Travelling Turtle

Pizzo Calabro: the village of the icecream truffle

Located on the Costa degli Dei, Pizzo Calabro is a charming village that amazes visitors with its beauty and authentic character. With its picturesque historic center, sandy beaches and the famous “Tartufo” ice cream, Pizzo Calabro is an unmissable destination for anyone visiting Calabria.

What to see in Pizzo Calabro?

The heart of Pizzo Calabro is represented by its historic center with its buildings, characteristic squares and its panoramic view of the Gulf of Sant’Eufemia. Walking through these streets, you immerse yourself in the history of the village.

Murat Castle

In the main square of Pizzo there is the Murat Castle which takes its name from Gioacchino Murat. The fortress was built by the Normans in the 12th century and subsequently expanded by the Aragonese.

One of the darkest pages in the history of the castle is linked to the hero and unfortunate ruler Joachim Murat. In 1815, Murat, the king of Naples known as the “Knight King” for his courage on the battlefield, tried to regain the Neapolitan throne. Unfortunately, his adventure ended tragically when he was captured and executed in the castle courtyard. The cell where Murat spent his last hours has become a place of pilgrimage for many visitors who want to learn about this story of courage and tragedy.

Today the castle houses a museum that recounts the last days of the general’s life.

Murat Castle in Pizzo Calabro

The architecture of the Pizzo Calabro Castle is an extraordinary example of medieval style. With its towers, ramparts and majestic walls, the castle offers a fascinating visual spectacle. A walk along the castle’s overhanging terraces offers spectacular panoramic views of the seafront.

The historic center and the Church of San Giorgio

The historic center of Pizzo Calabro is a fascinating maze of alleys and picturesque squares. Piazza della Repubblica is the heart of the village and houses the Church of San Giorgio, a fascinating example of Baroque architecture. The Pizzo Cathedral, dedicated to San Giorgio, is another architectural gem not to be missed. The interior of the church is decorated with elaborate stucco work and sacred art that dates back to different eras.

Church of Piedigrotta

An essential stop is the Church of Piedigrotta whose history is linked to a legend that tells of a shipwreck that occurred in the 17th century. A Neapolitan sailing ship, surprised by a violent storm, sank off the coast of Pizzo. The sailors, miraculously saved, vowed to build a chapel in honor of the Madonna of Piedigrotta, whose image was kept on the ship. So they took the painting to a nearby cave and here they began to dig and shape the tuff walls to create a place of worship. The hard work and patient artistry of the sailors resulted in a series of statues and altars carved directly into the limestone rock, creating an underground sanctuary of extraordinary beauty.

Statues in the church of Piedigrotta in Pizzo Calabro

What makes the Church of Piedigrotta so special is its unique fusion between religious architecture and natural beauty. The walls of the cave have been shaped and sculpted to create evocative spaces for the sacred statues, while the natural lighting coming from the cave entrance adds a mystical atmosphere. Every altar and statue within the church has been carved with great skill, creating a work of art that blends seamlessly with its surroundings.

The sculptures, including that of the Madonna Assunta, San Michele Arcangelo and San Francesco d’Assisi, are impressive for their precision and detail.

In addition to its artistic beauty, the Church of Piedigrotta has an atmosphere of mystery and spirituality that attracts visitors seeking contemplation and reflection. The echo of the sea waves crashing on the surrounding rocks creates a constant background, helping to make this place even more magical.

The Pizzo Truffle

But Pizzo Calabro is also famous for its delicious “Tartufo” ice cream. The Pizzo Truffle is a local specialty which, in its traditional version, is a round-shaped ice cream, with a chocolate heart and covered in cocoa. For those who don’t like chocolate, there are different variations of Truffle with different flavors (hazelnut, pistachio, etc.). This delicious dessert can be enjoyed in the numerous ice cream shops in the village, representing an authentic delight for the palate.

Pizzo Truffle

In addition to its architectural beauty and its sweet symbol, Pizzo Calabro also boasts a beautiful beach. Pizzo Beach, with its crystal clear sea and golden sand, offers an ideal place to relax, sunbathe and take a refreshing swim.

In conclusion, Pizzo Calabro enchants visitors with its authentic atmosphere, its architectural beauty, its famous “Tartufo” ice cream and its splendid coast. Anyone who decides to visit this fascinating village will be welcomed by the warm hospitality of its inhabitants and the timeless beauty of this destination.