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The Secret Beach Town That Should Be on Every Italian Itinerary

Fodor's Logo By Michelle Fabio of Fodor's | Slide 1 of 13: You probably wouldn’t expect to find a blues festival in the heart of southern Italy, but thanks to a group of impassioned young Calabrians, the Tropea Blues Festival has been a reality in Tropea since 2005, when it began as “Street of Blues.”Every September, the Tropea Blues Festival features several international acts who perform in various scenic locations throughout the town. It has expanded from three nights in its earlier incarnation to six full days full of music and fun. In addition to concerts, the festival now includes related cultural events and a jam session. The same group also presents other blues events throughout the year, so if you’ll be in town, keep an eye on their website for announcements.

Deep in Calabria, the toe of Italy’s boot, Tropea doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves. The town is perched above the Tyrrhenian Sea on the Coast of the Gods and is stunningly beautiful with fantastic beaches, a charming historical center, and restaurants serving fresh seafood. Tropea is literally mythical: One legend says it was founded by Hercules, who is honored in the name of the main square, Piazza Ercole. This happening summer beach town does get crowded in July and August—mostly with Italian and other European tourists—so if you enjoy personal space, May, June, September, and October are probably better choices. Visit and spend some quality time in one of Italy’s best-kept secrets.

© Courtesy of Tropea Blues Festival

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