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

Residenza Le due Sicilie
Residenza Le due Sicilie
Largo Sannio, 1, Tropea, VV
The price is $46 per night from Nov 19 to Nov 19
Situated in the historical district, this guesthouse is steps from Diocesan Museum and Rotonda Beach. Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell'Isola and Tropea Beach are ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (22 reviews)
"Location, Staff, friendly staff, close to everything, unique place, 18th Century building, very cool"

Reviewed on Jun 27, 2019

Residenza Le due Sicilie
Hotel Rocca della Sena
Hotel Rocca della Sena
4 out of 5
Via Paolo Orsi . C.da Croce, Tropea, Calabria
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 ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (93 reviews)
"I"

Reviewed on Sep 21, 2021

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Hotel Rocca della Sena
LABRANDA Rocca Nettuno Tropea
LABRANDA Rocca Nettuno Tropea
4 out of 5
Via Annunziata, Tropea, VV
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 ...
3.8/5 Good! (19 reviews)
"Lovely place. Very nice and clean. Comfortable and the staff is very friendly. Especially restaurant and The guys at the beach. Marvelous views."

Reviewed on Aug 23, 2020

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LABRANDA Rocca Nettuno Tropea
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

Residenza Le due Sicilie
Residenza Le due Sicilie
Largo Sannio, 1, Tropea, VV
The price is $46 per night from Nov 19 to Nov 19
Residenza Le due Sicilie
Hotel Rocca della Sena
Hotel Rocca della Sena
4 out of 5
Via Paolo Orsi . C.da Croce, Tropea, Calabria
Hotel Rocca della Sena
LABRANDA Rocca Nettuno Tropea
LABRANDA Rocca Nettuno Tropea
4 out of 5
Via Annunziata, Tropea, VV
LABRANDA Rocca Nettuno Tropea
Colomba D'Oro
Colomba D'Oro
4 out of 5
Via Vittorio Veneto, 50, Tropea, VV
Colomba D'Oro
Infinity Resort & Spa
Infinity Resort & Spa
SS 522 Localita Pizzuta, Parghelia, VV
Infinity Resort & Spa
Residenza A Due Passi dal Mare
Residenza A Due Passi dal Mare
Via Marina Vescovado, Tropea, Vibo Valentia
The price is $53 per night from Nov 3 to Nov 3
Residenza A Due Passi dal Mare
Aether Suites Tropea
Aether Suites Tropea
Via Carmine, Tropea
The price is $78 per night from Nov 3 to Nov 3
Aether Suites Tropea
La Dolce Vita a Tropea
La Dolce Vita a Tropea
Largo Migliarese, Tropea, VV
The price is $188 per night from Oct 30 to Oct 30
La Dolce Vita a Tropea
La Perla
La Perla
3 out of 5
Viale Coniugi Crigna 27, Tropea, VV
La Perla
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.