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Tropea: the most beautiful village in Italy in 2021

Every year, the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy and the state TV station, RAI, hold the contest to choose the most beautiful village in the country. This year, the winner was Tropea, in Calabria.

Tropea (Source Pixabay)
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Tropea: the most beautiful village in Italy in 2021

The Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy and the state TV station, RAI, choose 20 villages every year – one from each region – to participate in the contest that, through voting, chooses the most beautiful of all and, this year, it was a small Calabrian village that won the contest: we are talking about the fantastic Tropea . Shall we learn more? Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams !!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”


Video about Tropea by Drone

(Source: Epic Life Flashes)


Know a little about the Project “The most beautiful villages in Italy”

The Borghi Più Belli D’Italia project (the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy) was born in 2001 through the National Association of Italian Municipalities, ANCI (Associazione Nacionale Comuni Italiani). Its objective is to value the heritage of history, art, culture, environment and traditions present in small Italian cities that are mostly neglected by the flow of visitors and tourists. With hundreds of villages scattered across Italy, many of them were almost abandoned and, due to their historical value, it would be a real perversity to let them ‘die’.The initiative worked and gave a breath of perspective to cities that today are considered to be true Italian jewels. The contest for popular choice of the most beautiful village is held by RAI and, every year, gathers 20 finalists, one city per region. Read also: What are the 5 most beautiful villages in Italy in 2021?

The geographical design of Tropea immediately draws attention. The city was built on a huge rock that presents itself as a splendid natural terrace that offers us an impeccable panorama of the sea. The city is divided into two parts: the upper part, called Superiore, where the historic center of the city is; and the part called Inferiore, which is almost entirely dominated by Marina. The winning village of 2021 was the charming Tropea , located in the province of Vibo Valentia, in Calabria, and that is where we are going today.

The winning village of 2021

The winning village of 2021 was the charming Tropea, located in the province of Vibo Valentia, in Calabria, and that is where we are going today.

A little more about Tropea …

Tropea is the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea and reminds us of 500 years BEFORE the birth of Rome. Its original name was Portercole and has a mythological origin. Legend has it that the founder of the city was Hercules, probably during his explorations in search of the Golden Fleece with the Argonauts. Over the centuries, the city played an important role both in Roman times and under the Normans and Aragonese, all because of its privileged position. It currently has about 6,400 inhabitants and is a popular destination for European tourists during the summer.

Attractions in Tropea

It is evident that we will start our tour through the heart of Tropea: its historic center. The city is a genuine labyrinth of alleys that reach divine squares, most of them with a view of the sea.

The Toraldo Palace

In the historic center of the city, there are several noble palaces with balconies from the 18th century and, among them, it is worth noting the Toraldo Palace , built at the end of the 19th century. Inside, an incredible private library houses ancient documents from the history of Tropea. Leaving there, going to Ercole Square, you can see a beautiful monument dedicated to the philosopher Galluppi. If you want to be busy during the summer and are staying in Tropea, here is where the nightlife boils! If you are not a fan of hustle and bustle, I suggest you stay a little further away from the historic center.

The Belvederes

Other must-see places there are the belvederes! The cinematic landscape are impressive from all of them, and they will make you fall in love! It is not difficult to find them; walking through the streets of the historic center , you will find several of them. However, five deserve special mention: the Raf Vallone o dei Sospiri, which is the most beautiful in the city, the Largo Duomo, which is behind the Cathedral, Largo Galluppi, the Belvedere Piazza del Cannone and the belvedere Rico Ripa, which is a bit ‘camouflaged’ and is located between two buildings in Largo Migliarese.


Map 01 – Belvederes in Tropea

Tropea: the most beautiful village in Italy in 2021
Source: Google Maps


The Cathedral of Tropea

From there, we proceed to the Cathedral of Tropea. The Norman co-cathedral dates from the 12th century. It was built in an old Byzantine cemetery and rebuilt a few times, over the years, due to the various earthquakes and some fires that affected it. It is worth mentioning its main altar, where the Icon of Our Lady of Romania, patron saint of the city, is housed. Inside the Cathedral, you can also see two flat bombs hanging on the walls of the nave. These devices are from World War II and were placed there as a perennial testimony to the protection of Our Lady of Romania.

The Church of Saint Mary

From the upper city, go down to the lower city to visit the symbol of Tropea: the Church of Saint Mary. This magnificent place ‘rises’ on a rock and is called ‘island’, or ‘beautiful island’. It was built by Benedictine monks, in medieval style, and rebuilt several times due to several earthquakes that hit the region. Nowadays, it is a Latin basilica completed in the Renaissance period. To get there, all you have to do is climb a staircase – which is quite steep, but it is very worthwhile – and, once at the top: I leave the surprise for the moment you are there! The church has three naves and the staircase we mentioned earlier was carved into the rock, being completed in the 19th century.On the island, there is also a private garden with a beautiful panoramic terrace. A golden tip? Visit the place close to the sunset time: it is to leave anyone jaw-dropped with such beauty!

