Ricadi, the privileged beaches of the gods

Lying at the base of the plateau of Monte Poro, nestled between the Gulf of Sant'Eufemia and that of Gioia Tauro, Ricadi stretches up to the shores of the sea, where we find the beautiful and renowned beach of Capo Vaticano.

Rich in archaeological finds that bear witness to its historical importance, Ricadi has a coastline that is a continuous succession of overhanging cliffs, sandy beaches, caves and coves accessible only by sea.

The Greeks, Romans and Carthaginians, Byzantines and Arabs, up to the Normans from the north, left many traces of their passage along the beaches of Ricadi.

Before the tourist boom, Ricadi was essentially a small village of fishermen and only later, due to its pristine sea and the impressive landscapes offered by its coast has attracted a ever-increasing number of visitors during the summer season. Ricadi offers many varied beaches. In addition to that of Capo Vaticano, which is the town’s most central and famous beach, worth mentioning are the granite seabed of Formicoli, populated by a rich fauna and for this ideal for scuba-diving enthusiasts; the candid beaches of Tono, Riaci and Grotticelle, with settings that are both romantic and relaxing at the same time, perfect for long walks at sunset.

Precisely on these shores, over the course of the centuries, adventures and battles took place between the various people who crossed these seas and reached these shores sowing their culture into the Mediterranean landscape. The Greeks, Romans and Carthaginians, Byzantines and Arabs, up to the Normans from the north, left many traces of their passage, such as some of the coastal towers that were standing guard looking out to the open sea. The hamlet of Lampazzone has an old mill that is still operating today that represents interesting historical evidence given that they are only a few mills that are still operating following the Second World War. The mulino di Lampazzone (Mill of Lampazzone) has a typical eighteenth century look and still today is able to grind wheat, maize and barley with its heavy weight. Ricadi was the destination of poets and writers, among which Giuseppe Berto, who wrote “Il male oscuro” and whose soul rests here by express request, in the Cemetery of S. Nicolò.


The ancient Taurianum Promontorium (today known with the name of Capo Vaticano ) seems an enchanted place, where the gods and nymphs meet to bathe in the clear waters to later enjoy a banquet between small sandy inlets that open up along the coast. On the enchanting mirror of water, fishing boats undulate, looting the abundance of the fishing grounds of Calabria's unspoilt sea. Ricadi's coast, jagged and irregular, has many typical beaches which are unique in terms of their beauty. Baia di Riaci is a long and wide beach, quite sandy. The features of this beach are tied to the presence of a cliff, called Riaci or Scoglio Grande (large rock), joined to the mainland by a strip of sand and rocks. Difficult to reach from land due to the presence of accommodation buildings, Giardinello owes its name to a garden that was close to the beach. Its typical feature, also in this case, is the presence of a rock called Ardito due to its shape similar to that of a mushroom. Massara, which owes its name to the fact that a Massara or “massaia” (housewife) lived in a house which is adjacent to the latter, is within walking distance of other beaches and offers a beach and sandy beach. A stazioni is Scalea's most famous beach, situated just below the town of Santa Domenica and that can be reached on foot through a long staircase. It has a very narrow beach but quite unusual due to the presence of numerous cliffs. Situated between the beach of Formicoli and that of Scalea, is the beach Passu du Gabbaturcu which owes its name to an ancient legend. In fact, legend tells that at the time of Saracen raids, a group of local fishermen set up a trap to a Turkish ship that was chase them, causing it to bank and then "grabbing it". It can be reached on foot from the beach of Formicoli or from that of Riaci. The beach of Formicoli takes its name from the Forum Herculis; the ancient Greco-Roman port whose remains can still be seen underwater. This is a very long fine sandy beach. It allows to go for long walks on foot to admire the beautiful sandstone cliffs. The beach of Torre Marino takes its name from the ancient watch tower that once stood there. Very nice and sandy, the features of this beach is the possibility, during low tide, of walking in the water tapping our feet on the sea bed, as it is a long beach. Praia i focu and Ficara are accessible only by sea, or through a natural trail placed under the Belvedere, and are the two "hidden” sandy beaches in the cliffs of Capo. The Ficara , located more to the south, owes its name to the presence of an old fig tree on the beach. Praia the focu , which means the beach of fire, owes its name to fires that were lit as a point of reference for fishermen. Grotticelle is one of the most known and popular beaches of the entire area and owes its name to the entire bay. Santa Maria Beach is among the most crowded during the summer months. Named in honour of the Madonna, to whom a little church is dedicated, located on the seafront, in the area to the south of the Bay there is a group of rocks called Galea, very impressive and suitable for explorers and adventurers, which owes its name, according to the legend, to a time when convicts were chained.

