Zambrone & Tropea

A little review. Both towns sit on the coast (believe it's called the Zambrone coast) in Calabria and are geared towards the summer beach crowds and are visited mainly by Italians and Germans. Apparently not many English speaking tourists make it through here.
It's winter but even in summer you can tell Zambrone wouldn't be much. Very few hotels and restaurants and no attractions other than the beach which is ok but full of trash. Tropea on the other hand is a nice little town. Even right now with alot of places closed it was a pleasure to visit. A small typical Italian town with narrow lanes and great cliffside views at the end of town. People were very friendly and prices (for the places that were open) very reasonable. I would'nt recommend going out of your way to visit but if in the area it's worth a look. Things to look for in Tropea: Red sweet onions, Viagra Calabrese (pepperconcino and all the typical products made from it) and what I call "big nose guy" which is a charm that wards off the evil eye and brings good luck.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17718 posts

Ron, Thanks for the information! It's great having people "on the ground" in Italy to provide tips like this. Perhaps Tropea especiallly will be another "back door" discovery? Is that area served by rail or bus? Cheers!

Posted by RB
Coraopolis, Pa, USA
602 posts

The small towns around Tropea such as Pizzo have been discovered and a lot of apartments/condos are under construction. Because of the strong English pound against the euro many English people are buying summer places in this area. Another reason is the international airport at Lamezia Terme and the 4 hour flying time from England. Both factors make this an attractive zone for a getaway weekend. The Germans also like the area because of the prices and the climate. During the summer there are direct flights from Toronto to Lamezia Terme because of the large number of Calabrese that have immigrated to Canada. I do not know if there is bus transportation to Tropea from the airport, but they have a number of car rental agencies just outside the terminal. If you base in Tropea two places to make a day trip would be the Museo dello Stato in Reggio Calabria, which houses the Riacci Warriors and Le Castelle close to Capo Rizzutto. Le Castelle is a 10th century restored Norman castle, which sets on a small island in the bay connected by a narrow walkway. My family comes from Nicastro and Sambiase, which are located about 60 minutes north of Tropea and 15 minutes from the airport. We generally spend 1 week there every summer. The airport is modern and looks like a huge red pipe. Calabria is way off of the tourist track and very pristine. We probably would not go there if I did not still have family there. As a matter of reference, 10 minutes north of Sambiase is a place called Falerna Marina located right on the beach. My favorite pizzeria in the whole wide world is there and it is called "Gambero Rosso.' It means the red shrimp. We eat there at least once per visit. Buon viaggio,

Posted by Ron
Cesena, Italy
755 posts

Yes there is a rail line going through the area. Not sure about buses.
We did notice a few small hotels being built but very small, like 25/30 room places and mostly in Zambrone. Most of the work we saw in Tropea was restoration on the monastary outside of town and a couple of palazzo's.