The Gulf of St Euphemia on the Southern shoreline of Italy is one of the most seductive beach destinations in Europe, and Tropea ranks amongst the best places there. Situated in the cobalt water of the Tyrrhenian Sea, this stretch of Italy’s boot is known as the “Coast of the Gods” for good reason, and the picturesque historical city of Tropea is perched on chalky white cliffs providing spectacular views of the ocean. Take the short trip to Messina, and you can see Sicily. But the city’s ocean views are not the only eye-candy on show. The historical centre boasts incredible architecture, and the maze of narrow arteries open up on hidden palazzos, fringed with inviting restaurants that serve mouth-watering recipes. With origins dating back to ancient Greece, history buffs will be enamoured by the ancient artefacts in the archaeological museum and the nearby ruins of Reggio Calabria. To indulge in the laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle and get a taste of the true flavour of Italian life, there are few cities that can rival Tropea.
Location: On the cliffs of the Mediterranean
Tropea is the little toe of Italy’s famous boot. Overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea into the Mediterranean, the city is regarded the jewel of the Calabria region. The closest airport is based in Lamezia Terme a little under an hour’s drive. Most international flights will land in either Naples 5 hours away or Sicily’s busiest airport Catania, which require a bus and ferry ride.
Culture: Discover ancient Greece in old Italy
Tropea has an age old history that dates back to the ancient Greeks, and history lovers should not pass up the opportunity to visit the Riace Bronze statues in Reggio, a short train ride from Tropea city centre. Whilst in the area, you can admire the views across the Straits of Messina to Sicily. Another day trip closer to the city centre is Torre Galli, which reveals an impressive pre-Hellenic necropolis dating back to the Iron Age. When visiting there, don’t forget to take in Chiesa dell’Isola, a medieval church perched on the Rock of Saint Maria, which has become a tourist icon.
Activities: Day tripping
The historic centre of Tropea has plenty of appeal in its own right, but the stunning scenery in the area is too seductive to miss, and a boat trip to the Aeolian Islands is arguably the pick of the bunch. Adventurous types should take the trip up to the spluttering volcano of Stromboli. For the stay-at-home types, try your hand at Italian cooking and take some delicious recipes with you.