Friday, January 13, 2012

Welcome To Tropea

Welcome to Tropea. Our little town in the very south of Italy. Why did we come here? Well, we searched for available apartments in Italy with Wifi at a reasonable price. The place we are staying made the short list, and very soon we committed. That was how it came about. Before finding the apartment we didn't even know Tropea existed.
Tropea is split into two parts, the historical centre which is right on the coast, and the more modern built up town. We start our tour in the modern section. This little bread store (orange sign) sell fantastic bread.
Tropea is quite run down in the winter. There is a lot of renovations going on in certain places. Others just stays on the poor side. Well, poor looking. Different values. They don't care about the fancy house and the new car. South Italians care about a good meal, good conversation, and family. We could learn some things from these people.
This is the Piazza, or town square. Not a lot going on in the middle of the day. A left over Christmas tree and a few people milling about is all there is.
Gotta have a statue if you're going to have a town square in Europe. Tropea opted for some naked dude holding a chicken. I'm sure there is some historical significance and meaning behind it.
Heading down from the piazza you'll usually come across people walking about. Walking is one of the biggest past times here. Groups of men, families, singles, dog walkers, really everyone is always walking at all times of the day.
When doing this tour I stopped into one of 17 churches in the little town. Most are closed, but this one was open. Cute, and still very beautiful.
Asphalt transitioning into stone means we are now entering the historic centre of town. And yes, those are more walkers in the background.
Italy has amazing food. South Italy has a lot of spice. Whole chains of chillies are sold for a few €. The spice, simple ways of life, and things being more run down reminds me a lot of traveling through central america.
Tropea is defiantly a summer town. Currently there are 5,000 residents here. In August that number will swell to 70,000. As a result many businesses are closed. If you go out between 1:30pm - 5:00pm nothing is open and it feels like a ghost town. Anything that was open for business is closed for an extended lunch, italian's biggest meal of the day.
Yep, we are defiantly in the old part of town. The streets get a whole lot narrower and more sporadic. With the hot sun during most of the year, and the wind that whistles through the town all year, plus the cost of electricity everyone dries their laundry outside.
A smaller piazza further down the main street. If the cafe was open, it would be a nice surrounding to have a cup of espresso.
This little mini-market is still open and our go to if we need to nip out and grab something. Most of the time the produce shelves are mostly empty. Still, you can find the basics of what you need. Eating in season isn't a fad or a hippy movement, it is all you can do.
Our landlord is named Pasquale. I keep forgetting to ask him when they built a statue of him. Not sure how well Italians take sarcasm. Will find out soon hopefully though.
A view down main street of the old town. In the distance you can see Tropea's famous lookout.
Little cafe's and shops are still very much open here and there, and offer some great places to pick up something small to eat or a little espresso.
We'll cut through a bit of an alley.
And get to another cobble stone street.
Another shop selling all kinds of nick nacks.
This is arguably the best Gelati shop in town. We tried it and it was very yummy. Right now he only has a couple basic kinds. In the summer he will make Onion Gelato (Tropea is famous for their onions, also very good) along with some other strange favors. Apparently they are very good.
Very politely poked into one of the buildings to snap this one. Many of the buildings have wonderful courtyards.

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