Tropea, number one village in Italy

Tropea, number one village in Italy

May 09, 2021Donatella Mulvoni
This year this enchanting town was named "Borgo dei Borghi," the Village of the Villages

The pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea

Its name is Tropea, but everyone in Italy knows her as "the pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea." This nickname couldn't explain better the beauty of this village in Calabria region. This year Tropea was named "Borgo dei Borghi", the Village of the Villages, the most beautiful village in Italy for its "heady combination of sea, sun, art, culture, architecture, gastronomy and hospitality." There are so many reasons why Tropea was named the most beautiful village in Italy in a competition with 19 other historic towns across Italy. Right after came Baunei (Sardinia) and Geraci Siculo (Sicily). There is no surprise for those who know Tropea, its fantastic cliff-side position, which affords spectacular views of the coast from many of its ancient alleys, and the transparent sea. 

Calabria, a region you should discovered better

If everyone knows Tropea in Europa, this beautiful pearl is not really well known in the United States. Calabria also is a region to be discovered. We always think about CampaniaNaplesFlorenceRome, but this Italian region has a lot to say about our country, it has a lot to offer when we talk about landscape, history and culinary tradition. The climate, typically Mediterranean, ensures mild temperatures for most of the year. The symbol of Tropea is the large rock where the 11th-century Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell'Isola stands. To reach it, you have to climb a staircase carved into the rock. The town is divided into two parts: the upper part, where you will find most of the population, and a lower portion (called "Marina"), located close to the sea and the Port of Tropea. Legend recounts that Hercules founded the town after returning from his labors at the Pillars of Hercules, today's Strait of Gibraltar. The main square is named Piazza Ercole, to remember its hero. But Tropea is full of history; think just about the ancient Greek tombs and a Roman port in the area. 

Food in Tropea

The culinary tradition in Tropea is very spicy like the Calabrian cuisine is in general. They love spicy food, and their "peperoncino" is difficult to find elsewhere. We can say that Calabrian cuisine is considered "poor" and "simple," made with few ingredients and intense flavors. In particular, Tropea is home to the famous "Tropea red onion", the ingredient that gives the first flavor to almost every Calabrian dish. Compared to the one we know, it is sweeter than the average and less harsh. You can use it for season salads, pastas, sauces, meats. Cipolla Rossa di Tropea is a family of three types: "cipollotto," which is sweet and soft, "cipolla fresca," more red and harvested in April, and "cipolla da serbo," preserved onion.

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