Reggio Di Calabria (ca. 105 km from Tropea) was founded as a Greek colony at the foot of the Aspromonte Mountains and later became a significant center of settlement of the Roman Empire. Stop at the National Museum, which harbors the Riace bronzes, also called the Riace Warriors. Stroll along the promenade "Lungomare Minotti" with its beautiful gardens and its remains from Greek and Roman times. Of course, the town in the very south of Calabria also offers attractive shopping facilities.
On your way to Reggio Di Calabria, do stop at Scilla, a charming Southern Italian fishing village with old houses, palaces, narrow and terraced alleys and lots of atmosphere. Sea monsters are said to have lived there, once upon a time… - nowadays, however, the fishermen specialize above all in catching swordfish.
From the coast at Capo Vaticano it seems only a stone’s throw away: the island of Stromboli, home to the only permanently active volcano in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Using a telephoto, you can even make out the white houses on its slopes.
Day trips to the Lipari (Aeolian) Islands, among which you count Vulcano, Lipari and Stromboli, can be booked from Tropea. With a bit of luck you 'meet' dolphins on your way there.
If you don not mind a longer tour, why not visit Taormina on the island of Sicily? Buildings rich in history, dreamy alleys and a fascinating location on the slopes of Monte Tauro characterize the town. In the background, Mount Etna rises above this picturesque, colourful, lush landscape.
You should not miss out on an excursion to the Aspromonte National Park. The cultural peculiarities of the mountain range include the „Greek villages“, where ancient heritage can still be felt today. Well into the 19th century, the inhabitants of the remote mountain villages of the southern Aspromonte spoke mainly Greek. Nowadays, they reflect their heritage, they maintain cultural exchange with Greece and are proud of their unique identity. Gallicianò, located at an altitude of 621 m on the western side of the Fiumara Amendolea, is probably Italy's 'most Greek' village. At the church of S. Giovanni Battista, the center of the small village, mass is still celebrated according to orthodox rites.
In the southeast of Calabria lies the area of the Serre, a mountain range covered by dense beech and oak tree forests and with its highest peak, Monte Pecoraro, rising up to over 1,400 meters. Capo Vaticano forms the westernmost tail of the Serre. Following scenic SS 110 you can reach the Serre from the Tyrrhenian side as quickly as from the Ionian side.
At the end of the 11th century, Saint Bruno of Cologne erected the first charterhouse on Italian soil in the solitude of the woods on the Serre. It was also during his lifetime that the two neighboring monasteries of S. Maria del Bosco and S. Stefano were erected. After Bruno had died, only Certosa S. Stefano remained. Completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1783, the monastery was rebuilt in Neo-Gothic style in the mid 19th century. Unfortunately, visits to the monastery of Serra San Bruno are not possible; the monks there live in strict seclusion. The museum, however, provides a comprehensive insight into the monks' way of living.
The eastern part of the Serre and the Ionian coastal area are called Locride. There lies, in fantastic panoramic location, gorgeously 'renovated' Gerace, where you can stroll through one of Southern Italy's most beautiful Old Towns. Its magnificent cathedral was built under Norman rule, the town's period of prosperity. When the railroad was built at the end of the 19th century, the new district of Gerace Marina, now called Locri, developed in the coastal plain.
Three kilometers south of modern Locri, the excavations of Lokroi Epizephyrioi provide insight into the ancient world. Originally founded around 700 BC at Zephirion Acron, today's Capo Bruzzano, the settlement was moved to more fertile farmland 20 km further to the north some years later.
What seems strange is the history of the town's origins. According to Aristotle, female members of the Greek aristocracy took their male slaves and left their homeland of Locris by ship, because their husbands had spent more time at war than at home with their families. In general, everyday life and religion at Lokroi were dominated in an extraordinary way by women. The maternal order of succession was valid for aristocracy and the goddesses Aphrodite, Demeter and Persephone were accorded an especially high degree of worship. Today, you can admire the comprehensive archaeological finds at the Museo Nazionale Archeologico.