Marrana Tower in Brivadi

Dating back to the XIV century, Torre Marrana is what remains of an ancient watchtower in granite and limestone, of circular floor-plan with cylindrical development, around 10 metres high and placed at two kilometres from the coast, in an isolated position on a rocky spur near the village of Brivadi. The Tower was receiving the signals of the nearby Torre Ruffa and forwarded them to the other towers arranged along the coast. The Faro di Capo Vaticano (lighthouse of Capo Vaticano) can be reached through a panoramic trail along the top of inlets and overhanging cliffs which characterise one of the most beautiful landscapes of Calabria. Built in 1870, this is a cylindrical tower on one storey, with a roof terrace, and a rotating optical system with an intermittent light of twenty seconds.

MuRi Museum

The Museo Civico di Ricadi (Ricadi’s civic museum) is a Museo Diffuso (scattered museum) distributed throughout the town and area, by means of a series of facilities located in several areas and mutually connected by conceptual paths. The Museum is a permanent structure that acquires, catalogues, preserves, sorts and displays cultural goods for purposes of education and study. In addition to the municipal library, the museum is divided into 4 sections: Museo archeologico e paleontologico (Museum of Archaeology and Palaeontology); Museo antropologico e della civiltà contadina e della cultura immateriale (Anthropology Museum of farming civilisation and intangible culture); Museo ed osservatorio del Mare (museum and observatory of the Sea); Museo delle Torri (Museum of the Towers). The Museum of Archeology and Palaeontology is headquartered at the palazzo Fazzari, located in the hamlet of Santa Domenica; it is composed by the archaeological and palaeontological collections and houses finds owned by the Soprintendenza archeologica della Calabria (Archaeological Superintendence of the Calabria Region). The Anthropology Museum of farming civilisation and intangible has its headquarters at the former oil mill known as Marcello Sculco and houses a collection, purchased by the municipality of Ricadi, of farming civilisation finds which includes some archaeological finds from the Roman age. Inside machinery of the oil mill dating back to the last century is displayed. The Museum and observatory of the sea has its headquarters at the former lookout in Capo Vaticano and houses photos, finds and aquariums linked to the study of the sea and of the indigenous and alien species of marine and land flora and fauna, in addition to archaeological finds related to the sea. The Museum of the Towers, housed in two autonomous local rural buildings located in the archaeological site of Torre Marrana, houses an iconographic exhibition and documentary on coastal towers with particular regard to those in the area of Ricadi. Opened in April 2017, the Museo Etnografico (Ethnographic Museum) collects items donated by private citizens and salting instruments already owned by the Municipality. Its 5 rooms contain, among other things, reproductions of antique maps of Calabria, fishing tackle and in the “sala delle balene” or hall of whales, interesting eighteenth-century prints of whaling in the strait of Messina. A journey with educational panels guides visitors to learn about marine biology, history of tuna and fish ponds in the “costa vibonese” since the Roman period up to the 1800s. Outside, in addition to the spectacular sea views, visitors can admire two boats and a series of anchors. The Museum is part of the ethnographic and municipal archaeological museum circuit.


In Ricadi gourmets can taste “nduja”, the Calabrian product par excellence, which is a great condiment for pasta dishes as well as delicious appetizer, Tropea red onion, famous worldwide for their sweetness and due to their nutritional and medical properties. In fact, the red onion has its own festival that takes place every year in the town on 13 August.

Informazioni utili




irizzoPiazza del Municipio 89861 Tropea (VV)


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