Places of Calabria
Origins: Legend has it that this picturesque little town was originally founded by Hercules, therefore the port is called a Hercules Port. The name Tropea dates back to the V Century after Christ and suffered for several hundred years under the constant attacks of the Saracens. From the Norman era and on, the independent town of Tropea became the popular nest of noble families who constructed their luscious palaces on the spectacular cliff above the sea. Places of Special Interest: The town has almost completely preserved its 16th century planning. Admire the "Porta Nuova", the opening above the sea of piazza Galluppi with the savage cliff precipitating into the white beach stretching below. At a short distance there is another cliff, on which is erected the sanctuary of Santa Maria dell´Isola. The narrow streets of Tropea, the ancient noble palaces and the whiteness of the beaches below in contrast with the deep blu sea are an extraordinary experience for the senses. Monuments of Tropea: The chapel of Santa Maria dell´Isola, situated right on a cliff above the sea, can be reached by a windling path from the beach. Visit the church and do not miss the garden that offers breath-taking views of the sea from above - also because of its hidden terraces and panoramic benches, perfect for romantics. The Museum of Traditional Trades of Calabria: The various churches, palaces and decorated front doors are free to be discovered in every corner of the town. Just walk around in the shade of the late afternoon and enjoy the lost feeling of ancient history in every stone, the voices of the present being mixed with those of the past and if you´re lucky you´ll discover the special feeling of time never moving that is particularly strong in the enchanted town of Tropea.
A fishing center and holiday resort perched on its rock above the gulf of S. Eufemia. Its origins are believed to be the ancient town of Napitum, however, today the town of Pizzo is famous mostly for its Castle, where Murat was assassinated. In the town you can taste the hand made ice cream tartufo or the black ink-fish pasta dish - "spaghetti al nero di seppia". Worth a visit: the baroque church of S.Giorgio contains a 17th century crucifix in wood, some interesting statues from the XVIth century, among which the works of Gagini - the Madonna with the child and St. Catherine are of particular interest and there si also a St. John the Baptist of Pietro Bernini. The castle, that was built in the late 1400 by Ferdinand of Aragon, became in 1815 the intriguing death scene of Joaquin Murat.
The rocky promontary called Capo Vaticano is part of the Council District of Ricadi in the Province of Vibo Valentia. It is south west of Vibo Valentia, not far from Tropea, a well known touristic resort on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The point is 284 m above sea level on the west flank of Monte Poro, and forms a natural divide between the Gulf of Gioia Tauro and the Gulf Of SantEufemia. According to legends, in ancient times an oracle lived on the point and sailors turned to this person before leaving on a voyage. They went to visit the oracle in the cave which is in the cliff that takes its name from this person: Mantineo (in Greek manteuo) means communicating divine wishes. Today the cape is still basically uncontaminated and is extraordinarily beautiful. There are breathtaking cliffs with wonderful views, marvellous rock formations sculptured by the winds and the waves, isolated coves in many little bays, some of which are only accessible by boat or impassable goat tracks. All of which is surrounded by clear azure skies and transparent seas, immersed in rich uncontaminated Mediterranean flora and fauna which blossoms in the spring into an immense flower garden glowing in a thousand shades of colours and perfumed by hundreds of pure fragrances. The sea around Capo Vaticano is ideal for scuba diving where divers can discover the rich sea bed populations. The underwater flora and fauna is the most numerous and varied in Italy due to the play of currents from the Gulf of Gioia Tauro to the south and SantEufemia to the north.
Legend has it that it was founded by Ulysses who was forced to land here. Certainly rising from the Greek period, today its a notable fishing and swimming village. Our tour includes a visit to the castle of the Ruffo princes, built during the Norman Age in the 11th century, that hosts a famous Art Gallery. The caves of Tremusa or della Lamia are spectacular; a complex of natural caves rich in stalactites, stalagmites and shell fossils of the Pliocene epoch.
Santa Maria di Ricadi
Santa Maria di Ricadi is a little fishers town overtaken by tourism, situated a hundred meters from the sea in one of the most beautiful spots of Capo Vaticano. It is mostly famous for its splendid beach and its quality restaurants where you can tempt your tastebuds with the freshly fished fruits of the sea. Worth a visit the beautiful landscape and the views you can enjoy from above. There is the little church of S. Maria di Loreto (in honour of whom there are religious celebrations on Easter Monday and on the 15th of August there are also folkloristic festivities, sucha as a procession by sea).
Legend has it that Hercules was the one to found this town, at a little distance from Forum Herculis, today Formicoli. According to the historians however Ricadi dates back to the Byzantine era when it was closely connected to the University of Tropea. In 1808, under the reign of Joseph Napoleon, the area became officially a city and had its first mair. Among its fractions (Santa Domenica, Ciaramiti, San Nicolò, Brivadi and Orsigliadi) was introduced Brattirò that became part of the municipality of Drapia. On the low plain of Monte Poro you will find this town that extends itself towards the sea and the beautiful beaches of Capo Vaticano. At the beach of "Formicoli" you can admire a rich fauna and impressive granit rocks, and of course a splendid view of the sea. Worth a visit: at Brivadi you can find the watch tower Marrana, of which there is left a simple wall. This tower received signals from the nearby watch tower of Ruffa and transmitted them to each tower of the coast, before they arrived to their final destination - the castle of Monteleone, today Vibo Valentia.
The town is supposed to have been created by the inhabitants of the ancient Medma of the Magna-Grecia, when they were attacked by the Saracenes and had to construct a stronger town, later fortified by Robert Guiscard. The town name dates back to the first centuries after Christ. It has belonged to the family of Ruffo, who built its castle, the Marzanos and the Di Gennaros . Its fortifications were rebuilt by Roger of Lauria. Of particular archeological interest is the area that stretches from the port until the river mouth of Mesima. Situated at a height of 210 meters above the sea, the town of Nicotera consists in a number of windling streets, alleys and steep curves. There are whole blocks left from the old town, bearing the names of "Baglio" and "Giudecca". Worth a visit in Nicotera: Nicotera is culturally and architectonically the most outstanding town center of the entire coastline. There are two museums, which have been organized with enhtusiasm and skill. The first is the diocesan museum of religious art and the other one is the archeological museum that embraces the whole greek-roman era. The Cathedral from the XIth century, the XVIIIth century castle and the statue of the Madonna della Scala, situated on a point from where you can see the panorama of the whole coast - called Costa Viola.
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