Tropea is a sea side resort located in the Calabria region of Italy in the province of Vibo Valentina. The town is famous for its many beaches, which attract several tourists during the summer months. Tropea is located on a reef in the gulf of St. Euphemia and is connected to the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The town offers dramatic views in the region and its stretch of coastline is known as Coast of the Gods. The historic center of the town is located on top of the cliffs, looking over to the sea. There are several resorts and even many camp sites in Tropea that host many tourists from Italy as well as from Germany.
Attractions in Tropea
Tropea is a seaside resort, so there aren’t many places to visit in town except for the beaches. The sight seeing attractions mainly include the many beaches and the older section of the town that are lined with ancient houses and villas, many of which are old and crumbling. The many pedestrian streets, lined with outdoor cafes and gelatarias, are one of the main pastimes for the locals as well as the tourists that visit Tropea.
Corso Vittorio Emmanuele
One of the favorite places for the locals as well as the tourists is the Corso Vittorio Emmanuale. This long street is lined with several tiny cafes where tons of tourists are seen sitting at all times of the day with coffees and drinks. People lazily wander up and down the road. At the end of the road is a dead end which is marked with railings from where visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the sea. The Tropea locals are often seen enjoying their passeggiata here on Corso Vittorio Emmanuele.
The Historic Center
The historic center of Tropea is one of the most interesting places to visit in the town except for the beaches. This part of the town is located high up on a cliff and is characterized by a maze of narrow winding streets and lanes. There are traces here and there of the old walls which had once been built to protect the town. There are several old houses and palazzi which are painted in pastel colors and are beautiful to look at. There are also a few small Piazzas with outdoor café tables and chairs.
The Piazza Ercole is the central square in Tropea and one which is the most lively and vibrant. At all times of the day during summer, tourists and locals can be seen milling about the piazza. There are several impressive buildings on all sides of the square. The main tourist information office as well as several travel agencies that provide boat excursions to the nearby areas are all located here.
Santa Maria dell’Isola
Santa Maria dell’Isola is located on the top of a hill looking over the sea. The monastery is quite large and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. The monastery has impressive architecture and has been recently renovated.
One of the most important religious places in Tropea is the main Duomo or the cathedral of Tropea. The Norman cathedral is also one of the most interesting buildings in the town, known for its impressive architecture. Inside the cathedral are various beautiful decorations and impressive art works.
Palazzo Vescovile or the Bishop’s Palace is also worth a visit since it is an impressive building. The palace is now home to Museo Diocesano that has a collection of religious art. The museum is open only through April to October and it also has several wooden sculptures and statues as well as silver reliquaries.
Getting to Tropea
The nearest airport is located in Lamezia Terme from where visitors can travel to Tropea either by bus or by train. The railway station in Tropea connects it to several locations on the Naples-Reggio di Calabria route. The train station is located quite close to the center of the town and tickets can be bought at the station itself or from various travel agencies. Visitors can also travel by buses that run along the coast and connect Tropea to several locations in the region.
Moving Around the Town
There is a local bus service that operates in town, but it is irregular and is mostly for the workers who commute to the nearby locations so it isn’t very convenient for the visitors to use. The train station in town can be used for travelling to closer villages too; the tickets can be bought at the ticket machine at the station. Visitors can also walk around town quite easily since the few places to visit are located either in the historic center or close to the beach front. The old section of the town is very compact and the entire area can be explored in an hour. There are several narrow lanes and streets in the area that can be easily explored on foot.
Stay and Accommodation
Because of its popularity as a sea side resort there are many good hotels and Bed & Breakfasts in Tropea. Some of the best hotels in town are Villa Antica Tropea, hotel Residence Tirreno, Hotel Cannamele Resort and hotel Santa Lucia.
Eating in Tropea
There are plenty of good restaurants, pizzerias, cafes and bars in Tropea. The gelato shops in town are definitely worth trying, some of them offering unusual gelatos like the red onion gelato. Visitors would also find sweet almond milk, latte di Mandorla, in most cafes which is very refreshing during the summer months.
Shopping in Tropea
There are many places to shop in Tropea, most of those along the beach sell typical tourist souvenirs and locally made beach wear. Il Faro Presepi on Via Stazione as well as some of the other shops in the older section have some beautiful souvenirs like nativity scenes, local art works and several other interesting objects and gift items.