Places of Calabria

Calabria and surroundings



A picturesque town, it was named Porto Ercolebecause, according to legend, it was founded by Hercules. Its present name appears for the first time in the 5th century AD and in the following centuries, it was mentioned several times as the land that suffered repeated attacks by the Saracens.
To visit: The church of Santa Maria dell´Isola situated on a cliff directly on the beach from where a small road leads into the church, behind the church a well-kept garden with paths leading to terraces overlooking the sea, a romantic place.


Fishing and bathing center located overlooking the sea in a picturesque location along the coast of the Gulf of S. Eufemia. According to some sources, it was built in the early Middle Ages on the site of the ancient Napitum, with the Castle of Joachim Murat, and is famous for its homemade ice cream and also for the spaghetti with squid ink served in the many restaurants.
To visit: Collegiate Church of St. George, the church has a baroque facade and inside preserves among other things a seventeenth-century wooden crucifix, some statues of the sixteenth century. in particular the Madonna and Child with St. Catherine of the circle of Gagini and a St. John the Baptist attributed to Pietro Bernini.

Capo Vaticano

The rocky promontory of Capo Vaticano is located in the municipality of Ricadi (VV) southwest of Vibo Valentia, near Tropea, a famous tourist resort in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is situated at 284 metres on the western slope of Mount Poro, forming the natural watershed between the gulfs of Gioia Tauro and Sant’Eufemia. Legend has it that in ancient times there was an oracle that stopped on the headland to which the sailors of the place turned before facing the sea, visiting him in the cave where he lived, which is located under the rock that took his name: Mantineo (in Greek manteuo) which means to communicate the divine will.

The Cape is still today an uncontaminated place that boasts extraordinary beauties: cliffs with breathtaking views, mighty rocks sculpted by the wind and the sea, isolated little beaches with many small bays (some of which can be reached only by sea or through impervious paths), all surrounded not only by the sky and the clear sea, but also by a rich and uncontaminated Mediterranean flora and fauna, which in spring becomes an immense flower garden with a thousand colours and a thousand scents. The sea surrounding Capo Vaticano is the ideal place for scuba diving, where you can discover the rich seabed inhabited by the most numerous and varied fish population in Italy, all thanks to a game of currents coming from the two gulfs of Sant´Eufemia from the north and Gioia Tauro from the south.


Its name, according to the legend recalled in the Odyssey, derives from the mythical nymph who became a monster by the sorceress Circe, who devoured sailors after making them shipwrecked. Today, the lido is a seaside resort with tourist facilities.

Santa Maria di Ricadi

Santa Maria di Ricadi small tourist village and fishing village a hundred meters from the sea in one of the most popular resorts of Capo Vaticano, is best known for its beautiful beach and the opportunity to enjoy fresh fish in the restaurants scattered along the bay, freshly caught by local fishermen.
Sightseeing: Beautiful landscapes and views of yesteryear are on the horizon. A small church dedicated to S. Maria di Loreto (in honour of this Madonna, on the Monday after Easter, only religious functions are celebrated, while on the 15th of August there are celebrations which also include a procession to the sea).


According to legend, Hercules founded Forum Herculis, today Formicoli, on the sea, not far from the present town. History, however, states that Ricadi originated in the Byzantine era and was a hamlet of the University of Tropea. In 1808 with Royal assent promulgated by Joseph Napoleon, it was established as a municipality and had its first mayor. Among its hamlets (Santa Domenica, Ciaramiti, San Nicolò, Brivadi and Orsigliadi) there was also Brattirò which was later assigned to the municipality of Drapia.
To visit:
In Brivadi it is possible to visit the Marrana tower, by now reduced to a simple round wall. It received the signals from the nearby Ruffa tower and transmitted them to the other towers along the coast to finally reach the Castle of Monteleone, today Vibo Valentia.


An ancient tradition traces its origins back to the Magna-Greek Medma(now Rosarno) from which the inhabitants moved to the current site to escape the attack of the Saracens, creating a new residence, fortified by Robert Guiscard. The town existed with its present name since the early centuries after Christ, so much so that the term “Nicotera” is found in the itinerary of Antonio Pio. It belonged to the Ruffo family, who built the castle, to the Marzano family and to the Di Gennaro family. Its port and defences were strengthened by Ruggiero di Lauria. Particularly interesting is the area from the marina to the mouth of the Mesima where archaeological finds of particular importance and value have been discovered.
To visit: Nicotera is the most important centre among those located in the district with its historical and cultural traditions. There are two museums set up with passion and competence: the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art and the Archaeological Museum which covers the entire Greek-Roman period. Many finds range from the Lower Paleolithic period to the Renaissance.