Il Mezzogiorno - Naples & Southern Italy - September 2010

Tyrrhenian Coast

Photos by Walt & Gloria Fogler-Mancini


The Tyrrhenian coast runs along the southwest “toe” of Italy.  It is in the regions of Calabria and Basilicata which are mountainous and largely remote and wild.  They were part of Magna Graecia, conquered and unified by the Normans, and ruled for centuries by Sicily and Naples. This left the area underdeveloped and one of the poorest in Italy. 

Stromboli in sunset from Briatico

Tropea is one of the most popular seaside resorts on what is loosely called the Calabrian Riviera.  The area has beautiful beaches and fine scenery.

Maratea is a number of small linked communities further north on the coast.   It is known as a pleasant, chic and sophisticated resort that has little culture and little to do.  Its development has been largely responsible and restrained.  It has been called “the pearl of the Tyrrhenian”.

Rivello is a picturesque little hilltown inland from Maratea.  The persistence of feudal power outside Naples southern Italy left much of the population illiterate and the provinces backward .  Conditions akin to peasantry still existed 50 years ago and there was an ingrained hatred of exploiters.  

The coast north of Maratea extends around the Golfo di Policastro.  In the mountains, the roads are narrow and pass through isolated countryside where grapes and olives are grown.  The area has been compared to Big Sur in California, except that it has better beaches and very little traffic.

Outside Naples, southern Italy is under-developed and under-visited by tourists.  So, it also remains unspoiled.  Romantics in the 19th century wondered what they had lost having become industrialized.  They regretted that they had lost contact with nature and looked upon southern Italy as an earthly paradise.

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The photographs were taken with Leica cameras, the M8, M9 and D-LUX 3.  All images are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without permission. We can be contacted via e-mail at   Our home page is

March 9, 2011                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    wgfm