Calabria – a golden weekend in Tropea

Tropea is a gem. My favourite town in Calabria and one of my most favourite places in the whole of Italy. My map is here.

Of course, it’s not just me that thinks that, so in the summer it becomes one of Calabria’s most important resort towns as thousands of holidaymakers, many from the north of Italy, flock to its long expanses of golden sand. Thankfully I was there in May before the main season had started. I’ll write more about the beach and also restaurants in the following posts.

The old town sits on high cliffs overlooking the sea so the views are stunning.

Especially around sunset. Videos here and here.

At this time of the evening you can just make out the volcanic island of Stromboli on the horizon.

The town’s most famous landmark is the Santuaria Santa Maria dell’Isola Church which is perched on its own separate rock.

It makes for a good walk as you can get even better views of the old town. Video here.

The old town itself is very pleasant to stroll around.

There are many cosy restaurants tucked down side streets, of which more in the next post.

And a few more snaps from walking around. Click on them to make them bigger if you’re on a computer.

As well as its locations, Tropea is famous for a special ingredient, a red onion called la Cipolla Rossa di Tropea that I mentioned above. It was first introduced by the Phoenicians over two thousand years ago. You’ll see it in all the veg shops.

The onion is renowned amongst Italian chefs for two reasons, firstly because it doesn’t make them cry when they cut it and secondly because of its sweet flavour. The particular taste of the onions is attributed to the silty soils, the influence of the sea and an unusual microclimate of nearly constant temperatures all year round. The official website has some recipes here.

Now I think it’s time to eat…

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