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Santa Maria dell'Isola Monastery
Vacation Travel Guide

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.

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Top Hotels Close to Santa Maria dell'Isola Monastery

LABRANDA Rocca Nettuno Tropea
LABRANDA Rocca Nettuno Tropea
4 out of 5
Via Annunziata, Tropea, VV
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Situated in Tropea, this beach hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Blanca Beach and Spiaggia del Convento. Lido Costa degli Dei and ‘A Linguata Beach are also ...

3.7/5Good! (15 reviews)
Lack of care for customers. Do not stay here

"In general the rooms are not great, the beds are not great, the bathroom is not great. On top of this the air con didnt work. I reported it to the hotel and nothing was done about it. My wife and I hardly slept as the room was so hot. On check out out the receptionist really didnt care about my ..."…"

Reviewed on Jun. 12, 2019

LABRANDA Rocca Nettuno Tropea
La Dolce Vita a Tropea
La Dolce Vita a Tropea
Largo Migliarese, Tropea, VV
The price is CA $137 per night from Apr 2 to Apr 3

Situated near the beach, this bed & breakfast is steps from Rotonda Beach, Tropea Beach, and Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell'Isola. Diocesan Museum and Spiaggia ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (43 reviews)

"Amazing hotel in the center of the city. Overlooking view of the sea and church. Could not ask for a better location Hotel staff very friendly and attentive."…"

Reviewed on Jul. 20, 2020

La Dolce Vita a Tropea
Hotel Rocca della Sena
Hotel Rocca della Sena
4 out of 5
Via Paolo Orsi . C.da Croce, Tropea, Calabria
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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! (89 reviews)

"I’m disgusted that the hotel was neither willing to accommodate a credit greater than 12 months or refund due to Covid travel restrictions, for us travellers coming from Australia."…"

Reviewed on Jul. 13, 2020

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

LABRANDA Rocca Nettuno Tropea
LABRANDA Rocca Nettuno Tropea
4 out of 5
Via Annunziata, Tropea, VV
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La Dolce Vita a Tropea
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The price is CA $137 per night from Apr 2 to Apr 3
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Cooee Michelizia Tropea Resort
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The price is CA $107 per night from Mar 30 to Mar 31
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The price is CA $138 per night from Mar 9 to Mar 10
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The price is CA $44 per night from Mar 28 to Mar 29
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B&B Island Tropea vista mare
B&B Island Tropea vista mare
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The price is CA $127 per night from Mar 12 to Mar 13
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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.