Posted by: Debra Kolkka | April 17, 2016

Pizzo by the sea

Pizzo is a Calabrian seaside town in the Gulf of Sant’Eufemia. The houses perch on terraces sloping down to the sea.


Cicero lived here for a while and his name lives on in his favourite beach, called La Seggiola, which means “armchair of Cicero”.

On a clear day you can see Stromboli. It wasn’t clear enough when we visited, but we did see it later as we drove along the coast.

The centre of the town is Piazza Republica, watched over by Umberto I. There is cute little Murat Castle nearby.





There is a pretty little beach, with white sand, the first we saw in Calabria.


Come for a little walk through Pizzo.


The Piedigrotto church is something to see. It is carved into the magmatic rock cliff. Legend has it that a ship with a Neapolitan crew was surprised by a violent storm. The captain assembled the crew in his cabin where they prayed before a painting of the Madonna of Piedgrotta. They made a vow that if they were saved they would build a chapel dedicated to her.

The ship sank, but the sailors swam ashore, saving the Madonna and the ship’s bell. They kept their vow and dug a small chapel out of the rock and placed the sacred image. Around 1880 a local artist, Angelo Barone, dedicated his life to decorating the chapel, now filled with his carvings. I’ll show you some more of this later when internet access is a bit more reliable.


Tourism is the main focus of Pizzo today. Visitors come for the sea and the delicious food. The local flavours include cinnamon, oregano, wild fennel, mint, paprika and, as was translated in the brochure, nails of carnation…that’s cloves.

We had a very good meal at this seafood restaurant, called La Lampara.


The local wine is Zibibbo, a white wine from the grapes of the same name.

A speciality of Pizzo is gelato, especially tartufo, so we felt we needed to try some. I had pistachio, and Jim forced down a chocolate one.

The piazza was lively at night, with everyone out for a wander.



The little castle is lit up at night.


We stayed at a gorgeous hotel, Piccolo Grand Hotel.


There is a delightful terrace on the top floor where we went for a cool drink in the evening to watch the beautiful sunset.


It was also the perfect spot for breakfast the next morning.



When it was time to go the charming girl at reception drove us to our car in their tiny electric car which is kept in the cutest garage ever.


The hotel was heavenly. It was tempting to scrap the rest of our trip and stay on. The rooms were excellent and the staff friendly and very helpful. If you go to Pizzo you must stay there.

Pizzo is lovely, but be warned, the roads in and out are awful. We visited in mid April, well before the season. It must be hell in summer…go by train.


  1. Nice sunset shot

    • Thank you. It was a beautiful evening.

      • Yes! The photo shows it! Check out my blog when u get the chance 🙂

  2. Amazing

    • Pizzo is a great little seaside town.

  3. Only in Italy… A Piazza Republica presided by a statue of King Umberto I…😄
    Great photos, Deb!

    • Yes, I saw the moustache from behind and was expecting Garibaldi or Vittorio.

  4. Beautiful!

    • Pizzo is a lovely little town. We enjoyed our visit.

  5. Every time I think I’ve seen the all of Italy then I’m introduced to something so new and so very beautiful. This is the first time I’ve seen Pizo (Where has it been all my life?), it’s an imperative to drop all my work and visit this beautiful city. Thank you very much for bringing it to our attention! ~Gian

    • Italy is full of delights. We keep finding places we want to return to.

  6. Amazing, I must go!

  7. Yes it is sounding pretty nice. I especially like your little hotel and the piazza lighting at night is lovely. It could be a must visit for me.

    • If you go you must stay at Piccolo Grand.

  8. Looks like a lovely place to explore.

    • It was. We don’t visit Italy for the beach, but there are other things of interest here.

  9. I wouldn’t like to kiss King Umberto I with his bushy moustache – probably wouldn’t find his lips. Love your photos of Pizzo, what a delightful place! Your little hotel looks a dream with a magnificent view from your breakfast terrace. Little wonder you want to stay longer! La Lampara certainly looks inviting with its old beams, lovely frescos of the sea and cosy dining setting. I love eating tartufo but your pitaschio gelato looks just as appealing. What a wonderful experience for you, Debra and Jim. Look forward to your further exploring of Calabria.

    • My pistachio tartufo was delicious. I think the ice cream may very well have got caught up in Umberto’s whiskers.

      • Yes, imagine the mess with the whiskers in the way…. I wonder if King Umberto I would have a special bowl, or a special spoon even, that would lift his moustache for his ice creams, rather similar to those moustachio cups popular in Europe for those men proud of their mos. Now, THAT’ll be interesting!

  10. Absolutely gorgeous Debra what an incredible place to be. I’d quite happily take in sunrises like that….err, tomorrow looks free 🙂

    • Come on over to Pizzo.

  11. I really love how you show us areas of Italy that we haven’t been to before! 😀

    • Pizzo was a first for us. It was lovely.

  12. You live a charmed life, Debra!

    • You may not say that if you saw me on the end of a pick, or hauling rocks at Casa Debbio…but I agree that I get to do some great stuff.

  13. Love the chapel legend

    • It was a very cute little place.

  14. Interesting story of that cave. But my heart really felt at ease at the sight of that sunset.
    Looking forward to the rest of the chapel. Please let me know when you post it.

  15. My family is from Calabria, specifically Acri and Santa Sofia d’Epiro, up in the mountains. We have visited both as well as spending time in Soverato on Mare Ionio. Love it!! So many places to see, my “bucket list” is overflowing!

  16. […] visited Pizzo, Scilla and Tropea on the Calabrian […]

  17. Pizzo is also great at Christmas time selling lots of Christmas goodies and beautiful displays

    • I would love to be there at Christmas time.

  18. […] чрез Пицо от морето – Бани ди Лука и отвъд […]

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