Day 69 Sarzana to Massa – 8th August

It was 7.00 am as I passed by Sarzana Cathedral – the Basilica Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta, and it was closed as it was last evening. I passed, on the way out of town, the Sarzana fortress – the Fortezza Castruccio Castracani which was also closed. Soon I was in open countryside with wide views across the wooded valley to the Apuan Alps beyond. It was all flat walking today and the time quickly passed as I walked through a succession of small communities to reach Avenza. Despite the flat walking today my legs felt tired from the three previous days crossing the Apennines and I decided to take a more direct and shorter route into Massa rather than follow the Via Francigena. It followed a busy secondary road and five kilometres from my destination I came to what is best described as a transport café – the Trattoria Ristorante Bum Bum. It was 2.00 pm and the large and full restaurant was buzzing with the noise of chatting lorry drivers. Finding a spare table I ordered a cold beer and the set meal – a large plate of spaghetti Bolognese which came with a salad and a full basket of bread –  cost including the beer was 15 euro. I really enjoyed that unusual and unexpected moment. I often find that if I go off piste, away from the usual route, the unexpected happens! I had booked into the Hotel Annunziata and arrived at the hotel just after 5.00 pm. The hotel was an absolute delight and run and owned by a delightful gentleman who asked me in excellent English “ Are you going to  Rome to see Papa”. The hotel was situated in the quiet back streets of Massa, some 6 kilometres from the sea, which I had still not seen. It was too far to walk after a long day of 25 kilometres and knowing that I had decided to follow the coast line tomorrow I stayed local to the hotel and after a shower and rest I found a small restaurant where I enjoyed a not too large pizza and a glass or two of  a tasty white produced in the local vineyards. The Monteregio di Massa Marittima wine region produces Tuscany’s best white wines.

 

Sarzana
Early morning leaving Sarzanna
Castelnuovo di Magra
Avenza
Lunchtime close to Massa

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