#Insider Tip {Calabria} – A small church with a breathtaking view!


Hi there, buongiorno a tutti!

As you maybe know, I am staying in Calabria since 2007 and since the first time I visited the city of Tropea I took thousands of photos of this little church on a small peninsula directly in front of the storic city center:
Wie ihr sicher wisst, bin ich seit 2007 in Kalabrien und seitdem ich das erste Mal in Tropea war, habe ich sicher tausende Fotos von dieser kleinen Kirche auf einer Art Halbinsel direkt vor der Altstadt gemacht:


It is called “Santa Maria dell’Isola” and it is not only one of my favorite spots for taking photos, but I think it is one of the most photographed subject in Calabria! Especially when the weather is good and you can see the vulcano Stromboli behind the church, it is just an amazing view!
Diese kleine Wallfahrtskirche heißt “Santa Maria dell’Isola” und sie ist nicht nur eines meiner persönlichen Lieblingsmotive, sondern ich denke es ist eines der am meisten fotografierten Motive in ganz Kalabrien! Besonders schön ist der Anblick bei guter Sicht, wenn man im Hintergrund den Vulkan Stromboli sieht!


Why I called this post “Insider Tipp” even if this is one of the most famous spots of the whole region?! Because my tip is not the view on the church from the city center but the inside of the church and the beautiful garden behind it! Since 2007 the small peninsula had been closed as there was the risk that it could crash because the sea is “working” on the soft sandstone and  there are a lot of grottos in it. Now finally the municipality found a solution and the totally restored church can be visited – after 7 years enoying only the view I finally could explore the church and the view “the other way around”!
Warum dieser Post “Insider Tipp” heißt, wenn es sich um eine der bekanntesten Sehenswürdigkeiten der Region handelt?! Ganz einfach: Mein Tipp ist nicht (nur) der Blick auf die Kirche von der Altstadt aus, sondern ein Besuch im Inneren der Kirche und ein Spaziergang durch den botanischen Garten dahinter! Seit 2007 war die kleine Halbinsel und damit auch die Kirche für Besucher gesperrt, das es ein Einsturzrisiko gab (der Sandstein auf dem die Kirche steht war durch das Meer und die salzige Luft porös geworden) – in den letzten Jahre hat die Gemeinde endlich eine Lösund für dieses Problem gefunden und nun kann die liebevoll restaurierte Kirche besucht und aus der Nähe betaunt werden! Und ich? Nach 7 Jahren kann ich endlich diese kleine Halbinsel erkunden und den Blick von der anderen Seite genießen!


From the city center of Tropea you can reach it just walking down the steps from “Piazza Canone” which is a square with a fantastic view on the church. Of course you can also go by car following the signs that lead you to the harbor and then following the seafront.
Von der Altstadt Tropeas kann man entweder die Stufen am Kanonenplatz (“Piazza Canone”) hinuntergehen oder einfach mit dem Auto der Beschilderung “Hafen/Porto” und dann der Strandpromenade folgen.


The church has its roots in the medieval times (around 1100) when the rock on which it has been built was still an island bathes by the sea. It became a Basilian convent and thanks to the monks this amazing botanical garden can be found behind the church! Yes, there are some stairs to do to reach the church and during the hot summer time it could be a little tiring, but the view from there is absolutely worth any single step!
Die Kirche wurde im Mittelalter um das 11. Jahrhundert gebaut, als der Fels auf dem sie steht noch eine Insel und komplett vom Meer umspült war. Sie wurde zu einem Basilianer-Kloster und es waren genau diese Mönche, die den botanischen Garten hiner der Kirche anlegten! Ja, es sind einige Stufen zu bewältigen um dieses Kleinod zu besichtigen und im heißen Sommer kann das recht anstrengend sein – aber der Blick auf das Meer und die Altstadt sind jede einzelne Stufe wert!


Breathtaking, isn’t it?! During a small walk through the garden you can relax on one of the benches under the trees and enjoy the view to the sea and the fantastic beaches of Tropea with their cristal clear turquoise water!
Atemberaubend, oder?! Bei einem Spaziergang durch den Klostergarten kann man sich auf einer der Bänke unter den Bäumen ausruhen und den Blick auf das kristallklare türkisblaue Meer und die wunderschönen Strände Tropeas genießen!


