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Cold cuts and cheeses from Aspromonte: Cardeto

The records of the school year 1874/1875 kept at the Classical High School of Reggio Calabria contain examples of a composition assignment whose subject was “A trip to Cardeto“. Even though more than a century has elapses, a stroll through Cardeto can still inspire a sense of mysterious fascination in most visitors. Reaching down to the foot of the Aspromonte mountain range and partly falling into the area of the National Park, the territory of Cardeto hosts a number of very atmospheric locations. An itinerary climbing uphill from the Valley of Saint Agata regales visitors with the opportunity to take in interesting sights along the river banks, such as many water mills, the so-called “nasidi” (patches of land obtained by narrowing the bed of the torrent) and the old “carcare” used for the processing of quicklime. The excursion cannot be said to be over before tasting the delicacies of the culinary tradition of Cardeto, boasting a wide range of cheeses and smoked cold cuts, dry beans cooked with gamy herbs and may other specialties; all of them can be eaten in a characteristic Museum/Tavern where many items of local folklore are up on display and the smells and flavours of the food culture from the Valley of the Saint Agata can be fully experienced. Trekking time: 3 hours round-trip. Difficulty: easy. Gradient: 250 metres up- and 250 metres downhill.