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Postcard from Tropea, Italy

The Chiesa dell'Isolla

The Chiesa dell'Isolla sits on a separated outcrop of rock that juts out into the sea.

You can spend a wonderful couple of days in Tropea, a little town on the South West coast of Italy. The town is perched on the cliffs above the sea.

Atop a separated outcrop is the the Chiesa dell'Isolla, and from this small church's vantage point you can get a good view of the town and the coastline.

The village is enchanting.

Narrow twisting lanes where you can shake your opposite neighbour's hand without leaving your own doorway, small family-run 'ristorante' where the service and the food is good, alley ways to explore and discover, and bars where you can rest and recover.

The town has a helpful information centre and a good map to help you find the features of its (perhaps in terms of its architecture) more affluent past. Several grand doorways (porticos) are featured on the map and we spent this afternoon seeking them out.

We stayed at a hotel on the port, so to visit the town we had to climb the stairway that zig zags up the cliff front. This morning our first visit was to the bank - entry was through a chamber which did a scan for any metal before the inner door opened, so I had to leave the camera gear with Jenny who waited outside. They do supply lockers outside, but none big enough for the 8kg of camera backpack.

Then on to the post to mail some cards followed by a self guided tour through the lanes and back alleys. The tourist season is almost over and most of the ristorante and souvenir shops will close at the end of September. Some of the streets we have to ourselves and the prices are starting to fall as the tourists thin out.

Tonight's meal started with bruschetta, followed by swordfish for Jen and calamari for me with a shared mixed salad and a litre of vino rosso locale (the local red and this one wasn't bad at all). The olive oil we poured over the salad was superb.

We will remember Tropea. On our first morning here we were woken by the sound of the goat herd running below our balcony, the neck bells of the leaders clanging to encourage the stragglers to keep up.

More Tropea photos

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