On the Mediterranean coast of Calabria, Diamante sparkles like the gem it's named for. It's not certain why it's called Diamante, but the town's history does go back several millennia, first to the Focesi people and then the Romans. It was an important trade point between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Ionian Sea. Diamante gained status in the Middle Ages when it was under the feudal authority of the Sanseverino family and the prince ordered defenses to be built against possible Saracen invasions. When the threats abated and the powerful Neapolitan Carafa family took the domain, the population started moving to the sea and increased the town's commerce with Naples, Salerno, Amalfi and Sicily.
Fishing and agriculture were the primary occupations, and continue to be the area's important industries, though the beautiful seafront started attracting tourists in search of clean and uncrowded places to enjoy the summer season.
Diamante, the town and the coast, are so attractive that they have been used as the set for several films and TV shows. You'll find a pretty point where the town overlooks the sea on a sort of triangular promontory, with beaches stretching off to the north, and a long seafront promenade to the south. There are a variety of beaches to enjoy, some with sand some with pebbles, interrupted by rocky pieces to form little coves. All told, there are eight kilometers of beach to enjoy here on the coast that is called "The Cedar Riviera".
The town itself has some charming atmosphere and, along with its stone buildings and cobbled lanes, you'll find the many murals that have given Diamante the nickname of "city of murals" - more than 70 in all, painted by prominent artists on the walls of the town's buildings.
A lovely spot right off the coast is the little island called Isola di Cirella. The pretty isle is just 600 meters from the beach, so it can be reached by kayak, pedal boat or swimming, if you're a strong swimmer.
Diamante loves a good party - they several annual events that include the Peperoncino Festa (hot peppers), a Jazz Festival, a Wine Festival and a Film Festival.
Been there? Done that? Share your experience and tips!
Haven't visited yet? Have questions about Diamante? Ask them here!
Explore nearby towns
Located along Calabria's coast, Belvedere Marittimo does have a beautiful view, as its name implies.
On the Calabrian coast known as the Riviera of the Cedars, Bonifati is both a seaside resort and a medieval hill town.
The Calabrian coastal town of Scalea has a split personality.