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Diamante Calabria: Culinary Tour - Cooking Classes - Pepperoncino, Calabria


Cities and Towns in Calabria

Jutting out into the aquamarine waters of the Mediterranean, the windows of Diamante reflect the sharp light of the hot Calabrian sun.
The city is famous for its murals that were initiated in the 1900's by artists who wanted to paint but couldn't afford canvas. Today, the narrow streets within the town, drip with colour, expression and creativity, artists have poured into the city.
Diamante is considered by Italians one of Italy’s prettiest towns and is without question one one of the country’s most artistically inspiring.  In spite of its colourful appeal however, Diamante is also one of Italy’s most over-looked beautiful cities, by travelers to the Southern regions of the country. 
Diamante, not only famous for the mural works which cover the city’s walls, has centuries, been renowned throughout Italy for the hot peppers, which hang from every balcony, known as Peperoncini, used in any number of Calabresi dishes, such as the spicy Sopressatta sausage, Pecorino cheese, jarred ‘nduja (a very spicy pesto).

More commonly, the Peperoncini is known in Italy as “Piccante” a type of hot-sauce Italians sprinkle on everything from pasta to bruschetta.  The peppers, are an extremely important part of local culinary traditions in Calabria are in fact part of what distinguishes southern Italian food from that of the north, where pasta dishes are mild by comparison.  As the peppers are harvested at the end of each summer in Calabria, the communities come together to celebrate.  The Pepperoncino is also said to have some very special "side effects" as well and is known as Viagra for the poor..... 

This small spicy pepper bursting with flavour is at the centre of the festival which comes to a head each year in Diamante from September 5th to 9th.  More than 100,000 people from all over Southern Italy come to participate in the festivities known as “The South’s Carnival”, where dancing on every street corner, open-air bars, men on stilts and traditional music continue well into the late hours of the night.  
Visiting Diamante anytime of year however, will leave visitors satisfied, for the city beams with colour, life and style.  Churches, fish markets and cafes await art enthusiasts and those simply looking to enjoy a beautiful seaside retreat.




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