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A night in Tropea, Calabria

Though we were very keen to kick off our Sicilian adventure, we had been told by fellow motor homers en route that a detour to visit the delightful town of Tropea in Calabria was well worth it. It was a longer detour than we expected as we had to come off the motorway quite a way before the town and the roads were pretty poor driving down the top of the foot of Italy, but they were right; Tropea is a stunning spot and if the weather conditions are favourable, probably one of the finest places imaginable for a swim with the thousands of tiny colourful fish that frequent the waters.

The town itself is set high up on top of the cliffs and a steep flight of steps from the beach will take you there and well worth the climb as once you reach Piazza del Cannone, the views back to the sea and Stromboli volcano are stunning.

The buzz in the air as the town comes to life in the late afternoon and evening is infectious. It felt balmy and exotic even though it was getting towards the end of the season when we were there in mid October. A delightful spot to enjoy a stroll, gelato or aperitivo as you soak up the ambience and explore the quaint streets lined with ancient houses and beautiful arches and doorways. This historic town was awarded the coverted Borgho dei Borghi in 2021 for its outstanding beauty and it is well deserved. Shops everywhere are decorated with strings of the famous Calabrian red onion, or cipolla rossa di Tropea, revered by chefs as they are amongst the most delicious and sweet onions anywhere in the world. The streets are lined with pretty restaurants with mouthwatering menus, showcasing some of the area's freshest seafood.

While you are here, it is also well worth climbing up to the Santuario di Santa Maria dell'Isola, a Byzantine-style monastery from the Middle Ages which is set atop a steep, rocky outcrop with stunning views out to sea. Check opening times if you want to go inside as you might find the gates are closed at the top! It is also the most picture perfect setting for the frequent wedding ceromonies that are held here.

We saw many options for private boat trips around this stunning coastline and over to the Aeolian Islands including night trips to Stromboli to see the volcano putting on its evening firework display. Sadly we only had one night or we would have definitely explored a bit more.

We stayed in a motorhome park we found on Park4Night, right by the sea and very close to the steps to town. The owners were friendly and we paid 21 euros in October 23 which was on a par with the prices we were generally paying for sostasin Italy. This included electricity and there were also toilets and showers operating on tokens on site. Given the amazing location, this site definitely delivered on value for money even if the vans are a bit close together. Highly recommended.

So if you have a day or longer to spare whilst down in this southern tip of the mainland, be sure not to miss Tropea from your itinerary.

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