Santa Maria dell'Isola Monastery

Vacation Travel Guide
Santa Maria dell\'Isola Monastery

Sitting high on a chunk of rock jutting out into the sea, this iconic medieval-style monastery is an icon of the town of Tropea.

The medieval Santa Maria dell’Isola Monastery has a dramatic setting on a rocky island connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway. Climb up the steps to reach the clifftop church where you’ll find fantastic photo opportunities as well as a small museum.

Note that the monastery may appear much newer than you might expect. A religious structure is said to have stood here since the 4th century. This building, however, is much newer, having been subject to several bouts of rebuilding following damage from earthquakes.

As you make your way across the causeway to the monastery, reflect on how the landscape itself has changed over the centuries. Back when the monastery was first built, it sat on a proper island, though that “island” is now connected to the mainland by a strip of land created by a build-up of silt.

Ascend the steep flight of stairs built into the cliff upon which the monastery stands. Look for local wildlife, such as lizards, as you make your way up the steps.

Once you reach the monastic complex, get out your camera and head for the gardens at the rear of the church. From here, enjoy excellent far-reaching views over the beach and town. On a clear day, it is sometimes possible to see the active Stromboli volcano from the complex.

Enter the church and take a moment to absorb the peaceful atmosphere. The church’s interior, though small, is well maintained and features two religious statues, which are visible behind the altar.

Consider returning to view the monastery at night, when it is attractively lit. View it from a distance from the main town square of Piazza Ercole, looking northwest to see the glowing building.

Entry to Santa Maria dell’Isola Monastery is free but a small fee is charged for access to the rooftop and the garden, both of which have sensational viewpoints. The monastery is open year-round although hours change depending on the season. Note that the church can only be accessed via a winding and steep staircase, which may pose problems for less mobile visitors. Be sure to wear sturdy, comfortable shoes.

Top things to do in Santa Maria dell'Isola Monastery

Top Hotels Close to Santa Maria dell'Isola Monastery

La Perla
La Perla
3 out of 5
Viale Coniugi Crigna 27, Tropea, VV
The price is CA $40 per night from Sep 27 to Sep 27
Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Blanca Beach, Diocesan Museum, and ‘A Linguata Beach. Lido Costa degli Dei and Rotonda Beach ...
3.9/5Very Good! (114 reviews)
"Excellent location comfortable beds and clean. Bathroom was very outdated and shower did not drain well. The breakfast included was nice and the staff were very friendly. I would come back again"

Reviewed on Aug. 30, 2021

La Perla
Hotel Tropis
Hotel Tropis
4 out of 5
Contrada Fontana Nuova, Tropea, VV
The price is CA $150 per night from Oct 14 to Oct 14
Located in the center of Tropea, this family-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Diocesan Museum, Rotonda Beach, and Tropea Beach. ‘A Linguata Beach ...
4.1/5Very Good! (98 reviews)
"We liked that there was parking right next to the hotel. Not so in many places. The landscaping was beautiful. CONS: Small room for the price. Bed was very hard. restaurant had very limited (only 2 entrees) choices."

Reviewed on Oct. 13, 2020

Hotel Tropis
Hotel Rocca della Sena
Hotel Rocca della Sena
4 out of 5
Via Paolo Orsi . C.da Croce, Tropea, Calabria
The price is CA $183 per night from Oct 19 to Oct 19
With direct access to the beach, this Tropea hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Lido Costa degli Dei, ‘A Linguata Beach, and Spiaggia del Convento. Blanca Beach ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (91 reviews)
"Along with ambiance, the staff were incredible. Very attentive and responded to all requests with enthusiasm. One of our nicer stays in years. Thank you for a wonderful weekend!"

Reviewed on Aug. 29, 2021

Hotel Rocca della Sena
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Santa Maria dell'Isola Monastery

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Best Lodging Options Near Santa Maria dell'Isola Monastery

La Perla
La Perla
3 out of 5
Viale Coniugi Crigna 27, Tropea, VV
The price is CA $40 per night from Sep 27 to Sep 27
La Perla
Hotel Tropis
Hotel Tropis
4 out of 5
Contrada Fontana Nuova, Tropea, VV
The price is CA $150 per night from Oct 14 to Oct 14
Hotel Tropis
Hotel Rocca della Sena
Hotel Rocca della Sena
4 out of 5
Via Paolo Orsi . C.da Croce, Tropea, Calabria
The price is CA $183 per night from Oct 19 to Oct 19
Hotel Rocca della Sena
La Dolce Vita a Tropea
La Dolce Vita a Tropea
Largo Migliarese, Tropea, VV
The price is CA $164 per night from Oct 17 to Oct 17
La Dolce Vita a Tropea
Hotel Villa Antica
Hotel Villa Antica
4 out of 5
Via Pietro Ruffo di Calabria, 37, Tropea, VV
The price is CA $128 per night from Oct 13 to Oct 13
Hotel Villa Antica
Residenza LoryLu
Residenza LoryLu
Piazza Raponsoli 12, Tropea, Calabria
The price is CA $123 per night from Oct 7 to Oct 7
Residenza LoryLu
Blu Tropea Maison B&B
Blu Tropea Maison B&B
Largo Migliarese, Tropea, VV
The price is CA $109 per night from Sep 25 to Sep 25
Blu Tropea Maison B&B
Case Vacanze Mare Grande
Case Vacanze Mare Grande
Via Lungomare, Tropea, Provincia di Vibo Valentia
Case Vacanze Mare Grande
Le Roccette Mare
Le Roccette Mare
Via Mare Piccolo, \N, Tropea, Vibo Valentia
Le Roccette Mare
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.