After class today, Ann and I headed to La Spezia.
I had heard it was a nice town but I must admit that I was a bit underwhelmed when we got there. First, it was really quite large and has a true industrial port business in addition to having a beachy, sailboat personality.
We took the train which was quite interesting as we went through some towns that were quite dismal, including Carrara (i.e. as in the marble). There was also one very cool train parked in Lucca that was covered in graffiti, and I will include some photos.
What is funny about the train, bus, and my experiences in Italy to date is that most common day-to-day expenses seem to cost somewhere in the range of €4-7 and most transportation takes about 1-1.5 hours.
For instance, Ann asked me how long the bus to Lucca would take. I took the train so wasn’t sure, but said “1-1.5 hours” and it ended up taking her an hour and a quarter. It also took her an hour on the train from Cortona to Firenze. The bus from Firenze to Siena takes 1.5 hours. The bus from Lucca to the Pisa airport takes 1 hour. On and on!
Anyway, back to La Spezia! The trip took just over an hour and the roundtrip tickets were €10.30 each (so about €5 each way, fitting my ‘rule of thumb’). We arrived at about 4:00.
La Spezia was much larger than I expected so I hadn’t done any research on where exactly we needed to go, etc. So, we got in a cab and I started asking the driver some questions about the beach and he gave us some prices ranges and we chose the cheapest / closest option!
We landed at what now seems to me as a fairly typical Italian beach setting. This comprises a variety if beach options from large boulder size rocks that can accommodate an entire body, to rocky beach options, to sand, all along the same shoreline. I find it pretty cool that there can be so much variation in one area.
I also really respect the fact that Italian beaches are quiet. No radios or jet skis or other such things that spoil the tranquility.
There was a lovely promenade that stretched along the shoreline and Ann and I walked the full length and then plopped ourselves down at a little outdoor bar for a bottle of prosecco and some appetizers.
There were loads of sailboats but no multi-million types with pools and helipads, or such.
We headed back to Lucca at about 8 o’clock. All and all a nice afternoon.