The inside of the church has also been restored and it is just beautiful with it’s simple style and one of the most beautiful moments is when you finished your visit of the garden and church and you step out … and you see once more this gorgeous view of Tropea’s storic buildings on the high rocks!
Auch das Innere der Kirche wurde restauriert und der einfache Stil gibt ihr eine besondere Atmosphäre. Einer der schönsten Momente während eines Besuches der Santa Maria dell’Isola ist der, wenn man den Garten und die Kirche besichtigt hat und dann wieder nach draußen kommt … und man noch einmal diesen fantastischen Blick auf die Altstadt Tropeas und die Häuser hat, die hoch auf den Felsen über dem Meer thronen!



What do you think about this little diamond? Isn’t it just amazing surrounded by the blue sea? If you will visit Calabria one day, this is absolutely a MUST for your itinerary!
Was haltet ihr von diesem kleinen Schmuckstück? Ich finde es einfach wunderschön! Solltet ihr Kalabrien einmal besuchen, ist die Santa Maria dell’Isola definitiv ein MUSS!

Enjoy your day! Tanti saluti,



#Insider Tip {Calabria} – The Paradise behind the Train Station

Buongiorno and a happy hello to everybody!

In my last post I told you that during the last week we spent some time on “holiday at home” – my parents visited us and of course we could not stay at home but had to use the fantastic weather to explore some new spots and today I want to share a real insider tip with you!

The Tyrrhenian Coast of Calabria is famous for its rocky cliff line that is interrupted by small bays. There are many of them along the coastline between Pizzo and Capo Vaticano and not for nothing this part of the coast is called “Costa degli Dei”, the “Coast of the Gods”.

Now just close your eyes for one moment, inhale and exhale deeply, immagine a small path that guides you through a lush vegetation …


… amongst the bushes and plants you already hear the sound of the waves and sometimes you see some blue shining through all the green around you …


… then the path descends, there are some steps and it wriggles down the cliff line …


… suddenly the path finishes and the only things you see are the crystal clear turquoise sea, a lonesome bay with white sandy beaches and amazing rock formations … this is a real paradise! And this is exactely what it is called: Paradiso del Sub!




Isn’t it beautiful?! I came here for the first time only one year ago and I immediately fell in love with this place! Did you recognize the strange shape of one of the rocks? It is called “Scoglio del Leone”, “Lion’s Rock” because of its shape that is similar to a lion!


As its name reveals, this bay is a paradise for scuba diving and snorkeling and for the ones that do not like to sunbath for hours there is also the possibility to do a little walk along the coastline that offers a great view along the coast in the Southern direction – you can even see the city of Tropea from here, that is situated on a huge rock directly at the seashore!




Are you wondering how to reach this fantastic place? Don’t worry, it is that simple! Just follow the main road SS18 from Pizzo in the direction of Tropea. You will pass some small towns such as Vibo Marina, Porto Salvo and Briatico and then you reach Zambrone. Directly at the beginning of the town, vis-à-vis the only supermarket, there is a building which is the train station. There is also a small bar in it so you cannot fail. Just leave the car right there (you can park as well on the street as on the parking space on the right site of the train station), but have a look on the signs because some parking spaces are with costs during the summer months.


Then pretend to take the train, cross the line of rails (ATTENTION: be sure that there is no train arriving and cross the line of rails only in the marked passage!) and turn to your right – there is only one path starting at this point, so you simply cannot fail! I recommend sturdy shoes to descend the path, but it is absolutely worth it, even the steeply rising way back is no barrier to come back as soon as possible! And hey, it is only 10-15 minutes!

Once arrived at the sea shore you can decide whether you want to stay in one of the tiny bays on the left or if you would like to cross some more rocks to reach a wide sandy beach on the right – it is entirely up to you!




If you live in Calabria, or if you plan to come here – do not miss this spot and spend some unforgettable hours in this paradise!

Have fun and enjoy your day,


#Ironthedog talks about his first adventure on the sea

Whoof whoof…buongiorno a tutti!

My humans love the sea … of course they do because Daniele works on the sea every day! I also like the sea and since I was a little puppy love jumping in the fresh water when we go to the beach in summertime!

Iron mare

One day, when I was only 3 or 4 months old, we went out by car and I was very excited because everytime we go by car there are so many different smells and we always go to nice new places to take a walk – but this time it was a little strange! When we arrived there was no beach, no lake, no forest – there was just kind of a bridge on the water! It was already strange to walk on these wooden planks and after a few meters I understood what was the plan of my humans: They wanted to take me on a tour with the boat!!

