Ok so…. You know those places that you just have to go? Tropea is one of them. Probably my favourite chilled, no frills and no fuss beach destination in Europe now (sorry Portugal..), Tropea blew me away – and then some.
Where do I even begin? I guess at the start.
Mind, body and spirit
Arriving at 6am after an overnight bus and 3.5 weeks in Mykonos, I was feeling very, very fragile. I purposely came to Tropea not knowing a soul, knowing it wasn’t an international hotspot, because I wanted some serious alone time. After not working for a few months, I was feeling really called to get back on track and do my job – help people with my sleep advice. Second to that, I wanted to start living my healthy life again – none of this drink all day party all night life that was Mykonos, I really just wanted to get back to my wellness – mind, body and spirit.
So – I arrived at Tropea a somewhat broken human (3.5 weeks in Mykonos will do that), and I enjoyed the day to myself. Walking around the tiny town with cobblestone streets, a charming centre and what appeared to be my Nonno and nonna at every cafe sipping espressos and eating cornetto’s, I could tell this was a place I would love.
Something about it – it was hard to say what. Maybe it was the warm inviting smile on the locals as they ushered you in for a coffee (or in my world, tea), maybe it was the jaw dropping crystal blue waters of the ocean below, or maybe it was the slow, gentle pace. Maybe it was everything – but whatever it was, I knew I was right to have followed my blind intuition and book a flight here pronto.
As the days rolled past, I fell more and more in love (with Tropea, not a man). It was exactly what I needed – a small, relaxed place where everything was within 15 minutes walking distance – a beautiful beach, cafe to perch up with my laptop (and a spritz, of course), good seafood and not much else. I loved the fact that I didn’t know anyone, answer to anyone, or have anywhere else to be. I was so blissed out with my own space and time that for what in the end was a month, I rarely spent time with others – it was just me myself and I.
One Night Running Town
That said, I did meet some wonderful characters along my way. First up, Adriano. On my first night, running around the town with newfound joy, I met these two guys, enjoying a spritz. They invited me to join, I said yes, then the next thing I know we are eating at an incredible restaurant. They seemed nice, and he offered to take me out on his boat on the Weekend. I thought – hey, why not. We chatted, and I realised we were cut from the same cloth – another non-attached, introverted gypsy like me. Sounds like a relatively normal story, but what wasn’t so normal (and very surprisingly nice) is when he helped me out – time and time again. First, taking me to the hospital when I injured my foot, then offering me a place to stay whilst I couldn’t walk properly (more on that later), then helping me get official documents from the town hall in Calabria, which entailed a day trip where he rented a car, drove 2 hours each day, and a 45 minute heated argument with the government officials (he won!). If that wasn’t all, the next day, he also spent an hour piecing together my official documents that, in a freak storm, had blown away overnight, into the garden, ripping one apart and damaging the other two (not even joking).
Adriano reminded me of the care, love and thoughtfulness of humans. He reminded me what it is to care, what it is to be kind, what it is to give a shit. Forever grateful, and I am so glad I said yes to that spritz.
The other wonderful characters I can’t actually name, because I don’t know their names – just where they work – Lido something. The guys that run this place are nothing short of epic – the kind that make you feel like family from the moment you arrive. See, two days after I landed I hurt my foot – to the point I couldn’t walk for 2 weeks, and instead, limped. Though it was self inflicted and very silly of me – spritz and jumping in pool DOES NOT mix), they felt sorry for me and helped me out. From bringing anything and everything to my table, to bringing me ice all day long to reduce the swelling, I felt very looked after. I also loved that they were happy to have me + laptop there all day, despite only ordering a few drinks and a main – something that definitely does not happen in peak season in other places.
They were definitely my two highlights in terms of people, which may sound few for a 4 week stay, but to be honest, I barely spoke to anyone. I was focused on my work, having heaps of business calls, podcasts – all my energy was focused here that by the time I clocked off work, I wasn’t overly interested in going out and expending more energy.
I could say so much more, but I will tail off here and let the photos do the talking….
Tropea, you were so unexpected, and so exactly what I needed.