I always find the drive back from Marina di Vecchiano (in the San Rossore natural park and a few hundred yards from the mouth of the Serchio) after a nice dip in what has to be the most “natural” beach for miles around quite delightful. The road stretches across pastures and fields of sunflowers towards the Apuan Mountains. (Actually, of course, it was Sandra who had the dip as my arm is still plastered….).
Sometimes one comes across a shepherd and his flock.
Slightly unusually on this occasion we did not encounter another variety of life – the “extracommunitaria” sex-workers on the road-side on the look-out for prospective clients who appear among the sunflowers like an exotic species.
The climb up to the Roman town of Massaciuccoli with its terme and its mosaics and the descend into Balbano is spectacular and then there is Nozzano Castello to follow where the best mediaeval festa in the area takes place around September..
Of course, this route could be shortened by taking the Pisa autostrada but who really wants to do this when the local roads are so delightful.
We missed our German bier garden at Vecchiano – so many good places have come and gone in the past years for it’s difficult to keep an eatery going when the season here lasts only a few months. However, before we came here we visited the port area of Viareggio where we had a great fish dinner at a restaurant evidently inhabited by sea dogs – so heavily tattooed they seemed to be – and visited a shop catering for mermaids.
The Migliarino beach was filled with driftwood which formed strange abstract and not so abstract sculptures. I think I must have seen at least one “crocodile” among them.
Avoid the seaside week-end like the plague, go later on in the afternoon, and enjoy the sunset, and that proposed flight to the Maldives seems almost unnecessary.