Southwest of Pizzo, TROPEA is the prettiest town on the southern Tyrrhenian coast, built right on the edge of steep cliffs, towering high over its beach. It is also (after Maratea in Basilicata) the most fashionable, with a certain seaside charm, though this can wear pretty thin with the summer tourist influx.

There are numerous beaches below the town, all within walking distance, and the old centre has plenty of character – see particularly the lovely Norman cathedral at the bottom of Via Roma, whose interior harbours a couple of unexploded American bombs from the last war (one accompanied by a grateful prayer to the Madonna), a Renaissance ciborium and a statue of the Madonna and Child from the same period. Opposite, the Museo Diocesano (daily: April, May, Sept & Oct 9.30am–12.30pm & 5–8pm; June 9.30am–12.30pm & 7–10pm; July & Aug 10am–1pm & 7pm–midnight; t349 787 6408) displays archeological items as well as paintings and silverware.

The views from the upper town over the sea and the church of Santa Maria dell’Isola on its rock (closed for restoration) are superb, and on a clear day you can see the cone of Stromboli, and sometimes other Aeolian islands looming on the horizon.

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