are you ready to explore one of Calabrias hightlights? Come along on a tour to “Capo Vaticano“, one of the most famous and most stunning places of the whole region and for me one of the most beautiful places in the world!
Capo Vaticano is the tip of the peninsula that divides the Tyrrhenian Sea into the Gulf of Sant’Eufemia in the North and the Gulf of Gioia Tauro in the South.
It is a place where the rocks really seem to fall into the sea and with its altitude of 120m the lookout point offers a great panoramic view over the Calabrian coast!
To get there you follow a small street that winds through endless fields where the famous “cipolla rossa di Tropea” grows, the red onion of Tropea which is an important part of the Calabrian cuisine. When you reach the lighthouse, the street ends and you just follow a path down to the lookout point.
Once arrived there, go to the very end of the terrace, close to the railing … and let your eyes wander along the horizon … if the weather is fine and the view is clear you can see all the Eolian Islands, the whole Calabrian Coast, the Strait of Messina and even the vulcano “Etna” on the island of Sicily!
When you admired the panorama, you absolutely have to take one more step ahead … and then have a look towards your feet … and from 120m a.s.l. you will discover the lonesome bays with white sandy beaches, a lush vegetation with palms, cactuses, Indian figs and flowers of all types and colors, the crystal see shimmering blue and turquoise – believe me: This is a place you never want to leave!
From the first lookout point, a small path goes along the cliff up to the lighthouse and every meter you go, you will see another small bay, another fantastic beach and you will take another perfect photo!
Did you note play of colors of the sea? It is shimmering in all the different shades of blue and turquoise that exist!
There is an old legend saying that once there was a beautiful woman living in a small village near Capo Vaticano, she was called “Donna Canfora”. She always wore awfully colored robes and her characteristic was a scarf made of silk that had all the shades of blue you can immagine! One day her village has been attacked by the Saracens and as she was the prettiest woman they had ever seen they planned to take her with them. On the day they wanted to leave they brought her on their ship and she had to say goodbye to her family and friends. The ship started to move and instead of accepting her fate she jumped into the water. She disappeared at once … only her scarf was floating on the surface and from this moment the water took the colors from this beautiful scarf! Some old people say that the sound of the waves when they crash into the rocks is the moaning of Donna Canfora who is still crying because she cannot see her beautiful home aymore!
Along the cliffs of Capo Vaticano there are many beaches and some of them can only be reached by boat! Of course it is fantastic to see this region not only from the the lookout point above, but also from the sea! By the way, it is also a paradise for snorkelling and diving!
One of the few beaches you can reach by car is called “Grotticelle” – just follow the signs of the hotel that has the same name and if you go ahead you will reach a large bay with lidos, bars and restaurants. From there you can walk along the beach, climbing over some rocks to reach more solitary beaches or just go by paddleboat or water taxi.
The best way to enjoy everything that this stunning place has to offer is to go there in the morning and to visit first of all the lookout point when it is not that hot yet and the view is clear. Then you spend a fantastic day on the beach in one of the bays between sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling and in the evening you treat yourself with a delicious Italian dinner and a view on the sunset like this:
If you visit Calabria, Capo Vaticano is absolutely a MUST on your itinerary! Preparing this post I was having a look on all my photos of Capo Vaticano – there are already 597 (!!!) of them and everytime I go there I take more and more because it is that fascinating! At this point I would like to thank my friend Markus Barthel who also fell in love with Capo Vaticano and took some of the beautiful photos you can see in this post.
What do you think about Calabrias postcard scene number one? Would you like to visit it yourself?