Last Monday I posted a guessing game of doors and windows – and here is the right answer to it: a city in the South of Catalonia with a pretty name of Tarragona. I was surprised of how fast the right answers popped up in the comments – and of the smart strategies some used to find out 🙂
Tarragona got my heart and I cannot keep silent about my love. The town is only a 1,5 hour away from Barcelona and is a perfect destination for a day-trip from the Catalan capital. So when you are in Barcelona and want new horizons to explore – go to Tarragona! In a way it resembles Barcelona – but it also has its own distinct history dating back to Romans, its own style and atmosphere. So you get some kind of deja vu, but Tarragona has its own power to enchant you. Here are my reasons to visit this pretty place.
1. Italian Deja Vu.
Tarragona feels different than other cities and towns of Catalonia. Maybe, because it is more Southern, or maybe because of its Roman heritage – but to me it felt like an Italian deja vu. While Barcelona is a mix of Medieval style in Barrio Gotic and modernist architecture of Gaudi, and Girona feels closer to France – Tarragona is full of optimistic colors, facades in pretty pastels and that typically Italian palette of earthy warm tones. This is why I love traveling around Catalonia: each place gives you a unique feeling and makes you feel alive in its own way.
Check out these images and tell me if they give you some associations. Could it be Italy?
2. The history.
Tarragona dates back to the Roman times. In Latin its name was Tarraco. The city has Roman ruins for visiting, sculptures and the ancient amphitheater right by the beach. It was cold and windy that day, I felt almost blown away from the sight (and not by the emotion, but by the wind :)). So I prefered hiding in the narrow streets than taking the pictures of ruins where you climb the stairs up and down in the wind. But it was still lovely, and it must be also lovely on a warm summer day giving you that feeling of old Roman life style in the Mediterranean.
3. The Food.
What I love about traveling to smaller places: the food is usually so good! While in big cities like Barcelona you have to know the spots, because you can end up in some tourist trap, smaller cities and towns are so easier to navigate when you want to eat. My best food memories come from the smallest towns of central Catalonia. In Tarragona we ate well with a style of sophisticated cuisine made available, or as we joked “French haute food made by IKEA” (no Swedish producers included though).
The restaurant was so busy that we had to wait for our table outside – and then the waiter gave our table to another couple by mistake. We were already hungry and thus annoyed. She promised us that the old ladies would be ready soon, but they didn’t seem to be in a hurry. It all ended up well, another table was miraculously liberated. She felt so sorry. No problem, things happen. The food was good and total menu costed us some 14 euros. The old ladies at the table that she had promised us, were taking their time and eating the desert, looking suspiciously at us – and they still were there when we were leaving :)))
4. The Romance.
Looking again at my last year photos of Tarragona I couldn’t stop the song playing in my head. “Isn’t she lovely?”, sung by The Beatles in early 60s. As the evening was falling down on the city, its narrow streets full of history got such a romantic atmosphere. Imagine walking those streets and steps – can you feel the romance?
Tarragona stole my heart and I hope to be back once. I hope, you have enjoyed this little tour (of love) with me 🙂 It is said that the love will save the world, so whatever love you have – for a place, for food, for a pet, for a color – may it fill your life and may it grow more and more.
May you walk in beauty and love! Have a great start of the last week of March!
P. S. Isn’t she lovely? 🙂