by Melinda Gallo

A day at Forte dei Marmi

All week I had been thinking about Thursday. I couldnít wait to plant my feet in the sand and feel the warm water crash against my legs. Because July 14th is a holiday in France and the French company I work for is closed, I thought I would take advantage of the holiday and go to the beach. I was initially going to go to Viareggio because itís the closest beach to Florence, but a friend of mine invited me to come to Forte dei Marmi. Since I had never gone there before, I thought it would be interesting to see it. I had heard a lot about Forte dei Marmi, but I wanted to see for myself.

Living in Florence :: A day at Forte dei Marmi

With the oppressive heat weíve been having in Florence these past few days, I couldnít wait to breathe in some cooler air and get a break from the heat. Even if the temperatures were the same at least I could jump in the water to cool off.

From my window seat on the bus, I watched as we made our way out of the city and onto the freeway. We stopped in Viareggio and then headed down a street that parallels the coast. We made numerous stops along the way, but I didnít get off until the last one in Forte dei Marmi.

I walked around the shopping area before heading to the bagno (beach club). I was so excited when I began hearing the water crashing against the sandy beach that I got in my swimsuit and headed out to the water. At first the water felt cold, but eventually it seemed much warmer. I stood still looking out at the horizon; my feet sinking in the sand as the waves splashed up against my legs and then receded back into the sea.

The noise of the water was deafening and hypnotic at the same time. I loved seeing the different shades of blue along with the white bubbles that appear when the water collides. Everything else seemed to fade away: the people who were soaking up the sun, others who were walking along the shore, and the children playing in the water.

I was sitting under the ombrellone (large sun umbrella) reading a book when my friend and her husband arrived. We spent time catching up, had lunch, and enjoyed a lovely summer day together.

I stayed a little longer after they left. I wanted to say goodbye to the sea, so I stood once again with my feet in the water. I was sad to go, but so happy that I even came at all. I wasnít certain that I would take the time out of my week and go to the beach, but Iím so happy I did.

When I returned to Florence, it was 8.30pm and the sun hadnít yet set. The air was cooler as I walked down the sidewalks. I was almost surprised to see so many people rushing around me in both directions. I forgot how crowded the city can be.

I felt refreshed from my day at the seaside, and was inspired to start on a new writing project. I was so pleased with my day at the beach that I plan on going out to the seaside again sometime. When I returned to our apartment and looked out at the Arno, I was reminded by a quote I read once by Seneca, ďTravel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.Ē

I didnít need to go away for a long period of time, just 12 hours in my case, to feel refreshed and renewed.

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