Discovering a different Tuscany: Photos from Versilia
A recent invitation to explore Versilia in Tuscany had me expecting corn fields and countryside, traditional Italian cooking, and picnics after a good days hike. I’m sure you can do all those things quite easily, but this trip to Tuscany was a little alternative…
You can see my musings and photos from Tuscany in the trip write-up for BudgetTraveller.org, called ‘Five ways Versilia won’t be the Tuscany you expected’, and below I’m publishing a few more photos from Versilia that show yet more of the alternative side to Tuscany.
Far from being rolling hills and meadows, many of Versilia’s communities are spread out around the waters of Torre del Lago, long-time home of the famous Italian composer Puccini. And instead of the quaint little cottages in the countryside, they also have their fair share of grand old Villa’s. The shot below shows the fairytale boathouse of one impressive property (that could easily have been a castle in it’s own right), often used in the summer for weddings and other celebrations.
Part of Versilia that doesn’t vary much from the idyllic Tuscan image is of course the food. They are very fond of their cured meats and many of the delicious cold-cuts you would normally find, but Italian butchers also prepare various mixed meat, cheese and vegetable combo’s for cooking at home.
Sold by weight, the Spiedini you can see in the above picture are perfect for a quick and tasty barbecue. Don’t forget to brush generously with your choice of local extra virgin olive oil… another Italian classic that they don’t miss out.
Taking a wander along the beach in Versilia also won’t be what you might expect. The beaches are largely obscured along the large wide promenades by beach club after beach club after beach club. An Italian institution, you may be hard-pressed to find the mandatory free beach space between these pricey businesses. The locals all have their favourite parts of the coast to frequent, and the ways they choose to mill along the coast reminded me of another stereotype – the rollerblading, chihuahua-sporting sun worshippers of 1980′s Miami!
And last but not least, while Italy is so very famous for its art, some of the newer approaches… may not stand the test of time quite so well as their predecessor’s efforts!
Hope you enjoyed this slice of undiscovered Italy, and don’t forget to see my other post on BudgetTraveller.org for my first set of photos from Versilia on the same trip.