Parghelia is a resort of Costa degli Dei (Coast of the Gods), close to Tropea with which it shares a mesmerising sea of intense turquoise blue and crystal clear waters that wash the shore.
Parghelia means seashore and, due to its ideal location as well as the nearby sites of Tropea and Capo Vaticano, is a mandatory tourist destination. Paralj'a, the Greek word for beach, is the ancient name of this seaside village.
It offers breathtaking views and on clear sunny days the outline of the volcano Stromboli and some of the Aeolian islands can be seen with the naked eye. Placed between Tropea and Zambrone, the climate and the beauty of Parghelia's coastline have favored touristic development in recent years.
In the seventies Parghelia became preferred destination of luxury tourism, due to its first class services, enchanting beaches and quality accommodation facilities surrounded by lush vegetation at a short distance from the sea.
Parghelia offers breathtaking views and on clear sunny days, the outline of the volcano Stromboli and some of the Aeolian islands can be seen with the naked eye.
Today Parghelia is a modern tourist centre, equipped with numerous facilities and a very crowded destination during the summer months. Along its coast, golden beaches alternate with small inlets, till they get to the Pizzuta cliff, where the majestic and characteristic rock of Palombaro stands. Pizzuta is among the most beautiful beaches of Parghelia and owes its name to the imposing rocks or rocks that appear before the sea and create its typical landscape. This beach can be accessed by descending through a trail or hike along the Costa degli Dei (Coast of the Gods) and is the ideal place for simple observation of the seabed where a surprising flora and fauna can be discovered. From among its free beaches, Michelino deserved a visit; fascinating due to its luxuriant vegetation with wild flowers that are both as fragrant as colorful and that contribute to its charm. Inland, a large number of secular water mills can be found, placed along the Fiume and La Grazia streams, where wheat was ground during many decades and bread was provided to the people of Parghelia. Water was conveyed by channels in the tower placed on top of the mill and on falling, turned the wooden mill-wheel that moved the stone grinders. Currently only a few ruins remain. At Parghelia summer is filled with its patron saint’s festivities such as the Maria Santissima di Porto Salvo (Blessed Virgin Mary of Porto Salvo) that takes place every second Sunday of August, the famous Sagra del Pesce on 3 August and other events that will no doubt and entertain and keep tourists busy between July and August.
White sandy beaches
Some of Calabria’s most well-known and appreciated beaches are located on the coast of Parghelia, among these, the beaches of Michelino and Pizzuta deserve a mention. The most popular beaches are the most crowded, while other unknown that endowed with an unspoilt overwhelming beauty. The beach of Marina di Genola and also to the unusual Spiaggia Marinella, in the town of Zambrone , bordering Parghelia, offer unrestricted access. Divided into two parts by a cliff, it is perfect for those who are looking for a remote quiet corner on the sand as well as for those who prefer a livelier backdrop. The beach of Michelino is the ideal place for spending a relaxing day of peace and tranquillity, in the comfort of luxury surroundings, and with plenty of space to take in the sea's beauty. The water is so clear that it creates a wonderful optical effect making boats seem to be suspended in thin air. This beach has often been compared to the beauty of some Greek coves of the island of Kythira, with an inviting turquoise sea, fine white sand and rocks tumbling into the sea. The beach of Contura, also called Pizzuta , is a wonderful beach of a small size renowned for its soft fine white sand and the typical rocks that give the beach its name and the cliff that serves as a barrier. Here, as well as in many other parts of Calabria, the sea near the shore is a crisp turquoise colour that is almost completely transparent and is transformed into an increasingly intense blue as it moves away from the shore.
Church of Santa Maria di Portosalvo
The Church of Santa Maria di Portosalvo was built in 1745 and in its interior boasts valuable paintings of the Neapolitan school. In particular, the Deposizione (Laying of the Body), placed on the altar of the Madonna dei Sette Dolori (Our Lady of Seven Sorrows), the Annunciazione (Annunciation) and the Sacra Famiglia (Holy Family) located on the walls at the sides of the Sancta Sanctorum (Holy of Holies), all date back to around 1757. The painting worshipped on the main altar depicts the Virgin of Portosalvo and today still continues to be particularly revered by the inhabitants of Parghelia and surrounding towns. Legend has it that this painting was brought to Parghelia from the East, on the same day according to which tradition claims the image of Maria SS. della Romania was granted by Divine Providence to Tropea. The bell tower was completed in 1775 and the façade is one of the most ancient examples of neoclassical architecture in Southern Italy. The cult of the Madonna di Portosalvo is linked, as suggested by the title itself, to maritime traditions of the inhabitants of Parghelia, who relied on the protection of the Blessed Virgin for their safety while at sea. The legends born around the Madonna di Portosalvo attests to the antiquity of the cult and deep devotion of the local inhabitants, that like many other traditions of this kind tend to provide a solid foundation to reinforce the belief that the Virgin has chosen a specific area to take under her maternal protection. A quite likely scenario is that according to which the effigy of the Madonna di Portosalvo would have arrived to Parghelia brought by Basilian monks, historically committed to spreading the cult of the Mother of God and also in charge of the safe-keeping of any images of her.
Piazza Municipio, Parghelia