Tourist Attraction in Tropea: Santuario Santa Maria dell'Isola
The Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell'Isola is located in Tropea, on the homonymous rock. It is probable that the rock of the island was inhabited, around the VII-VIII century, by hermits. These, isolating themselves from the civil world, devoted themselves to a contemplative and ascetic life. The first written indications of the use of the rock for monastic purposes date back to the eleventh century, all that is precedent must be considered as a historical hypothesis. For many years it belonged to the Basilian monks and from the eleventh century the Benedictine monks lived there. It was Roberto the Guiscardo, the Norman duke, who wanted the passage from the Greek to the Latin rite, around 1060. Following the earthquakes of 1783 and 1905, little of the original structure is preserved. The staircase that is reached to reach it was built around 1810. It became one of the symbols of Calabria in the world, this church is of medieval origin. Also on the church of Santa Maria dell'Isola there is a legend that tells how the virgin arrived in the village. At the time of iconoclasm, a statue of the Virgin arrived in Tropea from the East. The people went down to the beach, together with the bishop and the mayor to celebrate the arrival of the wooden statue of the Madonna. The two heads of the village decided, by mutual agreement, to install the statue of the Madonna inside a niche, in a natural cave, present in the rock cliff. The statue, unfortunately, was too large compared to the size of the niche. It was for this reason that the leaders of the community convened a carpenter to solve the problem, sawing the legs of the Madonna. But the carpenter, as soon as he put the saw on the statue, he was paralyzed in his arms, while the mayor and the bishop died at that moment. In the following days, Our Lady began to pardon her people, performing miraculous acts for the sick who were led, where the Madonna was laid. Until a few decades ago, devotees used to accompany their dear sick people to the same spot in the cave, in the hope of a grace.