14 Reasons Why Tropea is Italy’s Best Kept Secret Holiday Destination

    The cliffs at Tropea, Calibria, Italy. (Image: Wikipedia)A Tropea beach on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. (Image: Piervincenzo Madeo/Flickr)Fishing boats on the beach at Tropea. (Image: Pixabay)The castle on the island flanked by two gorgeous sandy swimming beaches in Tropea, Italy. (Image: Norbert Nagel / Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0)The beach by Santa Maria dell'Isola, the castle on the island in Tropea, Italy. (Image: Norbert Nagel/ Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0)The medieval town has an ancient history. The old city looms from the cliffs above. (Image: Marianna/Flickr)Looking up at the buildings of the cliff above one of Tropea's stunning beaches. (Image: Marco Lazzaroni/Flickr)The town is perched on cliff edges over looking the sea. (Image: artq55/Flickr)The medieval town is historic and beautiful. (Image: Mex6oo/Flickr)

    1. Tropea, a seaside town on the Calabrian Coast, is where Italians go on holiday, it’s their little secret. This is not a well-known destination for international travelers.

    The beach by Santa Maria_dell'Isola, the castle on the island in Tropea, Italy. (Image: Norbert Nagel/ Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0)

    The beach by Santa Maria dell’Isola, the castle on the island in Tropea, Italy. It was once a monastery. (Image: Norbert Nagel/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0)

    2. The old town is from medieval times, and civilization in the area goes back as far as 4,500 B.C. So, it’s got some incredible history to discover—old monasteries, palaces, and fortifications. Hercules is said to have named it one of his ports.

    3. The water is crystal clear, turquoise, and warm. The sand is white. The weather is excellent.

    Tropea beach in Tyrrhenian Sea. (Image: Piervincenzo Madeo/Flickr)

    A Tropea beach on the Tyrrhenian Sea coast. (Image: Piervincenzo Madeo/Flickr)

    4. The town is protected by Saint Virgin Mary of Romania, and there’s a good story to back that up. It goes like this:

    Firstly—there is a painting of Virgin Mary of Romania, dating back to about 1330 hanging in a cathedral in Tropea. That picture was acquired in the most curious, auspicious way.

    “Legend says that a boat coming from the East-Byzantine Empire (hence the name Virgin Mary of Romania) was driven into the port of Tropea by a storm,” according to Wikipedia.

    “After repairing the damage, the captain tried to leave, but the ship still stayed in the harbor. That same night, the Bishop of the city, Ambrogio Cordova, dreamed of the Virgin Mary asking him to stay in Tropea and becoming its protectress. The dream repeated itself for several nights. Eventually the bishop summoned the senior officials and the citizens, and together they went to the port to take the picture of the Virgin Mary. As soon as the painting was brought to shore the ship departed.”

    And so, the Virgin Mary promised to protect the city from earthquakes, wars, and pestilence. Many events have taken place that the locals see has her protection. Seems like a safe place to visit if you are reverent enough.

    5. The city sits on top dramatic coastal cliffs. The views are endless and stunning.

    The town is perched on cliff edges over looking the sea. (Image: artq55/Flickr)

    The town is perched on cliff edges over looking the sea. (Image: artq55/Flickr)

    6. The hike up and down from the beach will get you fit.

    7. Fresh Southern Italian food. Fish, lamb, goat, sausages, sweet local red onions, and preserved vegetables in olive oil—it will all help you regain the weight you loose hiking up and down to the beach.

    Looking up at the buildings of the cliff above one of Tropea's stunning beaches. (Image: Marco Lazzaroni/Flickr)

    Looking up at the buildings on the cliff above one of Tropea’s stunning beaches. (Image: Marco Lazzaroni/Flickr)

    8. The old town has no specific tourist attractions, just a maze of lovely lanes, pilazzi, and cafes to wander through. It doesn’t attract big tour groups for lack of important sites.

    The medieval town is historic and beautiful. (Image: Mex6oo/Flickr)

    The medieval town became an important port during the Roman era, and is historic and beautiful. (Image: Mex6oo/Flickr)

    9. Tropea is on the Tyrrhenian Sea, along what they call the Costa degli Dei, the ‘Coast of the Gods.’ Sounds good right?

    10. There are very low levels of marine pollution in this area due to lack of industrial development. Italians consider it a natural paradise.

    The cliffs at Tropea, Calibria in Italy. (Image: Wikipedia)

    The cliffs at Tropea, Calibria, Italy. (Image: Wikipedia)

    11. The town offers fine resorts and camping grounds. You could catch a train in, or drive a camper van down.

    12. Tropea is big enough and interesting enough to use as a base for a longer holiday. The local railway and boat trips allow you to explore without a car.

     

    13. There are dolphins. And water this color.

     

    14. It’s not hard to get to. The closest airport in in Lamezia Terme, and there’s a little scenic train route to Tropea around the coast that only takes an hour. For more details, this website offers a great run down of the area and needed travel details.

    Tropea, on the coast of Calabria in Italy. (Image: Wikipedia)

    Italy is the white section of the map, Calabrai is the red region, and Tropea is a little town on the west coast. (Image: Wikipedia)

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