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5 Things I Love About Living in Soverato, Calabria

Two years ago, I came to Italy in search of my future home. I explored Calabria...Scilla...Tropea...Reggio Calabria...but nothing felt like home.

At the tail end of my autumn trip, I stopped in Soverato for two nights. It was cold and raining when I arrived via train. But as I walked down the corso (pedestrian path), something lit up inside of me.

After two more cold, rainy days, I knew this was it. The place I'd been looking for. The place that felt "right."

The day before I left, I sat on a bench, post-rain shower, and looked up. A rainbow! The perfect sign of the magic to come.

So here I am, two years later, finally in the town I set my sights on (I spent the first 10 months in Montepaone Lido, just 10 minutes away).

Here are a few of the things I love about living in Soverato.

1. It's Not Too Big, Not Too Small

Before I moved to Italy, I had a fantasy about living in a teeny Italian town. But I didn't take into consideration the giant cultural leap going from a large city like San Diego to a tiny town.

I'm still a city girl at heart, and this city girl likes her amenities. I wanted a town where I could walk to the grocery stores, shops, and restaurants. But I didn't want a town so large I needed transportation to get around town. Nor did I want to worry about crime.

Soverato has just under 9,000 people. My neighborhood in San Diego had about 4,000 to 6,000, depending on which resource you look at.

It's small enough to have that neighborhood vibe, meaning I see people I know every time I go out. But it's big enough that everyone isn't in your business (too much!).

2. Everything is Easy to Reach

My apartment is two minutes by foot to the beach. My friend Dora lives a block away. Her restaurant, where I practically live, is five minutes away.

I don't need a car to get anywhere because I can walk in 15 minutes or less. I have four grocery stores within a 1 to 10-minute walk (and two more that I don't like but still could get to easily).

And if I do need something I can't find in Soverato, everything is easily accessible by highway. There's a commercial center half an hour away in the bigger city of Catanzaro.

3. The Beaches are Gorgeous

This is something so few people know about Calabria: the beaches are phenomenal. And clean. Soverato has received the Bandiera Blu (blue flag) recognition for seven years in a row. This is awarded to beaches that have clean water and sand and that are making efforts to take care of the environment.

Whenever I'm floating in the crystal clear waters, I feel like I'm somewhere exotic!

4. Even Off Season, It's Lively

Some towns in Calabria, particularly Tropea, tend to board up after the tourists have gone home in September. Restaurants and shops close until the following summer.

Here in Soverato, the lidi (beach clubs) close (though there's one die-hard club that I think is still offering beach chairs and it's almost December!), but the city is still alive with great restaurants and bars.

5. The Farmer's Market is Close

Another thing I love about my apartment is that it's steps away from the weekly farmer's market. I grab my cloth bags and head down to either the food market or the part that sells clothing, accessories, sheets, and kitchen items.

I love seeing the produce change with the season. My favorite thing to do is to ask a farmer how they like to cook something I've never tried before.

Every day, Calabria grows on me more and more, and Soverato is definitely feeling like the town for me!

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