Walk up to the Monastery of Santa Maria dell’Isola in Tropea, Italy
Are you up for a secret getaway? Like literally, a secret getaway. Then pack your bags and head to Tropea, Italy. Get a good view of this 12th century Norman cathedral Franciscan monastery. This place is a best kept secret of Italians where they all go to for vacations. (Apologies to the Italians for sharing it with the world!)
Not a lot of travellers know about this place yet. Not only do you get the scenic view of the castle but you can also enjoy an afternoon dip in its warm, turquoise clear water. How can you resist a dramatic coastal cliff view while you’re sunbathing?
The history of Tropea begins in Roman times. Legend says that it was Hercules ho, returning from Spain (Pillars of Hercules) stood on the Coast of the Gods and made Tropea one of his ports. Today it is considered the pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Please remember that the Church on top of the cliff is worth the climb, visiting and enjoy the breathtaking view. The rock on which the church stands today was probably inhabited around the 7th century by Greek hermit monks. These, isolating themselves from the world, devoted themselves to a contemplative and ascetic life. Built before the 9th century, the church belonged, at first, to the Basilian monks. In the 11th century, after the arrival of the Normans, it was passed on to the Benedictines, who still own it today.
In the cathedral there is a picture of Virgin Mary of Romania, of Byzantine origin, dating from around 1330.
Over the centuries, due to the violent earthquakes from 1783 and 1905, the complex has undergone various restorations and renovations, little of the original structure of the sanctuary being preserved until today.
The staircase that runs to the top was built around 1810. The current facade of the church was built after the earthquake of 1905. The last restoration took place in 2010-2011.
This super place on earth would make a good choice for a wonderful vacation in Europe!
Take care and stay safe!