Italian road trip – Day 7 – Ladispoli, Capalbio, Rosignano Marittimo

Twelve years after our road trip, I still haven’t published the photos taken during its last day. At a time like this, when travel is a somewhat distant memory for most, and draconian travel rules require you to jump through even more hoops in order to board a crowded cattle plane, perhaps these photos, taken during more relaxed times, will provide a bit of comfort to you. So, Day 6 ended with us crashing around 11:30 pm, exhausted, at our newly found hotel in Ladispoli, after having charged through most of downtown Rome earlier that day.

We woke up the next morning to find we were about 20 meters from an unusual beach. We hadn’t come to Ladispoli for its beach — we came because we wanted to find a reasonably-priced hotel outside Rome, on our way back to Pisa, but the next morning, we got to enjoy the beach nonetheless. I’ll let the photos show you what I mean.

You see, Ladispoli is know for its black (blackish) sand. It’s quitely a lovely texture too. Ligia and I actually went back to the hotel to tell the others about the beach, but they were too tired from traipsing through Rome to come down, so we had our breakfast and off we went toward Pisa.

We’re driving along on the highway and around lunchtime, we spot this lovely medieval village on a distant hill. We all agree that we’ll go there for lunch and a little visit. That little village was Capalbio. The lunch was delicious and we had a wonderful time walking through the fortress. Much like many other medieval villages, the entire settlement is surrounded by fortified walls and is set on a hill, with vineyards and fields spread out in the valley below. The houses and overall properties inside the fortress are small and right next to each other, in order to maximize the available space. The actual patrol routes along the walls have now become sidewalks that visitors and inhabitants alike use to get around the place.

By 4 pm or so, we could see the sea (pun intended), with the Gorgona Scalo barely visible in the distance in some of the photos. By 5:30 pm, we made our way seaside in Rosignano Marittimo and found a spot to stop and take photos. It was lovely. In the gallery below, you’ll see I edited the colors in some of photographs quite heavily. Sometimes I can’t help myself. In recent years I’ve begun to do fairly conservative edits but in my younger years, I sometimes ended up doing fairly heavy color manipulation, and these photos were edited years ago. I also snuck in a photo of Ligia and I on the shore of the Ligurian Sea, as it’s called down there. That’s how we looked 12 years ago. How time flies…

We then drove to a hotel in Pisa, where we spent a short night, because the next morning at 6:10 we were on a plane which fiddled around on the runways until 7:06, when it was wheels up and on its way back to Romania.

And that was my last, long overdue post on this road trip. You can wind your way through our days on the road in Italy from start to finish by following these links:

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the photographs!


Early morning on Hollywood Beach

We took these photos one fine summer morning, before we went for a swim on Hollywood Beach (in FL, not CA). Hollywood is where you might say I’m from. I lived many years in the Hollywood-Hallandale area.


Corbu Beach

Corbu is a seaside village in Romania, with a nice, quiet beach where people go to camp and relax, away from the noise and bustle of the country’s popular seaside resorts.

I suppose in Corbu’s case the term “seaside” is somewhat exaggerated. The village is some kilometers away from the sea, so you have to do a bit of driving (or walking) through the open field to get to it, but the trip is worth it.

Corbu is actually on the shores of Lake Corbu, which is part of a network of inland lakes created by silt deposits from the Danube Delta.

The best example of this phenomenon is probably Lake Sinoe, on whose shores you’ll find the ruins of Histria, a once bustling seaside port (inhabited first by Greeks, then by Romans). Histria fell into decay as its access to the sea closed up because of silt deposits.

At any rate, Corbu Beach is a nice place to visit when you want a little bit of peace and quiet. Just know there are no bathrooms and no bars/cafes/restaurants on the beach, so you’ll have to manage on your own.


Selected photos from Vadu, Romania

The beaches at Vadu and Corbu, two adjoining villages on the shores of the Black Sea in Romania, are some of the last wild (more or less untouched) beaches on the Romanian seaboard.

Vadu has recently been made part of a large natural reservation called Rezervatia Biosferei Delta Dunarii. Nothing has changed as a result of that, except some hefty fees now get levied on every visitor to the beach (20 RON/person/day and 100 RON/car/vacation).

I don’t know where that money goes, and what good, if any, it’s being used for. Perhaps it goes to pad someone’s pockets, as is often the case in Romania. What I do know is the fees are expensive, and the garbage left by some tourists still doesn’t get picked up by the park staff, as you’ll see in pretty much any of the photos shown here if you look carefully. It seems the paramount concern of the park staff is to make sure every person that enters the beach area pays their fee.

The landscape is very flat near Vadu. As far as the eye can see, the fields are wide, flat as a pancake, and the horizon is but a thin line, far, far away. Dobrogea, the province where Vadu is located, is a flat place, it’s true, but it does have gentle rolling hills, gorges and the oldest mountains in Romania (they may look like hills, but they’re mountains). (See my Dobrogea gallery for more photos from the province.)

When we visited Vadu, we didn’t have time to stay and spend a day there, but we did take some time to walk on the beach, and through the barren fields near the beach.

The sunset was beautiful that day.


On the beach at The Breakers

A couple of weeks ago, we spent a beautiful afternoon at The Breakers hotel and resort in Palm Beach, Florida. This is a 720p HD video I filmed on the beach, with the Olympus PEN E-P2, a camera I am currently testing for an upcoming review.

It was windy, a bit chilly, the surf was good, and the afternoon sun added a beautiful golden hue to everything, particularly to the rocks placed on the beach. The texture of the sand at The Breakers is finer and darker than on other beaches in Florida. This complemented the blue waves quite nicely, as you’ll see below.

Watch video at YouTube |