You'd imagine that founding a town on an oceanside cliff would be a disaster waiting to happen, but the Italian resort town of Tropea has somehow managed to survive earthquakes, wars and more. The citizens of The Town of Tropea, which is situated on a reef in the gulf of St. Euphemia, credit their patron saint and protectress, the Madonna of Romania for their good fortune-- she's saved the city from at least 2 massive earthquakes and from WWII bombs dropped on the city, which fell into a hole and never detonated. Good luck, or miracle?

tropea italy calabria
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tropea italy calabria
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Tropea's history goes back even further than that. According to legend, the town was founded by Hercules after completing one of his 12 labors, but people have been living on this coast and soaking up those views since Neolithic times, and it seems like the area was constantly under attack: Arabs, Normans, Swabians, Anjous, Turkish pirates and Aragonese have all occupied the city at one point or another-- but who can blame them? The place looks almost unreal! 

tropea italy calabria
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tropea calabria italy
Shutterstock

The best view of the town is from Santa Maria dell'Isola, a 7th century monastery just outside the city limits, but there are tons of hidden gems within the village, like the lovely beach. And after a long day of sunning yourself and relaxing, grab a snack at Gelateria Tonino. The mastermind behind the delicious sweet treat, Tonino, makes gelato in some pretty crazy flavors, like squid ink, n'duja salami, and even Tropea onion. Yum! 

tropea calabria italy
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tropea calabria italy
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We love coastal views! Here are some of our favorite seaside drives in the US:

Escape the cold down America's most epic coastal highway

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The road to Hana: 60 miles of curves, waterfalls, and lush forest

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A romantic road trip down the PCH in California's Big Sur

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