At the beginning I was quite skeptic … it was so strange to be on something that bobs up and down on the water …

Iron on the boat-fear-1

… but all of them encouraged me and after some minutes I started to enjoy the fresh breeze that was around!

Iron on the boat-encourage

Iron on the boat-enjoying fresh breeze-amstaff

We went along the coastline and after having explored the whole boat I knew what I had to do: I had to take the command!

Iron on the boat-mutig

Iron on the boat-capitano

Ok … I was not really taking the command, but at least I was kind of a Chief Officer!!! The next time I went on the boat I was the Captain of course and Daniele became my cabin boy – as you can see, everybody wanted to take a photo with me!

Iron on the boat-mymen

We were also joking and being on the bow of the boat I felt a little bit like being on the Titanic … riding the waves was like flying!

Iron on the boat-titanic

At the end of the day I can say that I really enjoyed it and I was so so tired from all the new impressions!

Iron on the boat-end

If you would also like to do a trip on our beautiful sea in Calabria just contact my humans, they would be very happy to welcome you aboard!

See you soon – SHIP AHOY!

Tanti saluti,

Iron the Dog

Capo Vaticano – a place where you want to stay FOREVER!

Hello everybody,

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-Calabria

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.

Calabria-Map-Capo Vaticano-GoogleEarth

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!

Capo Vaticano-Calabria-Costa-1

Capo Vaticano-Calabria-Seaside-1

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!

Capo Vaticano-Calabria-Eolian Islands-Sicily-1

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!

Capo Vaticano-Calabria-Beach-1

Capo Vaticano-Calabria-Flowers-2

Capo Vaticano-Calabria-Flowers-1
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!

Capo Vaticano-Calabria-Panorama-Path

Did you note play of colors of the sea? It is shimmering in all the different shades of blue and turquoise that exist!

Capo Vaticano-Calabria-Blue Sea-2

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!

Capo Vaticano-Calabria-Blue Sea-1

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!

Capo Vaticano-Calabria-Seaside-2

Capo Vaticano-Calabria-Seaside-3

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.

Capo Vaticano-Calabria-Beach-2

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:

Capo Vaticano-Calabria-Sunset-EolianIslands-3

Capo Vaticano-Calabria-Sunset-EolianIslands-2

Capo Vaticano-Calabria-Sunset-EolianIslands-4

Capo Vaticano-Calabria-Sunset-EolianIslands-1

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?


Tanti saluti,


Calabria Sport Fishing – Relax, fun and sightseeing!

Buongiorno, hello to all of you!

Immagine that you are staying near the sea … it is summertime … it is really hot … so what do you think about boat trip with a refreshing marine breeze along a beautiful lush cliff line having a great time while enjoying a fantastic panorama, a visit of the unique cave-chapel “Chiesetta di Piedigrotta” and stopps for swimming and snorkelling in the cristalline water?

If you agree that this is a perfect summer activity – then do not waste time and come along with Calabria Sport Fishing on one of our Panoramic Tours!
Stell dir vor du bist am Meer … es ist Sommer … es ist richtig heiß … was hälst du von einer kleinen Bootstour mit einer frischen Meeresbrise entlang einer wunderschönen üppig bewachsenen Küste? Einfach eine tolle Zeit verbringen, das fantastische Panorama genießen, die Grottenkirche “Piedigrotta” besuchen und Stopps zum Schnorcheln und Schwimmen im kristallklaren Wasser machen?

Wenn du auch der Meinung bist, das das eine perfekte Idee für den Sommer ist, dann komm mit uns auf eine unserer Panoramatouren mit Calaria Sport Fishing!


As usually we start the tour from the harbor of Vibo Marina – at the landing place “Stella del Sud” you can find every comfort before starting the adventure on the sea. Leaving the harbor we follow the lush green coast line until we reach Pizzo – one of the typical Calabrian fishing villages.

Situated on a rock high above the sea the view from the boat is spectacular – the houses finish at the end of the rock and then there is simply … nothing … besides the turquoise sea after 44 meters!
Wie immer startet unsere Tour im Hafen von Vibo Marina, am Anlegeplatz “Stella del Sud”, der allen Komfort bietet, bevor das Abenteuer auf See beginnt! Nachdem wir den Hafen verlassen haben folgen wir der grünen Küste bis wir die Stadt Pizzo erreichen – ein typisch kalabresisches Firscherdöfchen.

