In Calabria: 24 hrs in Tropea

In the passage from Puglia to Sicily we paused our travels for literally 24 hours in the Calabrian village of Tropea.  Should you be looking for a restful, transitional stop in the deep South of Italy, then Tropea is the place.  “Trapeia” was the ancient Greek name given to the town, translated into “trophy” – what Hercules thought he had found as he traveled from Spain through the Gulf of Saint Euphemia and then on to the Mediterranean.   The town is not so big, my suggested 24 hour visit would be as follows:

*Entire  morning spent soaking in the sun and bathing into the crystal clear, azure Mediterranean waters Tropea is known for until you feel you have officially become a lizard…

*For lunch, enjoy a nourishing feast of “pesce spada grigliato con limone e prezzemolo fresco” {grilled swordfish with lemon and fresh parsley} with a side of the renowned and coveted “cipolla rossa di Tropea” {red onion from Tropea}.  It is a deep purple onion, very sweet, generally served in “agrodolce” {sweet and sour} blends.

*In the afternoon, why not venture out for the independent discovery of La Cattedrale Normanna, Il Monastero dei Francescani, Il Monastero di Santa Maria dell’Isola? There is a beautiful and powerful legend that explains the role and significance of the Virgin Mary of Romania, Patron Saint of Tropea.  It is of Byzantine origins and dates back to the 1300s.  Legend says that a ship reached Tropea during a storm  from the East Byzantine.  When the storm passed, the ship would not set sail….that same night, the Archbishop of Tropea dreamed the Virgin Mary – she spoke to him and asked to stay in Tropea to protect the village and its citizens.  The dream reoccurred for a number of  days  until the Archbishop and City Officials together took the painting of the Virgin Mary from the ship, which finally departed and the painting remained inside the Cathedral {where it can still be found today}.  Through the centuries, the Virgin Mary has protected Tropea and its citizens from a number of tragic and devastating earthquakes that crossed the region but left Tropea  untouched, intact, testifying the miraculous nature of the Madonna.

*In the evening, if  you feel brave enough, you may enjoy some of the local antipasti made with nduja, traditional calabrese spread made with red chili peppers – generally spicy – with local calabrese vini e formaggi and if you are open to new alternatives, why not have a taste of “gelato alla cipolla  di Tropea?” {ice cream made with Tropea’s red onions}.

Mare/Sea in Tropea, Calabria   {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}
Mare/Sea in Tropea, Calabria {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}
Mare/Sea of Tropea, Calabria  {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}
Mare/Sea of Tropea, Calabria {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}
Pesce spada grigliato a Tropea, Calabria.....Grilled Swordfish in Tropea, Calabria  {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}
Pesce spada grigliato a Tropea, Calabria…..Grilled Swordfish in Tropea, Calabria {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}
A walk in Tropea, Calabria .... {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}
A walk in Tropea, Calabria …. {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}
Vicoli/Alleys in Tropea, Calabria  {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}
Vicoli/Alleys in Tropea, Calabria {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}
Peperoncini rossi/Nduja -- Red Chili Peppers/Nduja in Tropea, Calabria  {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}
Peperoncini rossi/Nduja — Red Chili Peppers/Nduja in Tropea, Calabria {Copyright Francesca Mignosa}

 

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