PWk: Prod, Tlk: GS2, Datacash: Live
Tropea is a colourful seaside resort situated in the region of Calabria. It’s home to some of the region’s finest beaches, with a dramatic cliff-side location gazing out across the Tyrrhenian Sea, and clear water that wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean. Its most famous stretch of coast is the impressive Coast of the Gods, with a breathtaking beauty that more than lives up to its name. The town itself is a real charmer, with fabulous views and plenty of little gelaterie and restaurants to stop at as you explore. Don’t miss the Santa Maria dell’Isola monastery, up on a rocky promontory overlooking the beach. The historic centre of Tropea is well worth a wander, too; filled with terracotta-topped buildings, winding little lanes and pastel-coloured palazzi, as well as a notable Duomo.
The town of Tropea unwinds from the centro storico. Start at the middle piazza, and follow the streets as they thread past hole-in-the-wall trattorie. Sip a glass of local red on a sea-view terrace or top a cone with homemade gelato.
There are some architectural gems, too. The Norman cathedral hides a Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mary. Or you could zigzag down to the coast road, where you can peer up at the thousand-year-old sandstone sanctuary on Santa Maria Island.
This is also where the sandy coastline kick-starts. Head for Mare Piccolo if you like your beaches with neck-craning views of the old town. Mare Grande has more elbow room for sunloungers and restaurants. Alternatively, book a boat trip from Tropea Port. Tour the volcanic Aeolian Islands or hop on the ferry that drops you off at smoking Stromboli.