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…

  1. joe@italyville

    October 1, 2008 at 11:31 am

    one of my favorite places… and the water is amazing isn’t it? My mom spent a year going to school at Santa Maria dell’Isola when she was young. Love your blog Calabrisella!

    Thanks for your comment Joe!! 🙂 The waters off the coast of Tropea are beautiful!! I don’t know if I could concentrate on school when there is so much beauty around to distract me. I could walk around the centro storico for hours.

  2. Piccola

    September 29, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Wow! I love these quaint towns. They are so beautiful. I’m going to ask Ale to take me on a tour of the south.

    Me too. There were ALOT of tourists there which is expected look at the place. I would be interested to see Tropea during its off season when there aren’t a ton of people there. I bet it has a completely different feel. I love the centro storico’s of the town’s and comunes…you can just feel the history.

  3. Susan

    September 25, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Lulu- Thanks for stopping by my blog- Im so happy that you enjoyed my fathers poem…I will post more soon.
    I love your blog and I’ve benn following you for a while. Tropea is gorgeous…I want to go so desperatly. My father was born in Sicily but grew up in Calabria- my family is still there. It is calling my name- everyday. Keep blogging- Im ejoying it so much. Thanks you. Abbracci!

    I’m so glad you enjoy reading my blog!! 🙂 If you do go to Calabria you should definitely try to reserve a day to go…you can hit up Tropea and Capo Vaticano in the same day (they are so close to each other). Where about in Calabria do you have family?

  4. Leanne in Italy

    September 25, 2008 at 6:12 am

    I love Tropea, it really is a beautiful little town. And I also love the Tropea red onions. They are famous, so sweet and so much better then your normal red onions. I think next time I am in Calabria I may have to revist Tropea!

    The Tropea onions made an appearance in some of our dinners after our trip…they are definitely yummy. I would go to Tropea again….it was so beautiful there.

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