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Personally, I left Matera reluctantly – it is a truly unique place and I could have spent hours more exploring it, but Tropea was our next stop – chosen to break our trip after the long drive from Matera.

Frankly it was a little disappointing and we had quite an ambivalent response to it. Tropea is promoted as a lovely seaside resort and the accommodation we looked wonderful – at least from the enticing photos on we saw on the Internet. In reality, Tropea Boutique Hotel, is set among some pretty run down buildings but it stands out from them with its relatively classy sign and quite elegant entrance way.

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We had asked for rooms with sea views, but there were no windows in the rooms, so it felt claustrophobic, and the view was only possible once you stepped out onto the large shared terrace. Once out there, the view was quite enticing if you ignored the dingy buildings below:

The rooms were perfectly adequate, with clean sheets and towels. But it was not a room to relax in … so off we went to explore the town. It was not inspirational during the day with so many business taking the usual long Italian lunch break – it was filled mainly with tourists like us, and locals languishing in restaurants under shade. We chose to keep strolling and not finding much to cause us to linger we decided a drink was in order. We sat outside in the shade with our drinks – a not very good Margherita for me:

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About to have a Margherita

We did find a little bit if local colour:

We returned to the hotel to freshen up and rest after the long drive, then set off again in the early evening in search of food – and something strange had happened. Tropea had come alive – it had a completely different vibe – it was much more colourful and engaging. We continued walking and came upon a lovely little courtyard, which for me felt like something out of a Shakespearean play:

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We were all rather taken with this little haven so we perused the menu and Phil was delighted to find it offered Spaghetti Bolognese (which would be his first in Italy). We tucked this place away thinking we would probably return and after venturing not too much further,  we decided we couldn’t better it and made our way back. We had delicious meals there and really enjoyed the surroundings – it was not on the busier main tourist trails and the ambience was welcoming and relaxing.

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Dinner al fresco

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The Juliet balcony in an apartment over the courtyard

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Pretty vines in the courtyard

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The view down to the church and monastery from our terrace

Early the next morning we rose early to go and explore the area below the hotel and check out the beach. In the morning light, everything looked a little grimy and uninviting, plus there was litter everywhere. It is certainly a perfect location, perched dramatically on high cliffs, but it seems unloved…..

Breakfast on the hotel deck did offer the most amazing views – very much as you would see in a glossy promotional brochure and the breakfast spread was fine – it was wonderful sitting up there in the morning sun looking out onto the azure blue sea – but Sicily was calling …..

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Next post -Sicily!

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