September 13, 2007

Things to do in Pizzo

If you would visit Calabria and would spent some time in Pizzo, here are the things not to be missed:

Ice cream:
Il tartufo was invented here in Pizzo to honor the visit of Prince Umberto I of Savoy in 1943. There are about 15 gelaterias in Pizzo, all small family business with their own secret recipe for the tartufo.

Tuna & swordfish:
Pizzo is famous for its swordfish, pesce sparda and its tuna. Even the Japaneses import the tuna of this region.

Walking up and down the small alleys in the old centro storico and enjoying the views of the sea and the roofs of this picturesque little town. The main sight is il castello Murat, where unlucky Joachim Murat, ex-king of Napels and BIL of Napoleon was imprisoned and executed in 1815. Also impressing is the amount of 10 churches in this little town of about 9.000 inhabitants. One is built into a grotto, la Chiesa di Piedigrotta. But the heart of Pizzo is La Piazza Repubblica. It is also called il salotto, the living room, as this is where people meet, especially in the evening.
Castello Murat and view of Pizzo MarinaCastello Murat and view of Pizzo Marina

Pizzo's coastline is about 8 km long and you can find large white sandy beaches and small little bays. The beach at Pizzo Marina is in 5 minutes walking distance from the old town. The beaches are all public and you can bring your own umbrellas and seats. The beaches at the Marina even have a shower (not common for free public beaches).

You can easily explore everything Pizzo offers in one day. But only when you stay, you realize and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

To explore the surrounding, I recommend the following day trips outside Pizzo:
- Eolie Islands (a group of 10 vulcanic islands including Lipari, Panarea and Stromboli) by boat. To embark at Vibo Marina (3 km) or Tropea (25 km).
- Vibo Valentia (10 km), the capital of the province with the same name (VV) and its old castello
- for a change of the beach drive up in the cooler mountain area and visit the monastery of Serra San Bruno
- more mountains: Sila National Park - skiing in winter seems possible!
- Tropea (25 km), which is the 'pearl' of the costa degli dei, coast of Gods. Actually most tourist aim for Tropea and not Pizzo. To me these two cities are like the little ugly duckling and the proud swan. And you can guess what I prefer.


  1. The only thing I've ever visited in Pizzo is the Chiesa di Piedigrotta--and it is truly spectacular. Unfortunately it was in the age before I had a digital camera, so all my photos are so pathetic compared to the ones now.

    All the more reason to head back that way!

    (It goes without saying that tartufo is *fabulous*!)

  2. Ciao sognatrice,

    I only visited La Piedigrotta this summer for the first time. And I have to say, it was more impressing than I thought.

    It would be cool to meet you in Calabria! I know, we will have an espresso, maybe on the terrazzo of our house. And a tartufo of course. And later some home made cooking...

  3. Hello--just stumbled upon your blog and it is seriously beautiful! I am learning so much from your posts. I will be back!

  4. Comment mailed to me by my mother-in-law's cousin's wife in Venice:

    I had a glance to your blog. You fully centred the most important things to do in Pizzo. I agree with you to put at first place the tartufo. Where do you find another ice cream/cake like that?

    In almost one decade that I've been on vacation in Vibo I did all trips you mentioned more and more times enjoying them and discovering something new that I didn't notice previously.

    Thank you! ;-)

  5. I need no convincing! LOL. The next time we cross the pond we will definitely be there. ;)

  6. Ciao Franki,
    looking forward to welcome you in Pizzo!
    Thanks for the mention on your blog (again)!

  7. It just looks so beautiful!! Everytime I visit your blog I am inspired to plan our next getaway.