by Melinda Gallo

Last beach trip of the summer

My girlfriend and I planned on taking a day trip to the beach yesterday because it was my last weekend in Florence before heading back to Paris. We made plans to go to Viareggio because itís the easiest beach to get to from Florence. I hadnít been to Viareggio in many years and didnít have a great memory of the beach, but decided to go anyway.

Early Sunday morning, a temporale (storm) woke me up. I thought for sure that our trip to the beach would be cancelled. When I woke up, it had stopped raining. My girlfriend texted me an hour before we were to meet and told me the forecast wasnít good. I looked out the window of my apartment and saw grey clouds, but I was still hopeful. After checking the weather in Viareggio on-line, I told her that we should just risk the 10-20% chance of rain and go to Viareggio. If the weather is good, weíll lie on the beach. If not, weíll just have lunch and come back.

We hopped on the train and headed to Viareggio. It was cooler out than I thought while I darted around tourists in Piazza della Signoria and was happy to have worn jeans. On the ride through the Tuscan countryside, the skies began to clear up and the temperatures began to rise.

When we arrived in Viareggio, it was sunny and warm. Walking toward the beach, I almost wished I ëd worn something lighter. There were a few clouds in the sky, but mostly it was sunny. My friend suggested a restaurant along the boardwalk for lunch. It was not as crowded as all the others we had passed on our way and we felt relaxed enough to make plans for the day.

Afterwards, we walked along the boardwalk and marveled at how lovely the weather was. We went to a bagno (private beach) closer to the street we took from the train station. We rented two chairs and an ombrellone (umbrella), which the woman gave to us at half price since we arrived at 2pm.

We walked to our ombrellone, pulled out our things, and got in our bathing suits. I loved hearing the water crash against the shore and couldnít wait to get in. After warming up a bit, we walked to the water, which was quite warm.

When we returned to our ombrellone, we relaxed in the shade. We were both surprised that it wasnít that busy for being August. From my memory, the beach in Viareggio is always crowded and noisy.

While we were on the beach, we heard that it was raining in Florence. We both looked up at the sunny sky and were so happy that we took off even though we didnít really know what the weather would be like.

For my last beach trip this summer, I was happy that we went to Viareggio. It was easy to get to from Florence, the weather was delightful, and we were able to relax. Iíll definitely return again if the weather holds up during my next trip to Florence next month.

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