Home of The Olive
Kalamata is a pleasant modern town with the sea on one side and olive orchards on all other sides. To the north and the east mountain ranges loom up, creating a bowl-like effect that also affects the climate (mild to really hot in the summer). Olives like that, so everywhere and as far as the eye can see, olives, olives, olives.
When you think that a Greek household on the average consumes nearly 100 kilos of oil per year, you understand...
Tourism isn't a big factor here, because most visitors to the area only tend to move on further south towards either Mani, or towards the old Venetian castle towns of Koroni or Methoni.
Kalamata is the capital of Messinia (county, province, or whatever you want to call it), so it is the center for all things official and commercial. There is an airport and a ferry going to Crete, but for reasons I don't understand, neither are used to their full potential. Not that I particularily mind.
The fact that the mountains (and SNOW!! in the winter) are so close, gives the area a wonderful diversity. Everytime I go on a small excursion, I always have The Myths in my head, thinking Hercules walked under those trees, Agamemnon possibly sat on that rock, Pan seduced some female near that spring...
Kalamata as a town offers practically anything that you might need. Its surrounding area though, is still relatively untouched by the modern world. Nature still rules, and its a wonderful place to live.