Friday, 22 April 2016


Anne H here reporting from a very recent trip to Tropea.

Tropea, Calabria
View of the Monastery and Piazza del Cannone
Situated in Southern Italy in the region of Calabria, Tropea is a seaside resort popular with Northern Italians but which is still relatively unknown to the English - largely because the only direct flight is from London Stansted going into Lamezia, which is about an hour by car from Tropea.  

Located on the stretch of coastline known as the 'Coast of the Gods' Tropea rises as if hewn from the dramatic cliffs themselves. The medieval town overlooks the monastery of Santa Maria dell'Isola, which is sited on what was once an island, and the volcano of Stromboli, which on a clear day can be seen puffing away on the horizon.  There are plenty of tourist boats from the port out to the volcano and the Aeolian Islands, and an evening trip to Stromboli is well worth the visit. 

Tropea, Calabria
Tropea viewed from the Marina

Stromboli, Italy
The old centre of Tropea has a delightful slightly faded feel and abounds with Palazzos with massive doors that open into beautiful courtyards, winding cobbled streets and hidden squares, many with restaurants.  Traces of the old town fortifications are still apparent including the canon in the Piazza Del Cannone where you can enjoy a lovely gelato before tackling the steps down to the beach.   For a greater understanding of the history of Tropea, a visit to the museum which is next to the Duomo, the Norman cathedral, is well worth making. 

Tropea, Calabria
One of Tropea's many cobbled streets

Tropea, Calabria
Doorway to a Palazzo 

Take the steps down to the beaches, which are some of the best in Southern Italy, where you can choose from free beaches where you can just claim your patch of sand to establishments that charge for sun loungers and umbrellas but have the added facilities of a restaurant and bar.  Our favourite is Calypso who serve the most amazing fish dishes and spaghetti aglio e olio, served with local Calabrian wine which is just fabulous.  A perfect day is spent sunbathing in the morning, having a great lunch and then a bit more sunbathing and a swim before tackling the 200+ steps back up into the town. 

Tropea, Calabria
The best beaches in Southern Italy 


You are simply spoilt for choice  for somewhere to eat, and pretty much every taste and budget is catered for. Most restaurants have outdoor seating areas and are often tucked away in the maze of streets or on the small piazzas.   The more expensive ones tend to overlook the sea, but you really don't have to spend the earth to enjoy fabulous home cooked Italian food.  

Here are a few of our favourites, giving you a range of styles and cost.  Starting with Le Volpi e L'Uva an Osteria (osteria serve simple meals with local produce) where I would firmly recommend the spicy pasta dish, Nduja Fileja, preceded by the cipolla omelette made with Tropean red onions which are the sweetest onions anywhere in the world.  

Tropea, Calabria

For the absolutely best pizza selection then it has to be Vecchio Forno Pizzeria which has the most amazing pizza oven.  They have outdoor and indoor seated areas and are super affordable. They also do takeaway orders.

Tropea, Calabria

For a true ristorante, (full service)  dining experience then Nino e Marchello and Genius Loci can't been beaten.  Nino is at the end of the Corso and Genius has the benefit of a fabulous view of the sea and the monastery, and is situated near the Piazza de Cannone.   And just a quick mention of the Corso Vittorio Emanuele which is the wide street in the centro storico (centre) that leads down to a viewing area overlooking the sea and monastery.  Buy yourselves a lovely cocktail at Max's bar or in the Caffe del Corso during any weekend evening and watch the locals in their finery on their passeggiata - people watching at its best as it is often accompanied by a bridal party filming their special day.  A true Italian experience not to be missed. 

Tropea, Calabria

Tropea, Calabria
The Corso 

Tropea, Calabria

If you are looking for a lighter snack or lunch then Pizzeria da Titino has fabulous caprese salads, arancini (stuffed rice balls) and pizzas. 

Tropea, Calabria


I have been travelling to Tropea for a number of years as I have family who live there and depending on the length of stay have either rented an apartment or stayed in a B&B.  On my most recent trip I stayed at the B&B Portercole which is run by a lovely young couple, with the added bonus that they speak English.  The rooms are all really well appointed and the location is perfect.  

Tropea, Calabria

Another favourite is the  Residenza il Barone which combines spacious suites with a lovely roof terrace featuring stunning views, where breakfast and early evening drinks are served. If you want advice about hotels or the apartment rentals just contact me via the comments box - there are so many places I  just don't have room to mention them all here.


It wouldn't be right to ignore wardrobe completely.  The two pictures immediately below were taken when Anne C and I were last in Tropea together 18 months ago, so outfits are not from recent seasons and no longer available.

Over 60 fashion

Over 60s fashion

In the picture below I am shown with my brother-in-law Luigi who is in his eighties and an absolute inspiration to all who meet him.  We are in a courtyard of what was a convent but has now been beautifully converted into apartments.

Over 60s fashion


Calabrian food


And finally, back to our stomachs!  Tropea has some delicacies that are particularly worthy of a mention. Top of the list is the amazing ice cream - our favourite is from Caffe del Corso.  And if you go to Toninos, also on the Corso, you can even try Gelato alla cipolla di tropea - yes, onion ice cream! But I did say those onions are sweet and it is not as bad as you might think.

If you are looking for delicacies to take home start with the peperoncino a chilli pepper which can be purchased in flakes.  Parmesan cheese is cheaper here but don't ignore the other less familiar names such as pecorino and grana padano.  Olive Oil is also worth stowing in your bag and is better purchased in town than at the airport.  

There are some lovely shops selling local pottery with unusual designs.  Coral jewellery is also a big feature of the town and most of the shops have amazing displays in their windows.

I can't recommend  enough this hidden gem that is Tropea, and always take pleasure in introducing new people to it and it's wonderful people.



  1. This looks amazing! I will definitely have to add this to my bucket list!
    Thanks so much for sharing :)


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