Italian Sojourn Part II July 13 – 17 – Tropea, Calabria

Calabria

We hadn’t been to Calabria in years and Marsha had never been to the Aeolian Islands.  It was time to go back.  We decided on Tropea as our destination.  Tropea is a beautifully located up and coming resort town near the tip of Italy on the Tyrrhenian Coast.  The town sits high atop sheer cliffs with views out over the sea towards the Aeolian Islands and in particular Stromboli which can be seen at sunset.

The drive down took about 6 1/2 hours but was beautiful with scenery changing around every corner.  I never appreciated how truly mountainous Italy is.  Even when maps don’t show the area as having mountains, they are there.  The autostrada was good although there was quite a bit of construction going on in the south half and that slowed us down a bit but at least it didn’t cost anything south of Salerno.  Eventually we made it to Tropea.  Found our hotel on a quiet side street and checked in.  It was quite a place.  Only 14 rooms and with a marvellous terrace with uninteruped views to the sea.

This is a view of Tropea looking up from one of the beachesClose up of how the buildings have been built sheer on the rocky edgesView from our hotel terrace out to seaView from our hotel terrace looking south towards Capo VaticanoView from our hotel terrace looking north.  This is where the stairs leading down to the beach are locatedView from our terrace looking out with Marsha standing near the railing

After we settled into our room we went out to explore Tropea.  The sun was just about to set and I managed to get some interesting sunsets.  The following evening photos were taken on different days throughout our stay.

IMG_6702 tropea sunset looking out to sea copy s.jpgIMG_6708 Tropea harbour at twilight copy s.jpgIMG_6715 sunset copy s.jpgIMG_6830 Calabrian sunset on water copy s.jpg

Walking around Tropea was enjoyable.  So many stores selling local produce.  It seemed that every store had baskets full of the famous red Tropea onions on display outside.  They seemed to find their way into many of the typical local dishes offered in restaurants. They are very mild compared to the red Spanish onions that they resemble.   There was so much to choose from but because of custom restrictions or luggage restrictions, we only purchased a few samples.  Saturday is market day in Tropea.  Markets are always fun to go through.  Here the market was quite large and parking was difficult to come by.  Fortunately our hotel was a one minute walk from one of the gateways to the market.

The following photos represent a small sampling of the stores and their products.  We also had some great meals at different restaurants around town and on our final night we ate on the terrace of our hotel taking in the sunset over the Tyrrhenian Sea and Stromboli beyond.

Saturday is market day in Tropea.  We spent the better part of the morning wandering around the outdoor market before heading to the beach.  We were less than a minute's walk from the entrance to the market.The famous red onions of Tropea.Storefront del sud with a nice display of productsRestaurant facade.  We didn't eat here because it was too early when I took the photo but I just liked the way it lookedFollowing supper we walked around town a bit and came across this painter working in his studioThis is Marsha at supper at table 31 at Don Rocco restaurant.  We ate here twice.  It had a marvellous view towards the mountains and a bit of the port.A storefront with a display of some nice bagsThis is truly a small sampling of gelato flavours.  This is surely one of the great pleasures in all of Italy - the wonderful GelatiHere is a neat motorcycle used for advertising a nearby restaurantSome grand calabrian produceTalk about choice.  Here you have lots to choose from.  Marsha purchased several jars to sample at homeYou don't hear too much about Calabrian wines but I can telll you based on what we drank that they are quite good and a great complement to the local cuisine.  Here is a small sample of some fine Calabrian winesAnd lets not forget the variety of liquers to be had.  I loved this display with the different colours and shapes of the bottlesThere was a lot of fresh fruit from the local countryside to choose from.  My only regret is that figs were not in season.  We missed the first batch a few weeks earlier and were several weeks before the second crop.  Well maybe next time.Here is a photo of Marsha at one of our suppers in Town. Taking some cocktails on our hotel balcony with our acquaintances from England before having our final supper in Tropea on our Terrace.Awesome supper on our hotel terrace our last night in Tropea.  The couple behind us were on their honeymoon.  A few minutes prior to this shot the staff arrived with firewords.

Tropea is a pretty town and walking around is a pleasure.  There are at least three main “balconies” with overlooks to the sea or mountains.  There are several pretty churces.  Side streets are picturesque.  Much of the town is substantially car free or at least limited.  This makes for pleasant strolls and there are many outdoor spots to take an aperitivo, gelato or snack throughout the day.  The beaches are beautiful and the water clear, fun and warm.  Renting beach umbrellas and beach lounge chairs is quite inexpensive compared to other beaches in central and northern Italy.  We rented ours for 10 euro for the full day.

IMG_6728 outdoor dining with moretti beer sign copy s.jpgIMG_6752 looking up to ombrellone s.jpgIMG_6755 massage copy s.jpgIMG_6795 calabrian coastline copy s.jpgIMG_6799 main street Tropea copy s.jpgIMG_6811 strolling along main street copy s.jpgIMG_6813 laundry hanging copy s.jpgIMG_6815 street scene copy s.jpgIMG_6832 sunset with person in water copy s.jpgIMG_6995 with English friends on beach s.jpgIMG_6997 me and marsha on the beach s.jpgIMG_7001 Big waves and crowd copy s.jpgIMG_7004 big wave copy s.jpgIMG_7007 Tropea surf and town copy s.jpgIMG_7020 beach and surf copy s.jpgIMG_7029 heading out to sea copy s.jpgIMG_7058 view of church in Tropea copy s.jpgIMG_7059 marching band in Tropea copy s.jpgIMG_7060 window and bicycle Tropea copy s.jpgIMG_7062 cart on street Tropea copy s.jpgIMG_7065 clothes line and balcony copy s.jpgIMG_7066 entrance to restaurant copy s.jpg

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