The Bocca Del Serchio (mouth of the Serchio) remains one of my favourite places. It’s the spot where our river, after its trials and tribulations through gorges and canyons and its entry into the plain of Lucca, slows down and meanders through the final stretch towards the sea where its still fresh-water mixes with sea-salt. Sunday was a great day to visit the mouth – sunny and gently windy.
Leaving my vehicle at Migliarino I first walked down the river path enjoying the wind-in-the-willows feeling of the place. Each boat pier is clearly numbered but there were no boats messing about on the river.
On the river’s other bank is the San Rossore natural park. I’d like to swim across to it in summer. There was a distinct background roar which, at first I thought was planes landing and taking off. Then I realised it was the sea! I thought of those lines from Shelley’s poem “Love’s philosophy.”
The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Shelley loved the Serchio and even had his own boat on it. If you click on https://longoio.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/the-mouth-of-the-serchio/ (which is my other post on the same subject) you’ll see his poem on this boat.
The first part of the beach was strewn over with bamboo canes, branches and twigs brought down by the Serchio during the winter storms.
The river’s wavelets arriving on the coast became progressively larger as I strolled down the beach. On one side the horizon, on the other the backcloth of the Apuan Alps, at one’s feet a sandy beach strewn with natural sculptures – what more could one want?
See the mountains kiss high heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
Perhaps one wanted a dog? There were several people taking advantage of the weather to stroll their dogs which came in all shapes and sizes. I was particularly taken by this breed I’d never seen before. The owner described it to me as a mastino Napolitano.
This breed forms part of the class of truly large dogs and is descended from the hunting mastiffs kept by the Assyrians. It was the Neapolitan Bourbon kings’ favourite hunting and defence dog and was even enrolled into the Bourbon army.
Despite its huge size and its defensive use the Mastino Napolitano didn’t seem at all aggressive, indeed seemed most docile and lay back towards me.
On my return from the beach I passed a happy group of fishermen, one of whom was “knitting” a new net. I asked him how long it would take to finish. “Just another day,” he replied.
It was great to be here far away from the world’s cares and from an Italy which is at present without a president – another Napolitano…..