Yesterday was our first day on the Versilian beach this year. The weather forecast and the sunflowers promised a pleasant beach day.
We could not, however, have chosen a more dramatic one to be there. A strong Scirocco wind started up and the promised sunny day turned into one where the clouds became dramatic scenic curtains, one set overpowering the other. Even more dramatic were the waves, seemingly galloped upon by giant sea-stallions beating the shore with their immense hooves.
By the bagnino (lifeguard) look-out post a red flag (danger) was fluttering in the stern wind. A few fool-hardy persons were charging at the waves. I decided to see what it was like to be in this defiant sea. After a few breakers came over, a whopper caught me and pushed me into a large underwater hollow scooped by the force of the water. I scrambled back onto dry land and the life-guard wisely advised me not to attempt anything more than a few feet from the shore.
Returning to our new beach umbrella, which had to be folded up in order not to be completely demolished by the gusts, we enjoyed gazing at the wild play of wind and waves. The lifeguard was frequently heard whistling at other bolder fighters of the sea.
We loved our desolate beach that afternoon near Viareggio. It was so different from the usual July scene with those many hundreds sunning it out on the sands. It was truly special.
It was just July 14th and it the height of summer but it was this same month, on the 8th and in 1822, that another lover of the wind and the waves, Percy Bysshe Shelley, was drowned near this very spot….