Calabria – Lago Ampollino (Ampollino lake)
Defined, looking at the map the "tip of the boot", borders on the west with the Tyrrhenian Sea, on the east with the Ionian Sea, on the north-east with the Gulf of Taranto and on south-west is separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina, where the narrowest point between Capo Peloro in Sicily and Punta Pezzo in Calabria is only 3.2 km. Along the coastlines, the climate is Mediterranean with average low temperatures of 8 °C (46 °F) in the winter months and average high temperatures of 30 °C (86 °F) in the summer months. Along the Apennines and in the inland areas, the climate is mountainous (continental) with cold, snowy winters and warm, dry summers with occasional thunderstorms. From sea level up to 600 meters (Mediterranean plain) the Mediterranean Scrub has dominance, with olive trees, oaks and other plants typical of the Mediterranean climate. Three mountain ranges are present: Pollino, La Sila and Aspromonte. All three mountain ranges are unique with their own flora and fauna. The cuisine is a typical southern Italian Mediterranean with a balance between meat-based dishes (pork, lamb, goat), vegetables (especially eggplant), and fish. Special mention even for cheese, breads, and homemade pasta; foods are closely connected with the religious and spiritual life and involves rules and habits often linked to celebrations that date back to ancient times, being the result of nearly 3,000 years of history, from Ancient Greece to the Unification of Italy. , Calabrians have traditionally placed an emphasis on the preservation of their food, in part because of the climate. As a result, there is a tradition of packing vegetables and meats in olive oil, making sausages and cold cuts, mostly spicy salami (Sopressata, 'Nduja), and, along the coast, curing fish- especially swordfish, tuna, sardines (sardelle rosamarina) and cod (Baccalà). The Maccheroni, prepared with a dough of flour and water, belong to the most ancient Calabrian tradition(Calabria compete with other Italian regions the podium’s first place for the invention of pasta) , which then spread from Calabria to the Italian Peninsula. . Some local specialties include Caciocavallo Cheese DOP, Cipolla rossa di Tropea IGP (red onion), Liquorice, Pecorino Crotonese (Cheese of Sheep).Also, a special ice cream called "Tartufo di Pizzo". Among the fruits, a special mention deserves the cedar and the Bergamotto. The best known DOC wines are Cirò and Donnici. Among the fruits, a special mention deserves the cedar, typical citrus of the area.