A sheer rock protruding into the middle of the sea, a balcony overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea and the tiny island of Santa Maria dell’Isola.
Inspiring, brimming with traditions, bathed in an amazing sea, amongst the most beautiful coves of Calabria, the small but well-known town definitely deserves to be visited not simply for the beauty of its sea and beaches. It has so many other unique characteristics. Starting from the mythological legend that it was created by Hercules, up to its Roman origins where it was established by Sesto Pompeo.
The historical part of the town was created on a terrace jutting out onto the sea, in front of which the “sheer rock” is the site of the Santa Maria dall’Isola Church, dating from 370 AD. This was an ancient sanctuary for monks, subsequently restored as a Gothic church which provided refuge for hermits and sailors for centuries as it lies separate to the mainland.
The historical centre is an open-air museum: Churches from different eras (the Norman Cathedral from 1100 AD, St Francis of Assisi, Saint Maria della Neve, dell’Annunziata), noble buildings with elegant 18th century balconies, narrow intricate passageways which open into picturesque squares. And some streets which unexpectedly take you out to the sea front.
Wandering around the lanes of the town centre you can uncover workshops of renowned craftsmen in wood, iron, fabrics and pottery, or people from the surrounding area, selling their great-quality traditional products in shops scattered around the town where you can find the renowned red onions of Tropea and the famous ‘nduja.