We really struggled to get out of Massa due to a triple take exit of the city.
The walk started with a climb up a steep set of steps. Halfway up I noticed an unusual <click> sound. Looking down at my pole I noticed the rubber stopper that I use on pavement wasn’t attached. This is actually normal – we’re always taking them on and off – but this morning I’d looked to make sure it was on before leaving the Ostello. So….back down the steps I went. I found it at the second to bottom step. Micro-crisis averted.
When we reached the top of the steps the Via took a right turn. Allison got to the corner first and let out a small groan. The steps were replaced with a long uphill slope that was quite steep. The air was cool but humid, so we both worked up a quick sweat first thing in the morning.
At the top, Allison mentioned something about the keys to the Ostello. “Oh No!” They we’re still in my pocket. So…I told Allison to sit tight and I went back down the slope and then back down the steps, dropped off the keys and then did it all again. What a start!
The day got dramatically better after that. We continued the climb up to Castello Aghinolfi which was incorporated into Hitler’s Gothic Line and paid a heavy price as a result.
The climb also provided some panoramic views of the sea and coastline we’d walked yesterday.
As we descended off of the mountain we entered a heavy industry section where every other business seemed to be part of the marble trade. The huge chunks of pretty marble set my mind to buzzing about how much inventory cost they dealt with. We even saw a yard where they were actively sawing the huge chucks to 1”-2” slabs.
The big town of the day was Pietrasanta. As we entered the village we passed a different kind of marble trade – one that made sense a bit later. This shop clearly carved marble for art and/or statuary. We peeked through the fence and saw a massive marble statue. I sure wish I knew where it was going.
Pietrasanta, as we soon found out, is a hub of art, particularly carving in marble and bronze. There was a school of art and art boutiques and artwork scattered throughout the town.
The main Piazza with its Duomo and bell tower were the site for our gourmet lunch of canned tuna, hard seed crackers and two day old Parmesan. It doesn’t sound wonderful, but honestly when you are hungry everything tastes better.
Leaving Pietrasanta the trail was normal hills and streets with nothing notable. However coming down a small country road we came upon two gentlemen working on Cable TV lines. They’d stopped work for a bit and were having lunch in the road next to their car. We struck up a conversation that ended up lasting for an hour.
These two guys were astounded with our pilgrimage walk and ended up offering us a taste of the wine they were having for lunch. It was a good Tuscan red. For their generosity they received two keys and we explained their meaning. One of the two was very excited with the gift and it’s significance. The other struggled with language a bit more and I think the details were lost in translation.
Our Ostello for tonight is a bit disappointing. It has everything you’d need but half of those things are either not working or “closed for Covid. The price of 18E/person is reasonable but expensive for Pilgrims.
The kitchen is one of those items that is “closed for Covid” so we will have to go out to eat at a restaurant. Honestly I prefer what Allison makes. In the end we opted for microwaveable dishes and ate at the Ostello.
At dinner we celebrated JeanYves 70 something birthday. Happy Birthday pilgrim.