The Museum of the Sea

Be sure to visit the Museum of the Sea, at Largo Ruffa. The Civic Museum of the Sea is inside the Santa Chiara Palace, and was opened to the public in 2019. It has two main wings: marine paleontology and marine biology. It’s beautiful!


Map 02 – The Historic Center of Tropea 

Tropea: the most beautiful village in Italy in 2021
Source: Google Maps


The best beaches in Tropea!

It is impossible to talk about Tropea and not to mention the splendid beaches present there. I present to you, the best beaches in Tropea! Among the best beaches are the following:

Cannone Beach

It is the most empty and is close to the rock of San Leonardo; a delight!

Rotonda Beach

It is the most beautiful beach in Tropea and, of course, the most popular. Ideal for those who love diving and, there, it is easy to find places that rent diving equipment for sports enthusiasts.

Tropea ‘A Linguata’ Beach

One of the free beaches in the city; this is one of the most popular beaches in Tropea and, therefore, it is better to arrive early.

Convent Beach

Not suitable for families with children, as the waters here are deeper and can be rougher- depending on the climate.

Passo Cavalieri Beach

Surrounded by magnificent nature, it is ideal for those who want contact with nature in its most immersive form.

Blue Grotto

One of the most famous places in Tropea. The Grotto received its name because of the sun’s rays that enter through the cracks and illuminate the entire grotto with a fascinating blue tone.

Cave of the Palombaro

It is a small and intimate beach and can only be accessed by boat; it is worthwhile if you want to take a different tour, and some boats travel all the Costa degli Dei (Coast of the Gods) for four hours, making some strategic stops at the most beautiful beaches in the region.

Good to know

  • Most of the beaches in Italy ARE FOR PAYMENT! Finding free beaches in Tropea, especially in high season, is very complicated, so, I give you a tip: if you want to spend the day at the beach and don’t want to pay to have access to it, wake up early, because the free beaches get crowded quickly, ok?
  • If you are staying in the upper city, no problem! T he beaches are about a 10 or 15 minute walk and there is easy access from everywhere in the city.


How to get to Tropea?


1) How to get to Tropea? BY PLANE

You have three airport options; also check which is the best option for you: Lamezia Terme Airport , Reggio Calabria Airport and Crotone Airport.

Also read our posts about Airports in Italy:

2) How to get to Tropea? BY TRAIN

You can find trains that arrive in Calabria leaving from Milan, Piacenza, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples and Salerno. Check the best stop for your need – follow the list of Calabrian stations: Praia a Mare, Scalea, Diamante, Paola, Amantea, Lamezia Terme, Vibo Marina, Tropea, Ricadi – Capo Vaticano, Nicotera, Rosarno, Gioia Tauro, Bagnara and Villa S. Giovanni.

Also find out ” What is the difference between trains in Italy?”. Would you like to save? So buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot, read the Post “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?“.

3) How to get to Tropea? BY CAR

Take the A2 highway from the Mediterranean and take the A3 SALERNO – REGGIO CALABRIA exit. If you are coming from the Ionian side, you can use the SS 106 Jonica / E-90 and follow the directions.

Traveling by car in Italy

How about if I give you a rental car option? Are you ready for it? If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.

Don’t know where to rent the car?

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Remember that:

I am the only qualified English guide in Calabria! If you want to get to know a unique and authentic Calabria, talk to me! I also invite you to visit our website dedicated 100% to Calabria, Your Travel To Calabria ! Tips, information, itineraries and much more for those who want to visit one of the most beautiful regions of southern Italy!

After this brief tour of Tropea, below, I leave the list with the 20 most beautiful villages in Italy by final position:

  1. Tropea (Calabria)
  2. Baunei (Sardinia)
  3. Gerace Siculo (Sicily)
  4. Albori (Campania)
  5. Grottamare (Marche)
  6. Campli (Abruzzo)
  7.  Malcesine (Veneto)
  8. Pietramontecorvino (Apulia)
  9. Corciano (Umbria)
  10. Cocconato (Piedmont)
  11. Finalborgo (Liguria)
  12. Valsinni (Basilicata)
  13. Trivento (Molise)
  14. Poffabro (Friuli Venezia Giulia)
  15. San Giovanni in Marignano (Emilia)
  16. Buonconvento (Tuscany)
  17.  Borgo Valsugana (Trentino Alto Adige)
  18. Issime (Aosta Valley)
  19. Pomponesco (Lombardy)
  20. Pico (Lazio)

Watch this video and learn: Discovering Calabria with Ana Patricia: tour in Cosenza

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Conclusion

Tropea: the most beautiful village in Italy in 2021. Tropea does not disappoint! The type of city that enchants us and, if it is not love at first sight, be sure that, little by little, Tropea will win over your heart.

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