The remains of the earthquake ravaged Norman-Swabian Castle loom over the town from the surrounding hills. Walk the ramparts for views across the region. The Museo Archeologico Lametino has recently moved to a larger site, all the better to display its vast collection of artefacts from ancient Greece to the Middle Ages.
The Caronte Spa is one of Italy’s most celebrated natural well-being centres, and has been since Roman times. The ‘Ci’ body treatment includes a mud steam bath and volcanic stone massage.
The Duomo is a good place to cool off and learn a bit of local history. The cathedral’s exhibits include two unexploded US World War II bombs, with prayers of thanks to the Madonna attached. The area is well-known for its red onions and cipolla di Tropea has become an Italian synonym for all red onions.
L’Oasi Ristorante (closed Mon) is just out of the town. A seafood specialist, it’s hailed as the region’s best eatery, with a daily-changing menu, try the grigliata mista di pesce (grilled fish).
La Furfantella is a busy pizzeria bringing a taste of Naples to Calabria.
Il Cantagalli was apparently voted the best place for ice cream in the world recently. The fichi della piana flavour is made with figs – delicious.
The Ristorante Pizzeria Antico Borgo is a classic brick-walled eatery, set in an atmospheric old palazzo and serving up regional seafood specialities, including excellent sarde ripiene (sardines stuffed with breadcrumbs, pecorino, capers and garlic).
Ristorante Pizzeria Vecchio Granaio, nearby, is equally good, with the added bonus of shaded terracing and an excellent wine list. Fileja alla tropeana (pasta with tomatoes and spicy ‘nduja sausage) is a house speciality.
Statti is Lamezia’s winery. You can take a tour and sample wine and olive oil too. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
The southern beach is quieter, with tiny grottos dotted around, while its northern counterpart is more modern, with a gleaming marina.
The Hotel Villa Antica (rooms from €68) is ideal if you’re thinking of staying a while in the town, set in the centro storico, but with a hushed ambience.
Pop Star by AC is a buzzy boutique for a younger crowd, while Elena Miro (118 Corso Nicotera) is a well-stocked outpost of the popular womenswear brand.
The Mercato del Contadino is a new food market based on a farmers’ market model. Introduced late last year, its local produce makes it a must for foodies.
Enjoy a glass or two at the Risto wine bar.