Known as the pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea on the coast of the Gods, Tropea brings forth undeniable breathtaking energy. Voted the most beautiful village in all of Italy it’s no surprise this is where most Europeans retreat for the summer. Luca and I spent eight days and seven nights in Tropea to get a feel of life as a local.
Things to consider when staying longer than a few days
First things first. When booking your room make sure to check that they offer air conditioning. Especially in the summer months. I overlooked that step and was surprised when I showed up and found out our stay would be without ac. I’m pretty adaptable, but it did bring some discomfort that could’ve been easily avoided.
This isn’t uncommon in Italy. Italians are acclimated to their weather conditions. Their preference is opening the windows to use the breeze to cool down the home. But when you’re a visitor in a common living space it’s not as comfortable to have everything open. Something to keep an eye out for. The owner informed me he would be getting ac installed after this season. His location and pricing are pretty good for a single traveler or couple.
Residenza Fillipo in Tropea, Italy
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Pay Attention to Local Signs
Secondly, If you have a car, be aware of the signage. As a tourist, you are not allowed to drive through the center or access certain beaches by car. These roads are reserved for residents, and Google maps will not avoid these routes. The signs will be marked with the months and times (in Italian) throughout the year when access is not allowed. I found out it’s about a $70 euro fine that will come in the mail in three months.
Travel with Coins
Thirdly, going to the local markets to pick up fruits and vegetables is recommended. When you need to get necessities from a grocery store you will have to rent a basket. Depending on where you are in Italy it could be fifty cents or two euros. Coins are extremely valuable when traveling in Europe. I recommend always having a handful with you in a small coin purse.
Last but not least, if you forget to bring an adapter for your electronics don’t stress. Trony is an amazing local media shop with an extremely kind and helpful staff. They are attentive and very helpful to tourists. Some even speak fluent English. You can access their information here: https://www.trony.it/online/store/TRO437_A
The beaches of Tropea, Italy
Now onto the good stuff. There are two main beaches in Tropea and a boardwalk that connects them both. It’s about a twenty-five-minute walk to get from one beach to the other. Lido Blanca Beach is my preference when visiting the beach multiple times a day with a little one. It was closer to the location we stayed and easier to access because you can drive down and park. It has a long stretch of beach with more space for swimming in the Sea. If you are staying longer than a few days, I recommend booking a stay closer to this beach.
The Shore of Tropea is absolute perfection. The sand is soft, the sea is a crystal clear turquoise blue, and the backdrop of the sunset against the sea is an image you will carry into eternity. The grotto underneath the church is a beautiful addition to everything this beach area has to offer.
During the summer this spot will be packed from the sand that meets the parking lot to the edge of the sea. Starting from around 8 am to around 7 pm. If you are like me and prefer to enjoy places like this all to yourself, I recommend going at sunrise. It’s an early rise time, 5 am to be exact in the summer months but well worth it. Tropea is a heavenly place where you can see the Sun rise and set over the sea.
The first Authentic Mexican Resturant in Tropea, Italy
You can imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon a Mexican restaurant in the village center. As a Texan, I grew up with this type of food. Since moving to Italy in January I have missed the Mexican cuisine. Their doors just opened this season with an authentic chef from Mexico who makes this place a gem in Italy.
The hospitality won me over
The manager is a world traveler who is kind and attentive to all his customers. Carrying out plates, greeting every guest, and offering them their preferred seating upon arrival. He brought me a sample of their sauces along with a Corona (dressed in salt and lime!) and really made this Texan feel at home. As much as I love the never-ending pizza and pasta, there’s nothing like chips and salsa and a cold Corona. Especially in Tropea, Italy.
Make sure you add Frida’s Tropea to the top of your list of places to eat
With 12 5-star reviews on google within its first month of opening, you don’t want to miss this place. It’s tucked away on a street off the center, but close enough that you don’t have to walk too far. You’ll have to explore a little bit to find it. Along the path, there are some great local clothing shops that sell pieces from Greece and Italy. That’s another thing.. be prepared to shop. A lot!
A hidden Museum of Tropean History
When you search for Tropea, Italy you come across endless articles and travel guides for their pristine beaches. The local eatery and artisans in the market center, and the ancient history of this charming village. What you won’t find is one of the most beautiful cemeteries I’ve ever seen.
Maybe it’s a bit out of the ordinary to visit a cemetery where you don’t have any relatives buried, but from an outsider’s perspective, this looked like a Museum to honor the deceased. The cemetery is attached to a church, with gates that close every night and open every day for visiting hours. Once you walk in, there are endless rows of concrete walls, with photos next to every name and a personalized message with flowers.
During my trip to Tropea, Italy my sister’s grandmother passed. It was hard to receive the news and realize I wouldn’t be there to show my support. So, I felt called to mention this cemetery to honor her passing from afar. Maybe, when my time comes, this will be a burial ground I can call home.
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