In the Italian region of Calabria, the toe part of Italy’s boot shaped peninsula (lo stilvae), lo and behold Santa Maria dell’Isola. Welcome to this week’s destination.
Built upon the top of a rocky cliff, the Santa Maria dell’Isola Monastery is a stunning Italian medieval church in Tropea, Italy. To reach the monastery, you will find yourself climbing a flight of stairs, however the view of the Tyrrhenian Sea is worth the increased heart rate.
Originally located on an island and suspected to be founded by Hercules, the Santa Maria dell’Isola Monastery was built in the 4th century. Since then, it has been subjected to many earthquakes and has undertaken many renovations. Geographically, over time the build up of silt connected the former island to the main land.
The exterior of the church has dark lines which is a great contrast to the pale block colour of the church. Many pilgrims flock to the monastery yearly, as inside you can see an old organ, original stone walls and an altar. Besides the beautiful church, located behind is a well kept garden with a panoramic terrace – this cannot be missed!
How to get to Santa Maria dell’Isola Monastery:
The easiest way get to Santa Maria dell’Isola Monastery is from Tropea, Italy – the town in which it is located. This town is located in province of Vibo Valentia and 2 hours away from Carpanzano – we suggest travelling to this town by car. Once in Tropea, you will not miss the monastery set high upon the high rocks. Walk towards the church where you will find stairs (MANY OF THEM) carved into the rocks which will lead you up to the church.
To enter the monastery there is no fee and the medieval church is open to all. Opening times vary depending on the season, thus we services you are not allowed to visit. Access to the gardens and panoramic terrace costs € 2.00 and you will have to make sure you enter at least an hour before closing time to guarantee entrance.
After you visit the church and town, take some time to relax on of the stunning beaches of Tropea. This would be the perfect day trip if you were to find yourself on the Amalfi coast – however we would suggest spending a few days in Tropea as there is so much to see! You definitely need to try the Red Onions of Tropea, while enjoying all the mini-cruises on offer.
Link to the official Santa Maria Dell`Isola monstery: http://www.santuariosantamariadellisolatropea.it/it/
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