Giorgio’s right. He’s 27 years old and has a passion for his homeland that is moving: this blog tour should be called ‘Open Mouthed’ (‘A bocca aperta’) given the beautiful and surprisingly unexpected landscapes! I’m really intrigued to participate in the #boccadimagra blog tour because it’s one of the parts of Liguria which I don’t know very well. Between Spezia and Bocca di Magra, Giorgio drives and tells me that two days aren’t enough to see all the things he’s planned, that the more he thought about it, the more things came to mind!
He tells me about the legendary 60s, when Bocca di Magra and Fiumaretta were visited by artists and writers: Contini, Bassani, Sereni, Soldati chose Bocca di Magra because it was still uninhabited and less elitist than Versilia.
When we get to the marina, Giorgio proudly shows me the holiday home run by his family, A Ca’ Da Tirde, a little pink house set in the water. After a lavish breakfast at the Hotel Sette Archi (the organic marmalades are very tasty!), we leave filled with expectations for the trip to Punta Corvo. We go as far as Montemarcello by car. As for the views, it’s moving to see the Apuan Alps covered in snow with the Magra river and the sea below.
To arrive at the beach of Punta Corvo you need to go down (and then re-climb) 700 steps. Yes, you read it right! They are little steps dug out of the land and rocks. Now and then you see the sea, and the closer you get to the beach the greater the excitement and the sound of the waves. We’re tired and sweaty, we almost can’t feel our legs anymore, but look what’s awaiting us!
A strip of dark sand which, as we are told at aperitivo that afternoon in Pizzami, was once larger and longer. Landslides and erosion from the sea have swallowed it little by little. Punta Corvo can also be reached by sea by taking the Cooperativa dei trasporti marittimi boat which leaves from the public gardens of Bocca di Magra.
Behind some rocks, Giorgio shows us a freshwater spring where, during the summer, you can have a shower surrounded by nature.
We don’t want to leave anymore, partly because we know that the infamous 700 steps were awaiting us…I don’t want to think about the state of my muscles on arrival, but I must say that the satisfaction of finally arriving at the top is great!
After a sandwich break and a wonderful short crust pastry and marmalade dessert (it must’ve been the tiredness making me appreciate everything so much?), we allow ourselves a little trip round Montemarcello, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. An almost unreal silence greets us, only broken by the laughs of two children who are playing football. The houses, the colour of their facades worn over time, gardens glimpsed through gates: it seems enchanted.
We take the car towards Bocca di Magra whilst I listen to Giorgio who tells me about lots of projects that he wants to start with the Boccadamare association made up of business owners from the area who organise events with the aim of promoting and enhancing the area of Bocca di Magra through self-financing. At the riverside I have a chat with the guys at the crêpe stall, a real institution. Their love for their area and wish to make it known strikes me.
On the way home on the train I think about the day I’ve just had. I’m so tired, I have pains in my legs (the 700 steps will be felt for a while…), but I feel full of the emotion I was hit by on seeing that long, dark beach, on smelling the odour of the sea mixed with that of the woods, of meeting people full of kindness.