Tropea Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit and must-try dishes in Tropea, Italy. Find out where to stay, how to get around, and nearby excursions to explore.

Introduction to Tropea

Nested in the Calabria region of Southern Italy, Tropea is a hidden gem overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The town is perched on top of a cliff and lures visitors with stunning views overlooking the Aeolian Islands. A bit off the beaten track, Tropea offers visitors an authentic Italian experience with fewer crowds. Whether you’re after a relaxing beach holiday or a cultural adventure, Tropea caters to all travelers.

List of Places to Visit in Tropea

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • The Santa Maria dell’Isola Monastery - A renowned landmark in Tropea, the Santa Maria dell’Isola Monastery dates back to the 9th century and showcases beautiful Gothic architecture. Located on a rocky cliff, it offers a stunning panoramic view of the sea.
  • Palazzo Comunale - Located in the heart of the town, the Palazzo Comunale is steeped in history and houses the Municipal Museum. Visitors can explore archaeological finds and ancient artifacts from the area.
  • The Norman Cathedral - This historic cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is an excellent example of the Norman architecture of the time. Visitors can admire the stunning frescoes and intricate stone carvings.

Natural Attractions of Tropea: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Tropea Beach - With crystal clear water and overlooking the stunning backdrop of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Tropea Beach is a must-visit attraction. The sandy beach stretches for miles and offers water sports and sun lounging.
  • Capo Vaticano - A picturesque cape situated on the Tyrrhenian Coast, Capo Vaticano is known for its beautiful beaches. Visitors can witness the spectacular cliffs overlooking the sea and enjoy swimming and sunbathing.
  • Grotticelle Beach - A hidden gem of Tropea, Grotticelle Beach is located on the Capo Vaticano and offers beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. A perfect place to relax and unwind.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Tropea

Tropea offers a wide range of hiking and biking trails that allow visitors to explore the stunning countryside and hills in the surrounding area. The town itself is perched on a cliff, making it an excellent starting point for any adventure. Some of the notable routes include:

  • The Capo Vaticano Trail - A 10 km trail that takes visitors through the lush green countryside and offers a stunning view of the coast. A great trail for experienced hikers.
  • Sentiero del Brigante Trail - A 5 km trail that offers stunning views of Tropea’s coast. A moderately easy trail suitable for casual hikers.
  • The Coastal Trail - A 7 km trail that follows the coastline and offers breathtaking views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Visitors can explore hidden coves and natural rock formations.

Best Things to Do in Tropea: Activities and Tours

  • Boat Excursion to the Aeolian Island - A popular activity amongst visitors to Tropea, a boat excursion to the Aeolian Island is a must. Visitors can explore the volcanic islands and enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the surrounding waters.
  • Wine Tasting Tours - Calabria is renowned for its wine, and visitors can explore the vineyards and sample the local produce with a guided wine-tasting tour.
  • Cooking Classes - Learn to prepare classic Italian dishes with a cooking class in Tropea. Visitors can explore the markets and learn to cook authentic Italian cuisine.

Week-Long Itinerary for Tropea

Day Activity
Day 1 Arrive in Tropea and enjoy a visit to Santa Maria dell’Isola Monastery
Day 2 Take a boat excursion to the Aeolian Islands
Day 3 Explore the countryside with a hiking or biking trail
Day 4 Visit Capo Vaticano and witness the stunning cliffs overlooking the sea
Day 5 Enjoy a wine-tasting tour and sample the local produce
Day 6 Take a cooking class and learn to make classic Italian dishes
Day 7 Relax on Tropea Beach and savor the local cuisine

Food and Drink Scene of Tropea

Must-Try Dishes

  • Nduja – A spicy sausage made with pork, chili peppers, and spices, Nduja is a local delicacy and a must-try dish in Tropea.
  • Fileja calabrese - A type of handmade pasta that is served with a spicy sauce infused with nduja and ricotta cheese.
  • Cipolla Rossa di Tropea - A unique red onion that is grown in the region, Cipolla Rossa di Tropea is served raw in salads or grilled with meat and fish dishes.

