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Things to do in Tropea

The Bride of the Sea

Enjoy Tropea and its fabulous sea and coastline

Welcome to Tropea, the best seaside resort in Calabria, a must see place in your Calabrian holiday.
When you say Tropea, there is a fast immediate mind connection to images of a turquoise sea incredibly “close” to the Caribbean tones.
You hear words about Tropea and you think about the postcards of a big rock in the sea, with a mysterious little church at the top.
Enjoy Tropea and Costa degli Dei.

A red, scarlet, magenta, purplish princess on the Calabrian table: the Onion from Tropea

And what about “that” sweet and crunchy red characterizing the most famous onion of the Southern Italy agriculture!!
It is cultivated along a large area, on the Tyrrhenian Coast, it has got the Protected Designation of Origin.
A deliciousness, used to prepare several courses.

Why Tropea has become so famous

Tropea has been the most charming Calabrian town since the 1960s, attracting more tourists, especially vacationers flocking from continental Europe and America.
Some historical/sociological reasons explain this fame. Why has Tropea become a touristic icon?
Certainly that’s due to a vast travel literature produced in the eighteenth and nineteenth century by a large group of adventurers-storytellers-observers-military or government officials passed in Calabria.
They surely delivered their “slides” and their stories – precursors of travel bloggers – to the nascent social phenomenon of leisure tourism.
Tourism involved more and more numerous masses arriving in the second half of the nineteenth century.
A few authors. From Henry Swinburne (Journey to Calabria was written in 1777-78) to Duret de Tavel (Letters from Calabria was written in the first decade of the 1800s), each traveler was struck by the cliff overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea on which Tropea is.
Tropea is a village that has always had a special relationship with the merchant navy and with fishermen, but at the same time it has developed an excellent agricultural economy (dairy and cured meat delicacies).

A name that comes from…

It is probable that its name derives from an owner-administrator of ecclesiastical latifundium, Tarpeanus or Trapeianus.
We think so, since the most reliable document, in the Middle Ages (year 559 AD), is a letter from the Pope sent precisely in Trapeiana Massa (a series of agricultural funds). Pope wanted to settle a family matter: a husband who ran away from home, who had abandoned his wife and children to marry elsewhere.
They cultivated a field in the Trapeiana Massa – belonging to the diocese and therefore to the Church of Rome, so the wife had denounced everything asking for the intervention of the Pope.

Powerful families in Tropea

The town for most of its history was governed and managed by the landowning families (an oligarchy).
They were always in competition with the bishop, considering that the Roman Church had many lands.
About religion, in Tropea we want to underline the amalgamation between Byzantine culture and Western Catholic culture, clearly evident.

The venerated Madonna di Romania

Undoubtedly there has been an important cultural influence of Byzantium – see above all the icon of the Madonna of Romania, whose name refers precisely to the Eastern Roman Empire.
It is the most interesting object of worship in the cathedral, a figure probably made in the 1300s by an artist from the Giotto school, ‘cause the original was missing.

The awesome cathedral in Tropea and the small church on the rock

The most important religious building – concathedral of the Mileto-Nicotera-Tropea diocese, dates back to the rule of the Normans – the rulers who re-established the supremacy of the Roman Catholic liturgy.
Normans were very active in spreading of certain monastic orders. It is significant that the small church on the big rock, Santa Maria dell’Isola, is still a property of the abbey of Montecassino (it was donated to the Benedictines by king Roger, the son of Robert the Guiscard, norman leader).

The breathtaking sea view in Tropea

Will you come in Calabria?
You must see Tropea, walking from piazza Ercole to the most famous balcony on the sea. Each tourist can’t wait to look out the balustrade.
The view over the sea of Tropea is the most beautiful thing you will see in Calabria, after meeting the Riace Bronzes.