Calabria – is Italy’s shapely foot and one of the least touristy regions in the country. It is 6 hours by train from Rome and easily accessible by air with airports at Lamezia Terme (central) and Reggio Calabria (south opposite Sicily). Dramatic mountains plunge straight down to the sea, dotted with Bosnian pine and cork oaks and home to wild boar and wolves. Fertile valleys produce golden wheat, olives, aubergines, raisins, peppers and chilli – all core ingredients for Calabria’s intensely flavoured cuisine. Taste it as its best in La Locanda di Alia in Castrovillari (halfway between Reggio and Naples off the A1). With gorgeous Ionian and Tyrrhenian coastlines (Tropea is the main beach resort), Calabria draws sun-seekers in summer, but few know that skiing is possible at Camigliatello, while spring wild orchids bloom in the Aspromonte National Park. Hilltop Altomonte (Calabria’s ‘Spoleto’) has a beautiful 14th century Gothic church, see Ancient Greek sculpture in Reggio Calabria’s Archaeological Museum while Caronte boasts rejuvenating thermal waters.