Tortora is the first town on Italy's Tyrrhenian coast one encounters upon entering the region of Calabria
from the north. But, we warn you: first appearances are deceiving and may cause you to wonder why you journeyed this far South. Why?
Well, at the entrance to the Marina of Tortora, there are some run down buildings and some rather un-impressive shops, but once you make your way down to the beach you will see one of Italy's longest Lungo Mare (Sea Wall) which stretches from Tortora past Isola Dino about 10 Km down the coast. The beach at Tortora is at some parts rocky and at some points very sandy and for those who love the beach, you may want to stay right here. However, for lovers of history and those who want to see a truly special Calabrese town, the real charm of Tortora lies in the historical centre, which is a short 15 kilometer drive into the mountains. To the locals it is known as "Tortora Paese".
Sunset at Tortora Marina, Calabria - Photo by Jesse Andrews
Arriving in this Tortora you will be rewarded with superb mountain views, fascinating architecture, houses that seem to spill down the mountainsides, busy, colorful shops, and one of the region's most interesting museums. So, without question, a drive to this ancient village is well worth it.
The antiquities in the museum go back to the time of the ancient Greeks, when Tortora was part of Greater Greece, or "Magna Graecia".
As you will see from many of the prospects in and around the town, the countryside is covered in vineyards and olive or fig orchards. Some sheep and cattle graze on a few mountain pastures.
Tortora Marina, Calabria - Photo by Jesse Andrews
In the valley below streams and waterfalls fall off mountain crags. In the distance, from the highest point of the town, who's highlight is a 14th century Duomo, the view to the Tyrrehnian sea is breathtaking.
Hungry? Italy Group Specialists recommends "La Loggia", which overlooks the town and is a great place to have lunch or dinner, especially in the summer months when the outdoor terrace comes alive with music and festivity.
Don't forget your camera - there are a number of "shots" you'll want to take in Tortora.
Historical Centre of Tortora, Calabria - Photo by Jesse Andrews