Tropea, the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea

Located on a cliff emerging from the sea, joined to the land for over two centuries, right in front of the enchanting balcony, stands the small church of  S. Maria dell'Isola , almost the tourist emblem of  Tropea . Known for having been a Benedictine sanctuary of late medieval origin, transformed into a Latin basilica with a longitudinal development with three naves in the Renaissance period, it has undergone many tampering, restorations and renovations. The facade was rebuilt after the 1905 earthquake. Inside, an  eighteenth-century nativity scene and some fragments of fourteenth-century tombstones , including a recumbent figure presumably by the Master of Miletus.

Tropea stands on a promontory between the Gulf of Gioia Tauro and that of S. Eufemia . Around its origins, certainly remote, various legends are told. The continuity of the settlement in the territory and the importance it already had in  Roman times is certain, as evidenced by the numerous remains of Greek and Roman buildings . Occupied by the Saracens, the Normans and then by the Aragonese, it was declared under the latter a city of royal property. From the eighth century it was also an episcopal seat.

Its territory is rich in archaeological finds : a pre-Hellenic necropolis with various sepulchral furnishings was found in the hinterland. At the current cemetery there is an Iron Age necropolis with tombs equipped with grave goods of various sizes; in the locality of Torre Lunga there is an early Christian catacomb and  in the hamlet of Caria there are the remains of prehistoric settlements  and interesting vestiges of the feudal castle.

  The historical centre 

it is a succession of very pleasant views, narrow streets and small squares overlooked by beautiful 17th-18th century buildings, with large courtyards and valuable portals, testifying to the presence of a wealthy noble class (see Palazzo Toraldo, Tocco, Galluppi historic palace the philosopher Pasquale Galluppi was born there); and balcony from which to admire a beautiful panorama, the city rising on a cliff overlooking the sea.

The Cathedral ,

located in Largo Duomo, of Norman origin, remodeled several times and partially returned to its ancient forms by the restorations of 1926 -1929, it has an interior with three naves with octagonal stone pillars and semicircular apses with Gothic arches; it preserves a 15th century marble ciborium, a Renaissance funerary moment, a marble statue carved in the round and with whole figures of the Madonna del Popolo with children and little angels, dated 1555; a large black crucifix, a full-relief wooden sculpture probably from the 15th century, a precious icon of the Late Byzantine style (probably 12th century) of Our Lady of Romania.

A beautifully shaped 14th-century portico connects the Church to the Bishop's Palace, which houses the Cathedral's treasure (including a precious 14th-century bishop's pedestal and a bronze statue prior to 1000). The Church of S. Francesco, with a single nave, preserves a beautiful marble altar and at the end of the nave, the fourteenth-century Gothic chapel of San Pietro ad Ripas. The Church of the Annunziata, rebuilt in the first half of the 16th century, has a beautiful coffered wooden ceiling. A beautiful wooden ceiling from the 16th century and an icon from the 1400s can be found in the Church of S. Maria della Neve or del Carmine.


Hotel Grotticelle and Esmeraldo Residence are located in Capo Vaticano, a town a few km from the enchanting pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Tropea in Calabria.

Thanks to its diversified offer, it offers holidays for everyone and for every need.

Ideal for families, lovers of relaxation, but also for couples and groups of friends, choosing our structure also means discovering the natural beauties, traditions and Calabrian food and wine.


Hotel Grotticelle  Esmeraldo Residence
C.da Grotticelle snc - 89866 Capo Vaticano, Ricadi (VV)

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