A city founded by Hercules can only be a beautiful place, because such a great hero wouldn’t choose to live just anywhere. Tropea is not yet on any major tour operator’s list but it soon will be. A beautiful place such as this with sandy beaches and perfectly blue waters can’t stay a secret for too long. So hurry up and visit it before it gets too crowded!
Imagine and ancient town perched up on a cliff, overlooking azure waters as far as the eye can see. The rest of the shores are covered in sandy beaches where you can lounge all day. No, this isn’t a hypnotizing exercise, it’s actually a real place on Italy’s Calabrese coast, in the south of the country. It’s called Tropea and it’s generally thought of as the most visited destination in Calabria.
Travel & Arrival
Even if this one of the most idyllic stretches of beach you’ll find in Italy, it’s not the most accessible, and maybe that’s part of its charm. The nearest airport for tourists is the Lamezia Terme, some 55 km up the coast, accessible by the A3 road.
The A3 is also the way of getting in by car, with the added mention that you have to take the SS522 road in order to get your party all the way to Tropea, as the A3 continues to the south all the way to Reggio di Calabria.
Avant & Apres Sail
The gulf of St. Euphemia provides most of the sightseeing for Tropea, but the town itself does hold a few tourist attractions, like the Santa Maria dell’Isola built on a rocky promontory, surrounded by the sea on three sides. Also, adventurers are sure to enjoy the 50 palaces built by noblemen and the 17 churches in this town that’s been said to have been founded by Hercules.
The Old Town is also full of stalls, local craft shops and lots of places where you can have a quiet lunch. An interesting feature which should be experienced by any sailors curious enough to travel here are the 6 balconies or lookout points from where the views are breathtaking.
Calabrese cuisine is known for its simplicity but its tastiness. The ingredients you’ll see used liberally in most recipes are garlic, hot pepper, vegetables, mushrooms, and the world-famous Tropea onion, a type of red onion that only grows here. Also, for the hungry skipper, there’s always the Calabrese pasta, the capicollo, soppressate, not to mention a wide assortment of sausages and salamis. Famous wines from the region include red and white types like Melissa, Ciro, Savuto, Lamezia and the Brattiro.
At night, the quiet and quaint town transforms into a vibrant harbor, where you and your gang will find nightclubs with loud music and dancing and also tranquil pubs where you can enjoy a pleasant conversation with a piano playing in the background.
Events & Actions
If your group made the trip down here, there’s no question that you’ve come here for the water and the beaches. From this point of view, Tropea does not disappoint, some of the best beaches on the whole southern Italian shore can be found here.
But there are other things to do while here. Just 8 km from Tropea is the AquaPark in Zambrone which is a place where the whole family can have fun. Another possibility is a cruise to the Aeolian Islands which leave daily from the Tropea marina and have various destinations, but if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the Stromboli volcano fuming in the distance.