Surroundings

Visit Tropea and the surroundings of the Dolomiti Sul Mare Village: discover the beauties of Calabria

TROPEA
This picturesque coastal town lies between the Gulf of Sant’Eufemia and Gioia Tauro and is undoubtedly one of the most enchanting and culturally rich centers in the province of Vibo Valentia. Tropea is considered the main center on the Coast of the Gods and boasts very ancient origins. Its territory has considerable evidence of prehistoric, Greek and Roman settlements. Over the centuries it also underwent the occupation of Arabs, Normans and Aragons and was a thriving maritime center that maintained commercial relations with all the Mediterranean countries.
Tropea is now an exclusive seaside resort served by an efficient tourist and fishing port. It has a beautifully preserved center, where you can visit the Norman Cathedral dating back to the eleventh century, the churches of S. Francesco d'Assisi and Santa Maria della Neve, as well as that of Santa Maria dell’Isola, which stands at the foot of the town, in a striking location a few steps from the sea. The panoramic terrace of the old town offers a wonderful view of the clear blue water that breaks against the white cliffs jagged by wonderful beaches and inlets. The main street and the pretty alleys of the town are dotted with small shops and workshops where to taste and buy excellent typical local products.
CAPO VATICANO The promontory of Capo Vaticano is located on the Tyrrhenian coast of Calabria, in the municipality of Ricadi (VV). This marvelous seaside resort lies opposite Stromboli and the Aeolian Islands, separates the Gulf of Sant’Eufemia and Gioia Tauro, and includes the coastal area from the Bay of Tono to the Bay of Santa Maria. The promontory reaches a height of 124 meters and is made of special white-gray granite studied all over the world for its geological peculiarities. The beaches in this area are of rare beauty. Lapped by crystal clear sea, no wonder they are considered among the most beautiful in the Mediterranean.

The promontory of Capo Vaticano is located on the Tyrrhenian coast of Calabria, in the municipality of Ricadi (VV). This marvelous seaside resort lies opposite Stromboli and the Aeolian Islands, separates the Gulf of Sant’Eufemia and Gioia Tauro, and includes the coastal area from the Bay of Tono to the Bay of Santa Maria. The promontory reaches a height of 124 meters and is made of special white-gray granite studied all over the world for its geological peculiarities. The beaches in this area are of rare beauty. Lapped by crystal clear sea, no wonder they are considered among the most beautiful in the Mediterranean. Besides being a popular tourist resort, this area is an important destination for those who study paleontology, because of the presence of important findings such as the giant fern and the dwarf palm on the “Il Palombaro” rock. Moreover, Capo Vaticano is known for its production of excellent typical products such as the famous red Tropea onion, which has a particularly sweet taste appreciated and sought after nationwide and worldwide. In the hinterland other exquisite products are also produced such as 'Nduja in Spilinga and Mount Poro pecorino cheese.
PIZZO - FROM THE CASTLE TO “MADONNEJA" This charming little coastal town offers its visitors a picturesque center overlooking the sea and reminiscent of Tropea from several points of view. The ancient village of Pizzo houses the fifteenth-century Aragon Castle, inside which Giocchino Murato, King of Naples, was shot. Pizzo is the first resort on the Coast of the Gods and its lookout provide a great view of the Gulf of Lamezia. Of particular interest is the small church of Piedigrotta, which is dug in a large tuff bank by the beach. A visit to Pizzo must necessarily include a stop at Piazza della Repubblica in one of its numerous cafés to enjoy a delicious truffle ice cream.
BRIATICO This wonderful seaside village stands on a plane that stretches to the sea. Briatico is a typical fishing village with very ancient origins. The discovery of archaeological finds dating back to the Copper Age shows that the first human settlements date back to prehistoric times. A few kilometers from the sea, going up along the Fiumara Murria, you can see the remains of old Briatico, which was completely destroyed by the earthquake in 1783. Today the remains of the ancient castle, the Convent of the Dominican Fathers and the church of Santa Maria del Franco are still visible. Along this itinerary, you can also visit the medieval eremitic caves called “Grotte delle Fate”.

On the beach there is the suggestive sighting tower of “Rocchetta”, built in the 13th century. From the waterfront, most of this stretch of coast can be admired in its entire splendor. Leaving the town and continuing on state road 522 towards Tropea you will meet the town of Sant’Irene, where the beautiful island of “Scoglio di Ulisse”, which was a fish pond in Roman times, lies about 100 m from the shore.
SERRA SAN BRUNO

This historic town is located halfway between the Ionian and Tyrrhenian coasts of Calabria and is immersed in a wonderful natural area covered with verdant forests. The origin of Serra San Bruno
is linked to the arrival in this place of Bruno Hartefaust (1030-1101), better known as St. Bruno or Brunone, founder of the Carthusian Order. Here the Saint ordered the construction of the first charterhouse in Italy and dedicated it to St. Stefano del Bosco. The village was then administered by ecclesiastics for centuries and is still today a destination of religious pilgrimage.

The earthquake of 1783 destroyed part of the village, strongly changed its urban planning and also practically razed the charterhouse to the ground. Today the architectural heritage of Serra San Bruno mainly consists of its churches, which were all built following the disastrous earthquake. Built in the late eighteenth century, the Baroque Mother Church dedicated to St. Biagio houses splendid statues and dominates Barillari Square with its high granite façade. The Baroque Saint Mary of the Seven Sorrows Church is also noteworthy for its façade and internal altar from the original charterhouse.

The façade of the Church of Assunta di Terravecchia and that of the homonymous church in the Spinetto district, both Baroque, are also very elegant. However, the main attraction in Serra San Bruno is its Charterhouse, which was founded in the late eleventh century, destroyed by the earthquake and then rebuilt in the 1900s. It still preserves parts of the medieval building and houses the Museum of the Charterhouse, which displays paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries. Not far from the Charterhouse is the Church of S. Maria del Bosco, surrounded by beech, chestnut and white fir trees.
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