What to do in Tropea
Few cities in Italy can vaunt the story of Tropea. Today a visit to Tropea means being suspended in time, held between ancient history and modern life. Legend tells that the founder of the city was Hercules when, on his return from the Columns of Hercules (Spain), he stooped off on the coast of South Italy. The town lies on a high sandstone cliff promontory overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west coast of Calabria in the province of Vibo Valentia. The historical town centre is of considerable interest to visitors. There are many mansions which once belonged to noble families dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Some of these cling to the cliff face directly above the beaches. The "portals" of the mansions are interesting with their family emblazons. Some of the houses have enormous cisterns which were excavated in the rock where grain from nearby Monte Poro was stored before being loaded onto ships anchored below through terracotta pipes. The symbol of the town is the Sanctuary Church of Saint Mary of the Island which is built on a large stack in front of the little town.
The cathedral, built in 1100 in Romanesque style and dedicated to Our Holy Lady Mary of Romania is of great interest. The painting of Our Lady of Romania, patron and protector of the town, can be found here. Of further interest is the Convent of Pity, built in 1639. Next to the cathedral is the Diocesan Museum, in the one-time bishopric, with displays of historical gold and silver wares, paintings, frescoes, statues, furnishings and artefacts from churches in the town as well as a display of findings from prehistoric times from a number of archaeological digs.
There are several things that you can do in a typical day in Tropea
Once you have found the way to get to the beach on the map of the town, you can stay on the nearby lidos that have a convention with us and ask for a beach umbrella and sunbeds, you can have a lunch in the lido restaurant or stay there for your evening meal. Alternatively, you can enjoy the spacious free beaches with their white sands.
There are a number of options for activities; you can hire a boat, go snorkelling or go on a boat trip in a trimaran with a transparent hull where it’s possible to enjoy an aperitif on board or swim from the boat during the trip along the coast.
Another trip that we advise is to visit the Aeolian Islands. This is an interesting and fun excursion. You can experience the sea in comfort on board one of the boats that leave from the marina yachting harbour in Tropea. Once you arrive on the islands, you can go bathing in the crystal-clear sea, savour the typical Aeolian cuisine or observe the volcanic activity of Stromboli the volcano that is in constant eruption.
We always advise our guests to visit the various beaches along our stretch of coast; one of the very best is Capo Vaticano which can be reached by car, by scooter or by train. Here the Grotticelle or Santa Maria beaches are well worth a visit and are rightly famous for their beauties.
Our guests have no reason to be bored!
We advise you to take a half-day trip to the hills around Tropea to visit the scenic village where, in the shade of grapevines, you can savour ‘Nduja, a soft, spicy sausage, and the wine made with the grapes of the local vineyards, both of which are produced by families we know and trust.
An alternative is a half-day out on foot to visit Tropea itself with a guide, to go on a boat trip to Capo Vaticano, to visit the remains of an ancient rock-dwelling community in the hinterland hills, to go trekking along the mill tracks, to enjoy the panorama from the main square in Pizzo Calabro whilst enjoying the famous truffle ice cream and many other options.
If, on the other hand, you would like to discover places that are further afield and are also famous for their natural beauties you could go on a day trip to the Sila National Park (to the north) or the Aspromonte National Park (to the south) with an expert tourist guide who will be able to tell you about the more important cultural and architectural aspects as well as the traditional cuisine and typical natural areas.
The secrets of "Calabrese cuisine"
Friday afternoon with a minimum number of 4 participants (other days on request). You will prepare and taste different classic regional and genuine dishes: a variety of starters as well as different main courses and side dishes.
On request (according to availability and sufficient numbers per group) you can book a day to spend in full-immersion of agricultural life:
- Guided visit with aperitif + dinner or cooking lessons with aperitif + dinner
- Guided visit to a vintner’s with wine tasting from his cellars and traditional food tasting
- Aperitif + dinner in the vineyards with wine tasting and traditional Calabrese food tasting
- Calabrese cuisine lessons
Wednesday afternoon with a minimum number of 4 participants (other days on request). Learn how to prepare your own homemade Pasta. You will prepare and taste two different types of pasta (Fileja and Cavatelli) with two different kind of sauces. If you want to cook authentic Italian food at home, this is the number-one skill to learn.
Our hands-on cooking classes are based on traditional, home-style Calabrian recipes. Very appreciated by our guests because of the preparation of fresh, traditional and genuine dishes, always under the expert guidance of our friendly local chef. The courses take place in a well-equipped kitchen in the center of Tropea or, on request, in the kitchen of an antique mansion in the heart of the old town of Tropea. You have the chance to make new friends and learn many secrets from the locals grown up eating and cooking in this traditional style.