The seaside, Italian style
Trip Start Jun 23, 2012
8Trip End Jun 30, 2012
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Chris and Katie also went off exploring, and discovered the chocolate shops of Monsummano, to the east of Lucca. Meanwhile, Olivia and Lydia appeared to do nothing but sleep and sit by the pool!
After various requests we had decided to make an outing to the seaside, although due to the heat we left our departure time until mid-afternoon
We were trying to enter Viareggio on the Viale dei Tigli, which (according to our guide book) is a beautiful 6km long avenue of limes on the entrance to the town. Unfortunately we couldn't find it, and ended up getting slightly lost searching for the centre....the accidental diversion, however, took us around the port district which housed dozens of huge "sheds" dedicated to the manufacture of giant motorised yachts, of the type that Roman Abramovich would be proud.
Despite a confusing entry into the town we managed to park easily, and close to the beach
Everyone ventured into the sea (except Liz and I, who limited ourselves to a stroll along the shore). The whole experience was slightly bizarre....almost every square inch of the huge beach, stretching miles up the coast, was covered in well-ordered rows of sun umbrellas and deck-chairs. There was a small strip of sand, about 5m wide, at the sea-edge, along which throngs of people were walking....although it was a little tricky to get anywhere, as inevitably there were kids mucking around building sand castles, plus every establishment seemed to have its own life guard, complete with boat and little area for the lifeguards to sit and chat.
After our hour was up we repaired to a cafe for a drink - the guidebook recommended the Gran Caffe Margherita, directions to which I duly asked as we left the beach....only to find it was right next door! In other words, it was not that "grand" - albeit it offered just what we needed (drinks in the shade, plus decent toilets!).
Our day ended in Lucca, where we stopped on our homeward drive. We are now getting to grips with the tiny streets and one-way system in the city, and were able to park in our usual spot (thankfully now without its "minder"), and sat outside at a very pleasant restaurant in a small square just within the city walls.