Tropea, Vibo Valentia, Calabria
Carpanzano may be a small town tucked away up in the mountains, but you don’t have to go very far to find yourself on one of the many beautiful beaches along the Calabrian coast. One gorgeously hot August day we decided to take a little bit of drive and head out to Tropea.
Tropea is located in the province of Vibo Valentia along the southwest coast of Calabria and is just over 2 hours away from Carpanzano. The drive is definitely worth it too. There is no escaping the beauty of this historical coastal town perched atop a cliff overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea with its white sandy beaches and deep blue waters.
As you walk through the centro storico of Tropea, you are instantly transported back in time with its ancient medieval style stone buildings, and small streets lined with restaurants, stores, and bars. It is without a doubt one of the most beautifully kept centro storico I have seen.
As we walked along one of the streets through the centro storico we dead-ended at an overlook. Everyone passing through stopped along the terrace to take in the picturesque panoramic view of the sea and coastline. From this point you can see the sanctuary of Santa Maria dell’Isola, which is built on a large cliff overlooking the sea. It is something quite spectacular.
By the time we had reached the beaches of Tropea it was early afternoon. The beach itself is breathtaking but heavily crowded with tourists. Although, it is easy to forget the crowded beaches when you turn and look up at the town of Tropea and see homes and buildings growing out of the rock on which it stands.
On this particular day the sky was clear enough to see the Sicilian island of Stromboli but not the smoke rising off the volcano, which I’ve been told you can actually see when it’s a clear enough day.
Our trip to Tropea wouldn’t be complete without purchasing some “cipolle di Tropea“, a sweet, red onion that grows there. Everywhere you turn there is a farmer, store, or vendor selling this town speciality so we made sure to pick some up from a local farmer.
Our trip to Tropea was now complete but before heading back to Carpanzano, we made a stop over to Capo Vaticano…but I’ll save that for another day…