Why Visit Pizzo?
Com'era na vota restaurant
I love gelato, but I do overdo it on occasion.
I'm told that every meal in the summer doesn't require a gelato afterwards. Such advice is obviously deeply flawed, so I ignore it.
They say, "What about your weight?" I say, "What's a few pounds on the hips for the taste of heaven on your lips?"
Anyway, I've gone along just fine for years with my gelato eating, but Pizzo was a step too far.
It was the Tartufo that did it!
They invented tartufo (chocolate truffle) here in Pizzo, and they still make the best ones.
I had to verify that though...
Scientific research for this article. I am sure you can understand that one needs to be thorough. And, boy, was I thorough. In the end, it overwhelmed me. But I did find the best tartufo in Pizzo.
I'll get onto that later. First, let's explore Pizzo...
Tartufo in Pizzo
What to See in Pizzo
The Top 6 Attractions to See in Pizzo
The old town in Pizzo
- The old town is a sheer joy to explore, with cobbled lanes, little piazze, and the occasional jaw-dropping view of the sea far below. Immerse yourself in the town's rich history and culture while wandering the winding streets, browse the stores, make your own discoveries and take time out in the plentiful cafes and restaurants. The old town alone is reason enough to visit Pizzo.
- I loved the piazza in front of the Church of Saint George, it was my first stop each morning, and what a pleasure it was to eat my cornetto and sip my morning cappuccino while watching the day in Pizzo slowly unfold before my eyes.
the piazza in front of the Church of Saint George
- The 17th century Church of St. George (Chiesa di San Giorgio) is a beautiful church located in the heart of Pizzo's old town. It dates back to the 17th century and is known for its stunning baroque architecture and ornate interior where beautiful frescoes and paintings adorn the walls and ceilings. Step inside, and the heat and noise of a hot summer's day in the piazza melt away. You enter a cool world of silence, the only sound being the occasional creek of a pew as someone kneels in prayer. It feels as if God is right there, listening to one's prayers.
Castle Murat in Pizzo
- Castello Murat is most famous for the fact that it was here that Napoleon's brother-in-law, who was also the King of Naples, was executed. Tickets to tour the 15th century castle cost 3 euros. The best option is to buy the biglietto di ingresso cumulativo for 4.50 euros, which allows entrance to both the castle and Piedigrotta Cave Church.
- Piedigrotta Cave Church: One of the most visited attractions in all of Calabria, it is unlike anything I have ever seen in my life. It all started after the sailors of a 16th-century ship were saved when they and the ship's painting of the Madonna were washed up into the grotta. To say thanks for their prayers being answered, they built a shrine to the Madonna, and the painting took pride of place. Years later, the sea entered the cave, and the painting was washed away. Then, a miracle! A few days later, the painting was back in exactly the same spot where it was first found. Centuries later, sometime in the 19th century, a local man dedicated his life to carving wonderful statues out of the rock. His son continued the work. After his death, the cave was abandoned until a Canadian descendent of the family returned in the 1960s and restored it. It truly is something incredible to see and very moving. For more, visit the official site: https://www.chiesadipiedigrotta.it/
- The waterfront & beach: This beach has it all: soft, white sand; crystal-clear waters; and stunning views of the town's historic center and Aragonese castle. And if you're feeling hungry, you'll find plenty of beach clubs and restaurants serving up delicious seafood and refreshing cocktails.
Where to Stay in Pizzo?
Piccolo Grand Hotel
Near the beach, there is a lovely little hotel called the Piccolo Grand Hotel that I can highly recommend. However, should you prefer to base yourself in the old town, the B&B Casa Angeleri is a better option. Their little "secret garden" is simply too wonderful for words - have a look at the photos here.
Where to Eat Lunch, Dinner and Gelato
Eating is one of the greatest pleasures of Calabria, and in Pizzo, the food is delicious, with the cherry on top being the tartufo gelato. Of course, gelato comes after the meal, so let's start with lunch or dinner, and for that, I can highly recommend At Comera na Vota, they have all the traditional dishes of this corner of Calabria, and prices are really reasonable. This is the closest you can get to eating with a Calabrian family: the dishes are all traditional recipes made the way that nonna (granny) makes them at home.
Now it's Tartufo time, and where to go is so confusing—there are literally dozens of places claiming to offer the best tartufo. I tried a good number of them as part of my research, and I am pleased to announce the winner is... L'Angolo del Gelato! You will love it as much as I did.
L'Angolo del Gelato
A Walk Through Pizzo
Getting to Pizzo
Pizzo is a short train ride north of Tropea, so it makes a good day trip if you're based in Tropea.
If you're staying in Pizzo though, here's how to get there:
By plane: fly into Lamezia Terme airport; buses or taxis will take you the 2 kms to the station, or you can pick up a car rental at the airport - best is to book it beforehand. The train journey takes around 20-30 minutes, depending on the train.
By car: If you're driving, Pizzo is easily accessible via the A3 motorway, which connects the town to other cities in Calabria and beyond. The journey from Lamezia Terme takes around 30 minutes by car.
From Rome: You can take a high-speed train from Rome's Termini station to Lamezia Terme Centrale station, which is the closest train station to Pizzo. The journey takes around 4-5 hours, depending on the train you take.
From Naples: You can take a high-speed train from Naples' Centrale station to Lamezia Terme Centrale station, which takes around 3-4 hours, depending on the train.
From Florence: You can take a high-speed train from Florence's Santa Maria Novella station to Lamezia Terme Centrale station, which takes around 6-7 hours, depending on the train.
From Milan: You can take a high-speed train from Milan's Centrale station to Lamezia Terme Centrale station, which takes around 7-8 hours, depending on the train.
Once you arrive at Lamezia Terme Centrale station, you can take a regional train to Pizzo, which takes around 20-30 minutes. Be sure to check the train schedules and purchase tickets in advance, as train services may be limited in certain seasons.
Your Questions about Pizzo
A: The best time to visit Pizzo is during the spring months (May to June) or in September. The weather is warm and sunny then, and the beaches are at their best without the crowds and heat of July and August.
A: Pizzo is not known for its nightlife, but there are a few bars and restaurants that stay open late. The town is more suited to those looking for a relaxed, low-key vacation.
A: Pizzo has a long and rich history that dates back to ancient times. The town has been inhabited by various civilizations over the centuries, including the Greeks, Romans, and Normans.
A: The local cuisine in Pizzo is typical of the Calabrian region, with an emphasis on fresh seafood, pasta dishes, and local specialties such as the aforementioned Tartufo di Pizzo. Visitors can also enjoy locally produced wines and liqueurs.
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