After we had hiked our little hearts out, we hopped back on a train and headed to Castagneto Carducci. When I booked the hotel there, it seemed like a quaint little beach town. When we arrived in town, I realized just how little it was. We could not, for the life of us, get a cab. There was a sign for a cab and a number for a cab, but our Italian was terrible, nobody understood us, and very few seemed inclined to help these two random American gals, lugging their backpacks around a place where most foreigners don’t put at the top of their Italian To Do list.
After a while, we just said fuck it, we’ll walk! And walk we did, almost an hour through town, over highways, next to fields, and through what can only be described as the Ozarks of Italy. If you’ve never been to the Ozarks – specifically Branson, Missouri, this reference might be lost on you. Just imagine Disney World, then take away all of the recognizable characters, most of the charm and a lot of the upkeep. As we walked through the slightly rundown theme park that seemed to stretch on for miles, I wondered again (and again) if we were headed in the right direction. Was our hotel tucked among the Ferris wheels and go-cart rides? Alas, eventually the road gave way to beach and we meandered into the sleepy town.
The beaches were beautiful and serene, the food was homey and the wine was a couple of bucks a glass. If you’re an Italian family of five, trying to get away for a few days with the kids on the cheap, this place is for you! If you’re two gals on vacation, looking for some excitement, keep going.
After a full day of fun in Castagneto, we decided to cut our time short and hop a train to Florence. Because there were more cobble stone streets to walk, wine tastings to guzzle and churches to be denied access to because of our short shorts. And Florence isn’t the Branson of anywhere. It’s Florence, goddamnit! Arrivederci!