Getty Images


Tropea, a puzzle of lanes and piazzas, is famed for its beauty, dramatic cliff's-edge site and spectacular sunsets. It sits on the Promontorio di Tropea, which stretches from Nicotera in the south to Pizzo in the north. The coast alternates between dramatic cliffs and icing sugar–soft sandy beaches, all edged by translucent sea. Unsurprisingly, hordes of Italian holidaymakers descend here in summer. If you hear English being spoken, it is probably from Americans visiting relatives: enormous numbers left to forge better lives in America in the early 20th century.

Despite the legend that Hercules founded the town, it seems this area has been settled as far back as Neolithic times. Tropea has been occupied by the Arabs, Normans, Swabians, Anjous and Aragonese, as well as being attacked by Turkish pirates. Perhaps they were all after the town's famous red onions, so sweet they can be turned into marmalade?

Explore Tropea

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Tropea.


Learn more about Tropea

Uncover the heart of travel and be inspired to see new sights with one of Lonely Planet’s in-depth, award-winning guidebooks.