Pizzo is a small comune and port located in the Calabria region of Italy in the province of Vibo Valentia. The town is located on a steep cliff overlooking the gulf. Pizzo is spread over an area of 22 sq km and has a population of approximately 9000. The economy of the town is based on fishing for coral and tunny.
It is sometimes known as Pizzo Calabro (U’ Pìzzu in the local dialect) and is a well known holiday destination for the locals from the surrounding towns. The historic center of the town is located on top of a cliff and the newer sections of the town have developed on both sides on the seashore.
Attractions in Pizzo
Piazza Della Republica
Piazza Della Repubblica is the main piazza in Pizzo. The piazza is surrounded by several beautiful buildings and the lanes leading from the piazza are lined with several beautiful ancient houses and small villas. The main tourist information office is located here and there are several shops and ice cream shops as well as some cafes located close to the square. During the summer months most visitors can be seen strolling around leisurely in the piazza and the locals are seen most days in the evening.
The Historic Center
Like in all towns in Italy, the historic center of Pizzo is one of the most interesting places to visit. Perched on top of a high cliff, this part of the town has several old buildings and shops lined next to each other. There are several small charming houses and everywhere locals can be seen chatting up with each other.
Chiesetta di Piedgrotta
Castello Murat is the historical castle of Pizzo which was built in the 15th century. The castle is mostly known as the place where Joachim Murat, Napoleon’s brother in law was executed. The castle mostly hosts various public events in the town and is open to visitors.
Getting to Pizzo
The nearest airport to Pizzo is located half an hour from the town, Lamezia Terme. Pizzo is also connected by trains which run along the route of Costa degli Dei through Tropea. The train station is located 25 minutes from the center of the town and trains leave hourly from the coastal towns for Pizzo. Visitors can also travel by the state buses that operate in Calabria and connect the town to several cities and towns in the region.
Moving Around Pizzo
Pizzo is not a very large town and there are only a few places to see while visiting. The main attraction is the historic center of the town which is perched on top of the hill. Visitors can easily explore this part of the town on foot within an hour. The climb up is steep and the streets and the alleys are very narrow in this area. The newer sections of the town are located along the sea cost. Visitors can also use the local buses which have several stations in the area around Pizzo. Visitors who have their own cars can drive down to the neighboring towns; however, within the town cars would not be needed.
Stay and Accommodation
There are several good accommodation options in Pizzo, mostly because it is a popular holiday destination for the locals from the surrounding regions. During the summer months, plenty of visitors from all parts of Italy as well as from other countries visit the town. Most hotels are located along the sea coast and offer good views of the sea. Some of the best known hotels in the town are Hotel Grillo, Hotel Marinella, Hotel Murat, Hotel Garden Club Calabria, Hotel Garden, Il Giglio Residence, Hotel Sonia, Hotel Bravo Club Pizzo and Grand Hotel Esperia.
Eating in Pizzo
Pizzo has plenty of good restaurants and pizzerias for visitors to choose from. The town also has many good cafes and bars as well as gelato shapes. One of the most famous things to have in Pizzo is the tartufo di Pizzo which is a delicious chocolate ice cream with hazelnut. The ice cream is in the shape of a sphere and has melted chocolate fudge sauce inside. The ice cream is then coated with powdered sugar and cocoa. The dessert is highly popular not only in Pizzo but also in many other parts of southern Italy. There are several cafes and ice cream shops in town that serve this local specialty.
Shopping in Pizzo
There are a few good souvenir shops in Pizzo where visitors can find local handicrafts.