Pizzo liegt auf einem hohen Felsen direkt über dem Meer und der Blick von der Seeseite aus ist einfach atemberaubend – die Häuser enden mit dem Felsen und dann ist da einfach …. nichts … bis auf der türkis schimmernde Meer in 44 Metern Tiefe!



Only a few miles after Pizzo we reach the a nice beach that hides one of the most famous sights of the whole region! From the streets you cannot even see it, only a small sign shows the way to this small church … but from the sea you only have to go few steps over the sand and you can visit the cave-chapel “Piedigrotta”!
Nur wenige Seemeilen nach Pizzo erreichen wir eine schönen kleinen Strand, der eine der bekanntesten Sehenswürdigkeiten der Region beheimatet! Von der Straße aus kann man sie nicht einmal sehen, nur ein kleines Schild weist den weg über viele Stufen in Richtung Meer … aber von der Seeseite aus muss man nur wenige Schritte über den Sand laufen und schon kann man die Grottenkirche “Piedigrotta” besichtigen!


From the outside it doesn’t even look that spectacular, but if you go inside you will be enchanted – actually it is a grot that has been formed in a natural way by the sea and based on an old legend it became a sacred place and with our boat we land directly on the beach in front of the church!
Von außen sieht sie recht unspektakulär aus, aber wenn ihr hinein geht wird sie euch verzaubern – es ist eine natürliche Grotte die vom Meer in den Tuffstein hineingespült wurde und aufgrund einer alten Legende wurde diese Grotte zu einem heiligen Ort. Mit unserem Boot können wir direkt am Strand vor der Kirche anlegen!



The legend is about a ship that encountered a violent storm off the coast of Pizzo in the 17th century. The captain noticed that there will be no way to save the ship and so he gathered his crew and they started to pray in front of a portrait of the “Madonna di Piedigrotta” and they promised that they would build a church in her honor if they survived. The ship has been totally destroyed by the storm but the whole crew reached the shore alive – a wonder! Of course the sailors kept their promise and built an altar – in the cave where they found the portrait of the Madonna a few days after the storm and this cave became the so called “Chiesetta di Piedigrotta”!

Inside the cave-chapel there are numerous statues hewn out of the tufa directly in the cave which have been made by a local artist in the 19th century – until today there is no electricity, there are only a few windows and holes in the rock that let the sunshine in and so you will find a mystic spectacle of light and shaddow in the cave! Depending on the time of day and the season it seems to be different, sometimes the statues even seem to move!



It is also possible to follow some steps to get on the “roof” of the cave where you have a nice view on the beach and on the coast.



After the visit of the cave-church our guests have the possibility to swim and snorkel in the fantastic sea directly in front of the church.



Afterwards we start heading back to Vibo Marina enjoying once more the beauties of the cliff line and another stop for swimming and snorkelling.





With us, even the smallest guest can become a real skipper!


And after 3-4 hours the adventure is over – and as well our guests as we ourselves gathered unique emotions and memories that will rest forever!

A tour with Calabria Sport Fishing is an individual experience for couples and friends, for young and old, for the whole family!


Maybe we will meet someday on our boat? We would be really happy to welcome you aboard!

Tanti saluti,


Calabria Sport Fishing – fantastic adventures on the sea!


today I would like to introduce  Calabria Sport Fishing to you – unique adventures on the Mediterranean – and Daniele’s everyday life:

What we offer are individual halfday boat trips along the fantastic green coastline of Pizzo. We start at the harbor of Vibo Marina and follow the impressive cliff line until we reach the city of Pizzo.
Heute stelle ich euch Calabria Sport Fishing vor – individuelle Abenteuer auf hoher See – und Daniele’s Alltag!

Wir bieten Halbtagesausflüge entlang der fantastischen und grünen Küste von Pizzo an. Wir starten im Hafen von Vibo Marina und folgen der atemberaubenden Steilküste bis wir Pizzo erreichen.




Our boat has been built in 2007 and of course it provides all safety standards, such as life vests also for small children and so on. As Daniele is also a certified lifeguard you can feel more than safe aboard!

!!! UPDATE 2015: We are more than happy to announce, that all excurions starting from April 2015 will be operated by our new boat “Nettuno”, that offers more space and a higher comfort! Click right here for further information!!!

Unser Boot wurde 2007 gebaut und bietet alle Sicherheitsbestimmungen wie Schwimmwesen (auch für kleine Kinder) usw.! Da Daniele auch ausgebildeter Rettungsschwimmer ist, können sich unsere Gäste an Bord mehr als sicher fühlen!

