Inspector Montalbano

Why you should watch Inspector Montalbano

The Sicilian fictional police detective Salvo Montalbano really does symbolise the situation in Southern Italy. For those of us who have lived there we can totally understand how politics affect everyday life, and how to play the game to the advantage of the everyday man.

It was recently screened on BBC4 with subtitles and I highly recommend watching it.

For everything Montalbano click below to visit the number one fansite all about Inspector Montalbano

Inspector Montalbano

Cooking classes in Italy with Anne Hewson – Come to Calabria and learn how to cook the authentic way

I would like to say thank you to all the nice people that I have met in the last few months of my cooking classes in Scalea, they learnt confidence in how to use basic Italian ingredients and we had a very interesting experience and lots of fun. Now I want to suggest a Southern Italian recipe with all the taste of summer.

Peperoncino verde dolce in salsa di pomodorino (ciliegino)
Short green sweet peppers with a cherry tomato sauce

½ kilo short green sweet peppers
400 grams cherry tomatoes
3 cloves Garlic
Pinch Sea Salt
2 x ½ cup EVOO (Extra virgin olive oil)
Handful basil leaves
Chilli (according to your taste)


  1. Gently cut the top off the peppers and remove the seeds, wash the peppers and dry.
  2. Heat ½ cup EVOO in pan and add 3 cloves garlic, cook garlic to flavour the oil and when garlic is turning brown remove garlic from pan. Remove pan from fire and leave to cool for a minute to prevent splashing and add the dried peppers. Cook the peppers until tender and when their colour has changed to brown remove the peppers from the pan.
  3. Cut the tomatoes in halves. Add ½ cup EVOO and previously cooked garlic if you like. Add sea salt and tomatoes to the pan pressing on the tomatoes with a fork to release the juices. Cook until the skins are very tender and some of the juice has evaporated.
  4. Add basil / chilli at the end
  5. Mix the peppers and tomatoes together

Best served cold on hot toasted bread

Of course I continue to offer cooking classes for English speaking people so that you will learn the basics of Italian cooking in a friendly atmosphere. We will make from scratch a complete standard menu (or personalised menu upon requested)
Standard Menu:
We will prepare and cook the meal together with my assistance and sit and enjoy the fruits of our labour with appropriate wine.
Cost €50 per person

For further information about the courses or recipe advice please feel free to contact me.



Visit Calabria

Calabria is a small region in Italy south of Naples and is located near the ‘toe’ of Italy if you think of it as a boot. This means that is just next to Sicily which is famous for its beautiful scenery. It is an amazing part of Italy that has a population of around two million. It also has a rich history and culture making it a great tourist location. This region has some interesting sites to see throughout the area the main two attractions been its mountains and coastline but it also has an interesting cuisine.
History and culture
Calabria has a long and interesting culture which dates back thousands of years to when the Italic tribes settled there. The Greeks also settled there but were conquered by the Italic people. This was the site of the first Italian city. Since then it has seen a variety of people invade and settle including the Romans, the Normans and even the French briefly. This has led to it having an interesting and diverse culture showing in its religion as while most of the region is Roman Catholic there is portion that is Byzantine Orthodox.
Mountains and Coastline
The mountains and coastline of Calabria are the major tourist visiting sites of the region. The coastline features an array of sites from beautiful beaches covered in sand to cliffs that are awe inspiring. The sea just out from the coastline is very clear and is a great tourist destination because of the accommodation set up around the area.
There are also a lot of mountains in this region. These are amazing to look at making it a favourite among tourists in the area to see the vast scope of these mountains and there panoramic view.
Like most Italian regions the food is mostly pasta dishes and the meats used are the common fish, lamb and goat. This is nothing out of the ordinary for somewhere in Italy but it does possess vineyards that date back to early Greek settlement and were famous in the ancient world. This is great if you are fan of wine and would like to try their amazing selection.

The region of Calabria is a small one located in the south of Italy near Sicily and Naples. It features a large and dynamic history making at a cultural melting pot in some aspects of life. It also features a lot of other things that draw tourists including great sightseeing potential with amazing coastlines and mountains and a unique and enjoyable cuisine. It is a beautiful region of Italy with amazing scenery, culture and food that is a perfect place to visit.

Calabria Map

Calabria Map

An interactive map of Calabria

Please see the map below which is interactive, you can zoom in and out and have a look around this beautiful region of Italy.

Camping Calabria

Interested in Camping in Calabria – Stay at Campeggio Lao

Situated on the beach of Scalea next to the river Lao, which is approx 2km South of the centre of Scalea on the coast road. The location is amazing and you can stay close to the seafront. The river Lao stay cool and refreshing even in the hot summer months and make a great bathing spot!

