Well the storm we passed through yesterday was apparently no ordinary storm. See today’s headlines.
Since we’d been forced along to Dogana we resisted the urge to move farther ahead and just kept with the original stage ending in Massa. This stage would have been a tiring 32km walk almost entirely along pavement but we’d already completed 9km the previous day. Net result, we slept in. 🙂
After a leisurely morning and huge breakfast which included finishing off the leftover ice cream from dinner – Yeah, I know – we hit the pavement (literally). The route was all roads and sidewalks as promised.
We entered the town of Carrara- famous for the marble that has been mined here since pre-Roman times. The town became wealthy in the trade of quality marble. They go a bit crazy for it here though. It was nice that the main church and piazza were entirely marble.
It was slightly more posh when we found ourselves walking on the marble sidewalks. But it was just crazy when later we noticed that curbs and storm drain covers were also marble. Well, I guess if you have got it, you might as well make good use of the stuff.
The VF on this stage reaches its closest point to the Tyrrhenian Sea – only about 1.5km away. The temptation was too great and we created a slightly longer but flatter route that would take us to the sea.
We were initially disappointed because the street we chose ran not to a nice Mediterranean beach, but rather an active port where truckloads of ….you guessed it, marble, were queued up to load onto large cargo ships.
We weren’t deterred as we turned south along the coast and soon we were out of the port area and first rocky and later sandy beaches stretched for miles. Walking along the beach is nice when you are barefoot. Walking along with hiking shoes and a backpack however is less than ideal. After about a km we traded the beach for a series of coastal boardwalks, small-boat harbors and streets.
At one beach cafe we stopped and made a couple of calls to Nadine and Cindy to show them the water and our accomplishment of making it all the way across a continent. It was fun to touch base with them for a few minutes and show them the sea and mountains where the marble is quarried.
The walk ended with an uninteresting walk from the coast into the town of Massa. It was traffic-filled and loud. But the time went by quickly.
The village of Massa has a beautiful castle and some stereotypical Italian piazzas. Our Ostello for the night is recently renovated and located on the Piazzo Mercure.