The Italian coastline is a pleasant surprise. The development manages to be sympathetic to the surroundings: genuine communities that have organically evolved, in contrast to the soulless tourist-boom complexes that Spain specialises in. And there’s plenty more undeveloped coastline than I’d been expecting. Cabo Noli is a highlight, then Cinque Terre blows my mind, and heading south there’s more capes, more mountains, and beaches. It goes on a long way! The Italian’s love of lidos – beach clubs with arrays of parasols occupying every last square metre of sand – takes a little bit of getting used to, but this is August! The best tactic is to stop late, when the crowds have thinned. At wilder beaches there’s no problem sleeping rough, and the lidos will invariably be very forthcoming with help if you end up landing on their beaches at sunset! Fantastic support from the Lega Navale too (sort of like the Italian equivalent of the RYA) – Civitavecchia and Ostia deserve special mention. At the time of writing I’m getting close to the Messina Strait, and shortly after that will be at the tip of the toe. The pizza and of course food in general is great, as are the Italians. Sadly, both on land and at sea, I am reminded daily of the problem of our enormous reliance on single-use plastic. No amount of recycling or education will fix this, we need to regulate against it! It’s too hot, wind and shade are scarce commodities, but I’m enjoying the challenge!
The journey continues.