There is plenty to see and do so why not check out their website to see what is on offer

Campeggio Lao
Strada Statale 18
87029 Scalea (CS)
+39 0985.21533
+39 320.9323972

AcquaFans – Water park , Praia a Mare

Loc. Fiuzzi
Praia a Mare

Telephone:+39 0985 779070
Website:Nuovo Aquafans Praia a Mare

Open from 6th June to 21st September -10:00 – 18:45


From 6th June to 8th August and 1 September to 21st September
Monday – Saturday = €14 adults, €10 children
Sundays = €16 adults, €12 children

9th to 31st August
Everyday = €19 adults, €14 children

Discounts apply when entering the park after 4pm

Under 105cm free

Large water park suitable for all the family including pool, water slides, swimming pool.

Entertainment, sunbeds, umbrellas and eating outlets.

Calabria Weather

What is Calabria weather like?

Scalea, Calabria has a mediterranean climate which is one of the mildest in Italy. Being this far south it escapes the harsher northern winters.

On the coast the summers are hot and dry and the winters mild and wet. Average daytime temperatures range from 13 Degrees C in the winter to 30 Degrees C in the summer.

In the mountains at altitude the winters can be cold and snowy, anywhere above 800 meters should see some snow in the winter.

To see the latest weather forecasts for Scalea, Calabria just click here:,15.791008

Or even easier just check out the menu bar on the right hand side of this screen

View from terrace

View from terrace


The Casa in the heart of Scalea’s historical centre is where a warm welcome, and a very traditional Italian holiday tailored around your every need awaits you.
To ensure you a relaxed, private and personal holiday we only take one party booking. This means that for the duration of your stay you and your party will be the only ones using the Casa’s facilities i.e. roof terrace, breakfast room, guest private lounge etc. Our rates starting at €45 per night for two people are for bed and breakfast but we also offer half-board (B&B + evening meal) at a very good price.
We take great pride in our kitchen, serving recipes and homely dishes from Calabria and all over Italy that will not be found at any local restaurant. Whenever possible we stock our kitchen daily with local produce, our fruit and vegetables are organically grown in Calabria or Scalea itself and although Italian tap water is safe we still use the local fresh spring water to cook our vegetables and pasta. All our produce is sourced from Italy, so the seasons will always bring an exciting change to the menu. We are able to cater for restricted diets, vegetarians, vegans and always discuss the day’s menu with you. The evening dining facilities are also available to non-residents, strictly bookings only.

Casa Cielo boasts of the finest stone carved doorway in the town if not the area and is one of the most photographed houses in Centro Storico. The obscure date chiselled into the artwork seems to read 1724 but it is believed that the house itself is of an earlier date. Although the splendour and size of the Casa cannot be appreciated from the medieval alleyways in which it sits, these are soon realised upon entering the property.
Once through the door you may feel as though you are stepping back in time as the house is slowly being restored to a former era when Italian murals adorned the walls. The domed ceiling hall with its stone carved pillars is depicted as a small chapel dedicated to martyr and warrior saints.
“CIELO translates HEAVENS (sky).”

Climbing the marble steps takes you into the large dining room from where you quickly realise the elevated position of the house. A tall windowed doorway opens onto the balcony which runs the full length of the Casa, from where one has splendid uninterrupted views. This vista can be appreciated even more from the roof terrace where evening drinks or dinner to sit and watch the sun setting is memorable. To the east stand the mountains of the Pollino national park, while to the south the plains of the river Lao and Scalea stretch out to the distant fishing town of Diamante and the island of Cirella. Look west and there lies the blue waters of the Mediterranean, its beaches less than a ten minute walk from the Casa’s doors.

For more information please contact us at

Regular updates on events in Scalea and Casa Cielo can also be found on facebook.

Local Cooking Classes in Scalea, Calabria

Anne & The Italian’s Kitchen – Cooking classes in Scalea, Calabria


I have lived in Scalea for 2 years having previously lived in Ibiza, Australia and Ireland but found my home in this beautiful area. The quality, simplicity and flavours of Italian food have been my passion and I would like to share this experience with you. I have a menu which is designed for hands on experience; no sitting back and watching somebody do the work…. that’s the fun of Italian food.

We will prepare and cook a full Italian meal with your involvement of course. We will prepare fresh pasta, beautiful vegetables, a fish or meat dish and finally the dessert. Recipes vary according to the season.

After we have prepared and cooked our meal we will enjoy the fruits of our labour with Italian wine and relax.

Cost €50 per person includes class, dinner/lunch and wine. Email Anne Hewson at for details

Definitely a place to visit – fascinating!
This is a great place to go for a good day out.
The grottos are huge and there are three trips of varying lengths.
We took the 1 and a half hour tour and it was amazing.
They also do some other specialised tours off the main tracks (for the more adventurous, you need to be properly kitted out and booking in advance needed).
Open all year.

From 1 March to 31 October
9:00 – 19:00
From 1 November to 28 February
10:00 – 16:00

Lots more info on the website.
Grotte di Pertosa Sito Ufficiale delle Grotte dell’Angelo Pertosa (Sa)

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