Capo Vaticano is a ancient granite outcrop on the tip of Italy’s boot, on the Thyrrenean coast, about seventy miles north of the Messina strait, which separates the peninsula from Sicily. As the name implies, the cape was known since antiquity as the residence of a “vate ”or fortune-teller, but, except for a lighthouse, it was not inhabited in modern times until the Fifties. At that time there were no roads to the Cape, no buildings around it, just the rugged rocky Mediterranean landscape, and the sea, two-hundred and fifty feet below.
While during the Sixties and Seventies Calabria, like most of Italy, experienced a construction boom, the 20- acre enclave of the Cape was miraculously preserved as a private paradise, with nature at its most spectacular, and, in the air, the flavor of the ancient civilizations that flourished on the Mediterranean.
Outside the grounds, there are grocery stores within walking distance, as well as simple pizzerias and places to have ice cream and a drink. About 6 miles away, Tropea is a Baroque town with lovely squares, cafés, and stores with local craft wares.
The enchantment of this house will touch most deeply people who enjoy time away from society and civilization. Families with children would also love this place, for the immersion in nature is complete, and the sea so beautiful, you can follow your shadow on the sand as you swim.
The property, enjoys a private access to the small beach in the cove below, with a path of about four hundred steps hewn into the granite. The house, at the end of the access road, has complete visual privacy and a large terrace directly over the cliff. Cypresses, pines, olive trees and palms have grown to form nooks of dense shadow in the gardens, and afford a variety of vistas and walks. Strolling around the orchard, smelling the hedges of rosemary, or sitting under the pergolas covered with vines, bougainvillea, and jasmine, it is easy to forget the rest of the world.