!!! UPDATE 2015: Wir freuen uns riesig unsere Gäste informieren zu dürfen, dass alle Ausflüge ab April 2015 mit unserem neuen Boot “Nettuno” durchgeführt werden, welches Ihnen mehr Platz sowie einen höheren Komfort bietet. Weitere Informationen zu unserem Neuzugang erhalten Sie hier!!!


As you can see the boat is not that big – and this is the special thing: We have a maximum of 5-6 guests for every tour! We do not want to do a mass tourism, but we want to give the possibility to our guests, to enjoy a unique adventure and to get into a real relation with us, with the sea and the nature! How could we pass our passion to Calabria to 50 or 60 persons? Nearly impossible! If you book a tour with us you can be sure that we will do all we can to fulfill your desires or special requests!
Wir ihr sehen könnt, ist das Boot nicht riesengroß – und genau das ist das Besondere: Wir haben maximal 5-6 Gäste an Bord! Wir wollen keinen Massentourismus, sondern wir wollen unseren Gästen die Möglichkeit gebem, ihr persönliches Abenteuer zu erleben und eine Beziehung aufzubauen mit uns, dem Meer und der Natur! Unsere Liebe zu Kalabrien an 50 oder 60 Personen auf einmal weitergeben? Fast unmöglich! Wer eine Tour mit uns bucht kann sicher sein, dass wir alles tun werden um EURE Wünsche oder besonderen Anfragen zu erfüllen!

When our guests book they can chose on their own what itinerary they would like to do: // Wenn unsere Gäste buchen, können sie selbst das Programm bestimmen:

… a fishing tour // ein Angelausflug
… a panoramic tour with stops for swimming and snorkeling // eine Panoramatour mit Stopps zum Schwimmen und Schnorcheln
… a panoramic tour visiting the famous cave-chapel “Piedigrotta” // eine Panoramatour mit Besuch der berühmten Grottenkirche “Piedigrotta”
… dolphin watching // Delfinbeobachtung
… a romantic tour to watch the sunset enjoying some prosecco // eine romantische Tour in den Sonnenuntergang mit Prosecco
… or a mix of all of that in one tour? EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE! // Oder ein Mix aus all dem? ALLES IST MÖGLICH!


During the next months I am going to present the different tours a little bit more in detail to give you an impression of all the various things you can experience during 3-4 hours on the sea!
In den nächsten Monaten werde ich einige unserer Angebote etwas nähre vorstellen, um euch einen Einblick in all die Möglichkeiten zu geben, die sich in 3-4 Stunden auf dem Meer bieten!

At the end of todays post some insider information: // Zum Schluss noch ein paar Insider-Informationen:
After finishing the school Daniele used to work in a quite famous tuna factory – but already during the first days there he recognized that this is absolutely not the life he wants to live! And what can I say? He followed his dream, created a project in his head, took all the money he saved while working as lifeguard during the summer holidays … ignored all the persons that told him that he was crazy … and after only one year Calabria Sport Fishing was born and finally he started to do what he loves – and he really loves what he does! I think this is the only way to make your guests feel good and comfortable – only if you love what you do you can be authentic and pass real passion and joy to others!
Nachdem Daniele die Schule beendet hat, hat er in einer bekannten Thunfisch-Fabrik gearbeitet, aber schon nach den ersten Tage hat er festgestellt, dass das absolut nicht das Leben ist, was er leben wollte! Und was soll ich sagen? Er ist seinem Traum gefolgt, hat ein Projekt auf die Beine gestellt, all das Geld genommen was er gespart hatte während er in den Sommerferien als Rettungsschwimmer arbeitete … er hat alle Personen ignoriert die ihn für verrückt erklärt haben … er hat eine unbefristete Stelle gekündigt (und das ist in Kalabrien mit einer wahnsinnig hohen Arbeitslosenrate wirklich verrückt) … und nach nur einem Jahr war Calabria Sport Fishing geboren und er konnte endlich das machen, was er liebt – und er liebt wirklich, was er macht! Ich glaube das ist die einzige Möglichkeit, um seinen Gästen ein einzigartiges Erlebnis zu schenken – nur wenn man liebt was man macht ist man wirklich authentisch und kann seine Leidenschaft und Lebensfreude an andere weitergeben!



Enjoy your day and always “do what you love”! // Genießt euren Tag und macht immer das, was ihr wirklich liebt!

Tanti saluti,