Local Beverages

  • Cirò Bianco - A dry white wine produced in Calabria, Cirò Bianco is a crisp and refreshing wine that pairs well with seafood dishes.
  • Menta Calabrese - An herbal liqueur made from mint, Menta Calabrese is a popular digestive drink in the region.

Where to Stay in Tropea: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Tropea offers a variety of accommodation options for visitors. Some notable options include:

  • Hotel Rocca Della Sena - A boutique hotel located in the town center that features modern rooms and stunning views of the sea.
  • Villa Paola - A luxurious hotel located in an old monastery, Villa Paola offers visitors an authentic Italian experience. The hotel boasts beautiful gardens and a swimming pool.
  • Hostel Arcobaleno - A budget-friendly option in Tropea, Hostel Arcobaleno features clean and comfortable dorms and private rooms.

What to Buy in Tropea: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Red Onions - A local specialty, Cipolla Rossa di Tropea makes for a great souvenir to bring home. The onions are small and can be easily transported.
  • Liquors - Calabria is known for its liquor production, and visitors can buy local herbal liqueurs and wine to bring home.
  • Handmade Pottery - Ceramics and pottery are a significant part of Tropea’s history and culture, and visitors can buy handmade items as souvenirs.

Local Culture and Customs of Tropea

Tropea has a rich history and culture, with traditions that can be traced back to ancient times. The town celebrates many cultural events throughout the year, including the Feast of the Holy Madonna in September and the Festival of San Michele in May. Visitors are expected to respect the local customs and traditions, such as dressing modestly when visiting religious sites and avoiding loud behavior in public places.

Best Time to Visit Tropea

The best time to visit Tropea is during the spring and summer months, from late March to early September. During this time, the weather is warm, and the sea is calm and perfect for swimming. However, visitors should be aware that Tropea can get crowded during the peak season, and prices may be higher.

Do’s and Don’ts of Tropea


  • Learn a few basic Italian phrases.
  • Respect the culture and customs of Tropea.
  • Dress appropriately, especially when visiting religious sites.


  • Go off-trail when hiking or biking.
  • Leave valuables unattended on the beach or in public places.
  • Drive in the bus lane, which is strictly reserved for buses and emergency vehicles.

Safety and Health

Safety in Tropea

Tropea is a relatively safe town, and visitors should not encounter any major safety concerns. However, visitors are advised to be cautious when visiting tourist areas and to keep an eye on their belongings in crowded places.

Health in Tropea

Visitors to Tropea do not typically encounter any major health risks. However, it is recommended to bring mosquito repellent during the summer months and to drink bottled water.

Getting to Tropea: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Tropea

The nearest airport to Tropea is Lamezia Terme Airport. Located approximately 35 km away, visitors can travel to Tropea by taxi or shuttle bus.

Bus Stations Near Tropea

Tropea is well-connected by bus, with frequent services from Lamezia Terme Airport and surrounding towns.

Other Options

Visitors can also opt to travel by train, with Tropea’s train station located in the town center.

How to Get Around in Tropea

Tropea is a compact town, and visitors can easily explore the town on foot. However, visitors may need to hire a car or scooter to explore the surrounding countryside and nearby towns.

Where to Go Next from Tropea: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Reggio Calabria - A coastal town located in the toe of Italy, Reggio Calabria is known for its ancient Greek statues and beautiful beaches.
  • Pizzo - A beautiful seaside town located a short distance from Tropea, Pizzo is famous for its gelato and Tartufo, a local dessert.
  • Sicily - Visitors can take a ferry from Tropea to Sicily, explore the beautiful Mediterranean island, and visit the historic town of Taormina.


Tropea is a beautiful town located in Southern Italy that offers visitors a unique blend of history, culture, and stunning natural scenery. With a range of activities, attractions, and accommodation options, Tropea caters to all types of travelers. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore the surrounding countryside, or savor the local cuisine, Tropea has something for everyone.