Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Morning at S. Marinella Beach

S. Marinella had been touted by several folks at the American Academy. A quick thirty minute train ride from Rome, S. Marinella is a small town with a big open beach. We were told we could rent towels, an umbrella, eat lunch on the boardwalk. Having grown up in Aruba, I am a beach person and I told Earl we needed to see the water during this trip of ours. I'm loving the cities we walk in day after day, wouldn't trade a moment, but a bit of time at the beach in Italy sounded like a good thing. We bought round trip tickets, open time for return.
On the train ride we saw, what were for me, two astounding things through that dirty train window - both of which I photographed. Blink you way through the dust and blur of the window. Our first stop was S. Peter's, a very short ride from Trastavere Station. And what was weird and wonderful about this stop was the odd juxtaposition of the great dome of St Peter's with graffiti and electric train lines. Had I pointed my camera a bit lower, perhaps the dome would have been entirely superseded by contemporary tagging.
Fifteen to twenty minutes out of Rome we passed newly tilled fields, and then fields covered with rows of tiny new green plants. What vegetables have a second growing season near Rome? When does it frost? Who can answer these questions? In a third field, a crew of men were setting out seedling after seedling into the ground. Not only is there a second growing season in this climate, but these fields are fewer than twenty minutes from the heart of Rome. Farm to table, indeed.
On our return trip from S. Marinella several hours later, there was a second astounding take on S. Peter's, or so I thought. Those rain clouds might almost be billows of smoke. Ruin amidst graffiti? And please remember I was shooting these photos through a dirty window from a moving train. Just documenting what I saw passing by.
Now, for a few words about our trip to S. Marinella's beach. Monday morning is either a good time or an inopportune time to visit a beach. There are few if any folks on the sand, nor are there crowds at food stands and restaurants, no vying for towels and beach umbrellas.
Who is this man looking out to sea in S. Marinella?
However, on Monday morning, October 7, we entered a beach town, off-season and shabby, cluttered with random weekend trash, many of it condos, hotels and villas in need of post-season repair. We found the boardwalk and after moments, headed toward the sand.
A beach in the morning delivers. I do love to walk on a beach and I love to get my feet wet. Lapping waves sound the same in S.Marinella as they do in Galveston, South Padre, Aruba, Bonaire, Long Island, Lake Michigan, Seattle.
For over an hour we walked along the beach, detoured to the street to catch an overlook or another spot of beach, a rocky point. And then it was noon. Earl said "Let's take the train back and eat lunch in Rome."
And so we did, arriving at 1:30 and a quick cab ride took us into the tiny streets of Trasteavere where we quickly found a ristorante where we had perfect deep fried Roman artichokes. Followed with deep fried anchovies and seafood gnocchi.  We had a sort of Roman beachy meal two blocks from the Tiber. All good. Two coffees and we were revved up for a look at two important churches, both of which were remarkable and of which I'll write in a subsequent post.
S. Marinella is not Sorrento, but we had our morning on a beach and it was beautiful. With plenty more Italian Baroque sky. AND, a full afternoon in Rome to explore. Are we lucky or what?

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