Tropea – a must-see place in Calabria

Driving from Rome or Naples to Sicily can take a lot of time. One of the places where you can stop by on your journey, is the coastal city of Tropea, in Calabria.

This resort, unlike many others on this coast, resisted modern development that has marred other parts of The Calabrian Riviera. Beaches, hotels, restaurants, and the surrounding countryside are mostly excellent.

Tropea, Calabria, Italy
Tropea, Calabria, Italy by simo0082

Tropea is an ancient and very interesting town located in the beautiful Italian region of Calabria. Calabria is the southernmost region of Italy, which is famous for unspoiled nature and above all clean and warm sea.

Calabrian town of Tropea is situated at the fishing port and represents not only an important economic center, but also a popular holiday location. Under this town lies a beautiful 4 km long sandy beach adjacent to the rocky wall.

The monastery of Santa Maria dell'Isola, Tropea, Calabria, Italy
The monastery of Santa Maria dell’Isola, Tropea by Norbert Nagel

Typical scenery is formed by the rock of San Leonardo and charming monastery of Santa Maria dell’Isola. You can enjoy amazing sunsets from opposite hill and in good weather conditions you can also see Stromboli volcano behind Santa Maria.

12 kilometers south of Tropea is a rocky promontory of Capo Vaticano, surrounded by the romantic sandy bays.

Beach in Parghelia, Calabria, Italy
Beach in Parghelia, Calabria by Brianza2008

To the north of Tropea you can then find Parghelia and Briatico, which, like Capo Vaticano, offer unique conditions for walks in the countryside, diving and swimming.

Tropea is one of the most visited cities in Calabria, situated on the boundary of the Gulf of St. Eufemia and Gioia Tauro. It comes from the Greek-Norman times. There are countless historical monuments from that time, such as Norman cathedral from the 11th century.

Tropea Cathedral, Calabria, Italy
Tropea Cathedral, Calabria by Chris06

Another, already mentioned gem, monastery of Santa Maria dell’Isola is built on top of a rocky cliff, where you can get by walking up steep staircase. There is also Church of St. Francis of Assisi and many other churches, chapels and palaces.

The sights along with narrow streets form atmosphere of typical Italian town. The coast is sought for crystal clear sea and beaches with fine white sand featured with amazing rocky cliffs.

For your satisfaction there are many entertainment venues and restaurants offering regional specialties. A popular attractions include a large park in Zambrone or a trip to the Aeolian Islands, which are clearly visible from Tropea.

Sunset in Tropea, Calabria, Italy
Sunset in Tropea, Calabria, Italy by Inga Beretta

The town has a magnificent view of the sea and the mountains. It is really not possible to forget the sunset that can be seen from Tropea through the Aeolian Islands. Tourists usually stayed in the historic center of town.

The locals are proud of their specialty – a popular red onion that grow up here, and is actually very delicious.

Where to go for a day trip from Tropea

Locri, Gerace, Stilo

Tour of the famous Greek excavations in Locri from 8th century BC. Then you can visit one of the most beautiful medieval towns – Gerace situated on the hill. Walking through the town with its narrow streets, cathedral, the Norman castle and church of St. Francis of 1252 is really a great experience. In the afternoon, you can stop in the town of Stilo, which is famous for beautiful Byzantine church of the 9th century, oldest of its kind in Calabria.

Gerace, Chiesa di San Francesco, Calabria, Italy
Photo of Gerace, Chiesa di San Francesco, Calabria, Italy by Olivier Duquesne

Capo Vaticano

A trip to the “Pearl of Calabria” is famous for its white beaches, azure sea and historical monuments. Here you can visit the Norman cathedral, while you enjoy a magnificent view of the whole coast. Take a tour of the town with its many shops, cafes and swimming opportunities.

Capo Vaticano boasts one of the most beautiful coastline and breathtaking views up to Sicily and Aeolian island of Stromboli. Do not forget to visit Aragonese Castle and try the best Italian ice cream Tartufo di Pizzo in typical cafes on a beautiful square.

Capo Vaticano, Calabria, Italy
Photo of Capo Vaticano, Calabria, Italy by emmequadro61

Aeolian Islands

You can go for a day trip by boat from Vibo Marina to three beautiful and diverse islands of volcanic origin – Lipari, Vulcano and Stromboli.

You should spend 2-4 hours on each of three islands. The largest Aeolian island – Lipari is famous for the beautiful historic center and museum. You can stroll along the promenade lined with shops offering excellent local wine, liqueurs (such as Marsala), capers and various spices.

In Vulcano island you can then take a bath in the medicinal sulphurous lake and hike up to the almost extinct volcanoes. Stromboli is great for swimming in clear sea with a completely black beaches and breathtaking view of the still active volcano.

Medical bath in Vulcano Island, Aeolian Islands, Italy
Photo of Medical bath in Vulcano Island, Aeolian Islands, Italy by admin

Sicily, Taormina

By train which runs along the coast you can easily get to the town of Villa San Giovanni, where it continues by ferry to Messina in Sicily. Take a tour of Taormina with its Greek Theatre, which is the second largest in the world.

Aquapark in Zambrone

Zambrone is one of the largest water parks in Calabria, located about 10 kilometres from Tropea. It offers many activities, you will find a large number of slides, pools and other attractions here. And don’t worry! There are bars, restaurants, beach umbrellas, chairs and other services as a matter of course.

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