your tour will take you 15 miles south of the city of Crotone to the charming fishing village of Le Castella. Guarding the bay is an enchanting fortress, brightly lit up by night, standing on a small isthmus tethered to the shore by the narrowest of spits.

You’ll take a guided tour of the fortress, which is beautifully asymmetrical in design and dates back to 204 BC.After some free time in Le Castella, you will visit a ceramic workshop where a craftsman will show you his techniques for making traditional local pots and masks.

Next, after a brief scenic drive, you’ll explore the site of the Temple of the goddess Hera at Capo Colonna, and the Temple’s last remaining doric column. It dates back to the 6th century BC, and was a major religious centre during the Magna Graecia (a period of Greek settlement).

The column is part of the Capo Colonna Archaeological Park. You’ll visit the park’s museum, built into the soil to reduce environmental impact and home to intriguing maritime and religious objects, as well as the remains of the temple itself.

This tour offers many superb photo opportunities, which you’ll be able to review on your return journey to the ship.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot.This tour involves approximately 2½ hours’ walking and there are step sto negotiate at the castle. Flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

Panoramic Calabria, Olive Oil and Wine

Activity mediumRefreshments includedShopping

Duration: 4 hours

A culinary celebration of the region’s notable wines and olive oils. Visit the winery and see how wine and olive oil is made and taste the results!

Set off on a wine and olive oil extravaganza, briefly visiting the majestic Capo Colonna (the last remaining doric column of the temple of Hera) en route. This is your taste of southern Italy like no other. Sample sublime olive oils, as well as famous local wines and leave with memories that will linger on the palate.

Calabrian olive oil is heralded the world over for both its complexity and its fresh, vibrant notes. Southern Italy produces 88% of the county’s total olive oil yield and Calabria, along with Apulia, produces 70% of this total.

Your visit will take you to the Dattilo farmhouse, nestling in a stunning landscape. You’ll be guided through the production process and then taste the results for yourself, including the notable Val di Neto IGT wine, a relatively new category that’s growing in popularity. It may even be worth buying a bottle or two to take home as gifts!

Essential information

This tour operates by coach and on foot. There are steps to negotiate at the farmhouse. Flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Euros accepted for local purchases. There is approximately 1 hour of walking on this tour.

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