#43 / My soft spot
As promised, today we’re going to visit the sea –in Maremma to be precise. I’m a man of my word, and when it comes to travelling, even more so ;)
We’re in Tuscany, a region that is certainly better known for rural landscapes than marine ones, especially abroad. What could be more Italian than the Tuscan hills dotted with cypresses and winding roads climbing up slopes, or villages perched on the horizon, marked by walls, castles, towers and bell towers? Italian panoramas par excellence...
But Tuscany is quite extensive, and beyond its cities of art and its lush countryside, it also boasts kilometres of coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea: 250 km to be exact –yes, there’s plenty of sea and something for everyone. So out of all these kilometres, why Maremma? Because I have a soft spot for it: my parents brought me here as a child, and you know how we idealise our childhood... Do you get what I mean? ;)
But in reality there’s no need to overly romanticise, because it really is a very beautiful area –even for adults, I mean –between the blue sea and the green pine forests and hills just behind. And then there are the wonderful beaches and villages!
So let’s go! Let’s start with Follonica, the northern gateway: nobody can stop us from taking a dip in Cala Violina–but make sure to take off your MarcoMoreo shoes before you dive into those crystal-clear waters, recognised by the Blue Flag award every year for some time now.
Now let’s travel a few kilometres south to Punta Ala, a chic destination on the promontory of the same name, entirely covered with bright green Mediterranean scrub.
I can’t seem to stand still today, so let’s continue on to Castiglione della Pescaia, which still preserves the beautiful, characteristic flavour of an ancient fishing village, thanks in part to the Fortress (or Castle). It has been there since the 16th century, towering over the village from above.
Talamone is just as impressive, thanks to its authentic charm: the old town is medieval, and then there’s the Aldobrandeschi fortress, dating as far back as the 13th century.
[Regardless of where you go, any and every visit to Tuscany is full of art, history and culture...]
But it’s hot, and the sea beckons: so here we go down to the beach of Capalbio, 12 kilometres of sand to finish off our trip in Maremma with a dip at sunset –the sun disappears over the sea, a truly spellbinding spectacle between one stroke and the next.
But of course we can’t leave without our usual stop for gastronomic delights: an aperitif in Capalbio is just right this afternoon. You can only travel around this village on foot. The entrance gate bears the coat of arms of the Medici family –the most famous Tuscan bankers in the world. The village is not on the sea but towers over it from above, like a balcony over infinity.
What shall we drink? A Capalbio, hands down! This wine can be red, rosé or white depending on the grape variety. Tonight I choose rosé, in homage to the sunset I can still see when I close my eyes. Will you be joining me?
Meanwhile, it’s got dark. It’s time to go home, with the salty sea still on our skin. Ciao!