After exploring the town of Lucca, my family and I spent a couple hours in the hotel trying to find last minute accommodations somewhere more north, near La Spezia. I was determined to go to the Cinque Terre, and La Spezia is a good spot to take ferries or trains from to visit the Five Lands. After contacting a bunch of people on Airbnb, we finally got someone to accept our last minute request, and they were located in a town called Sarzana, which we had never heard of before. We packed the car back up, and headed north. It wasn’t too bad of a drive, and after getting lost and finding someone who spoke English to help us with directions, we arrived at our new house. We were relieved to have found something and it was nice and spacious, and worked out great. The owners lived downstairs, and they were all very sweet and helpful. There were vineyards across the street, and we were happy to be able to walk into town.
Sarzana was not totally packed with tourists, so it was fun to be in a place where we could see what it really felt like to live in a small town in Italy.
I went on some nice runs too, passing many vineyards and olive groves on the way.
One day we had a full-day sailing trip to Cinque Terre booked, and I was really looking forward to it. But alas, in the morning when we were supposed to leave to go to La Spezia to catch the sailboat, it was storming so badly that there was no way a boat would go out on the ocean in those conditions. It ended up clearing up in the afternoon, and since I was determined to be by the ocean, we drove to Carrara, in search of a beach to spend the afternoon. After trying a couple different beaches and being told they were all private and members-only, we finally found (what seemed like) the only free beach. The ocean was really rocky due to the storm so I didn’t swim, but at least we enjoyed a couple hours of sunbathing.
The rest of our time was spent taking a 4×4 tour of the marble quarries in Carrara (which was SO COOL), and taking a ferry to Portovenere… more on that later!