Travelling Turtle

Tropea – What to see in the jewel of the Costa degli Dei?

Immersed in the suggestive Costa degli Dei (that in italian means “Coast of the Gods”), in Calabria, is present the picturesque city of Tropea. Known as “The Pearl of the Tyrrhenian” for its natural beauty and rich historical heritage, Tropea fascinates visitors with its crystal clear waters, enchanting beaches and the romantic atmosphere that pervades its ancient streets.

Situated on a cliff, Tropea offers a breathtaking view of the blue sea and the islands of the Aeolian archipelago. The beach of Tropea, with its characteristic white sand, is one of the most beautiful in the region and attracts numerous tourists looking for relaxation and crystal clear sea. Here you can enjoy the sun, take a refreshing swim or practice water sports such as snorkeling or diving to explore the seabed rich in marine life.

The historic center of Tropea

I go to Tropea practically every year both in summer and winter and I can assure you that this village maintains its unique charm in all seasons. The historic center of the city is a real treasure chest, with its narrow cobbled streets, ancient colorful houses and noble palaces that date back to the medieval period. From Piazza Cannone you can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the coast and the sea. It is a perfect place to take unforgettable photos and admire spectacular sunsets. Walking through the streets, you can discover historic churches, such as the Church of Carmine or the Cathedral of Maria Santissima di Romania. The latter houses the Diocesan Museum which offers a collection of sacred art works, including paintings, sculptures and liturgical furnishings.

The absolute most beautiful thing about Tropea are the numerous clubs overlooking the main streets which in the evening are filled with people and teeming with life. It is the ideal place to take long walks, enjoy the views and then stop to eat an ice cream (like the very famous Pizzo Calabro Truffle), a granita or even simply drink something.

The historic center is also full of shops selling souvenirs, typical local delicacies (such as nduja, chillies or red onions from Tropea) and much more.

Historic center of Tropea in the evening

Tropea is a very characteristic city and there is no shortage of small hidden details that you need to look for carefully so as not to miss them. Much loved by tourists are the famous artistic staircases that hide in the alleys.

The colored staircase and the literary staircase

Walking along Via Margherita di Savoia arriving from Piazza Cannone, on the left it is possible to admire one of the secret jewels of Tropea, the colored majolica staircase.

The colorful staircase is a true paradise for photography lovers. Vibrant colors and artistic details offer endless creative shooting possibilities. Visitors can capture special moments as they walk up the staircase, creating unique and unforgettable memories of their visit to Tropea. This place has become a photographic icon of Tropea, spreading its beauty and positive atmosphere throughout the world through social media and travel channels.

Another famous staircase is the so-called literary staircase in via Libertà whose colored steps bear the titles of some of the most important works of literature.

Colorful staircase and literary staircase in Tropea

Church of Santa Maria of the Island

The “Church of Santa Maria of the Island” is an icon of Tropea, set on a rocky spur overlooking the sea. This fascinating and evocative place of worship is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city and an unmissable destination for visitors. Its spectacular location at the tip of the islet lends an aura of mysticism and beauty to the site. To reach the church, you need to go up a steep staircase that winds through lush vegetation.

The Church of Santa Maria of the Island is also the protagonist of a deeply felt tradition in Tropea. Every year, on August 15th, the feast of the Assumption, thousands of faithful gather to take part in a procession which culminates with an outdoor mass, celebrated right on the panoramic terrace next to the church.

Church of Santa Maria of the Island

Calabrian gastronomy

The flavors and aromas of Calabrian cuisine are another attraction of Tropea. This city is famous for its red onions, known as “Tropea onions”, which are used in the preparation of traditional dishes. The restaurants and trattorias in the center offer a wide choice of local specialities, such as ‘nduja, a spicy salami, and the famous Tropeana pasta, seasoned with onions, tomatoes and pecorino cheese. The city is also known for tuna fishing which is the basis of many typical local recipes, first of all pasta with tuna and red onion.

Every year, in the summer, numerous festivals take place in the area where it is possible to taste the local delicacies. The most famous are:

  • Blue fish festival – Tropea, 3 July
  • Nduja festival – Spilinga, 8 August
  • Red onion festival – Ricadi, 13 August
  • The complete list of all the festivals is available at this link.
  • The best time for your trip to Tropea

During the summer, temperatures are pleasant and the climate is ideal for enjoying the beaches and outdoor activities. The days are long and sunny, providing plenty of daylight for exploring the city, hiking, or simply relaxing on the beach.

Better period to visit Tropea

However, it is important to consider that during the summer months, especially July and August, Tropea can be very crowded, especially during weekends and holidays. Beaches may be busier and accommodation prices may be slightly higher. Therefore, if you prefer to avoid the crowds and enjoy a quieter holiday, you could opt for the months of June or September. In this period the temperatures are still pleasant but there are fewer visitors.

In conclusion, Tropea is a magical place that enchants visitors with its beauty. Its lovely beaches, charming old town and delicious cuisine make this city an unforgettable experience. A visit to Tropea is a true journey to the heart of Calabria and an opportunity to experience the sweetness of Mediterranean life.