Ohh how I missed the ocean. After class, my roommate and I decided to take a train to Viareggio in Lucca. Unfortunately, there were some technical issues with our first train and we were immobile for a bit – but luckily we met Matteo, an adorable and extremely helpful local from Viareggio. He assisted us in booking a new train and made sure we were all on the right track (ba-dum-chh). After a quick train ride to the western coast of Italy, we were on our way. Matteo gave us detailed directions, he told us where to eat when we got to town, and made sure we had everything we needed. We parted ways and were off to the beach!
By this time we were pretty hungry so we searched for Matteo’s lunch recommendation, Punto Nave Viareggio. Docked on the main canal, Punto Nave is a large boat that serves freshly caught seafood, all deep-fried on board, and served out of the side window. We leaned over a small counter hanging off of the side of the boat, ordered the first thing on the menu, and proceeding with caution. A few minutes later the most glorious masterpiece was laid down in front of me. We proceeded to chow-down on the most amazing calamari and fried shrimp, ever. The owner loved watching us enjoy his food. He was so flattered, that he took a picture of us (slightly awkward being photographed stuffing my face) and then gave us more food for free (totally worth the awkward photograph). I’m never one to turn down free food, especially in a situation like this, but fried anchovies aren’t usually my favorite dish. Moments before they were served, I watched a fisherman deliver buckets of freshly caught ‘chovies to the boat, so at least these salty creatures were really fresh. I smiled and proceeded to struggle trying to eat them (not the most flattering sight), honestly there’s nothing appealing about peeling fish skin back with toothpicks and eating the meat off of the spine. But, I have to admit, they were really tasty. After lunch we walked along the canal to the beach and laid out for a bit, we went swimming in the ocean, and just relaxed for a couple hours.
After a few hours at the beach, we walked down the boardwalk and shopped at some cute local shops, grabbed a mandatory gelato, and then finally headed back to the train station. Our luck with trains continued to be less than ideal when we were fined on the way home for not validating our train ticket… thank you language barrier. Even though our trip was a little unusual, our spontaneous little day trip turned out to be the perfect little getaway.