Castiglioncello, Italy

Last weekend's beach trip was the perfect way to unwind after our first week of classes. Instead of planning our trip through a travel agent as we did for Cinque Terre, we bought our own train tickets (for only 23 Euros!) and found our way to the beautiful province of Castiglioncello. 

Fortunately, the train system wasn't difficult to figure out and we made it with plenty of time to grab a cappuccino before our departure. The train ride was short, only about an hour or so from Florence which gave us an entire day to spend how we pleased. With no itinerary in mind, we started the day with delicious sandwiches in a quaint, shaded park just behind the beach. We practiced what little Italian we knew as we recalled how to say "I'll have ham, cheese and tomato sandwich please, no mayo" which seemed to entertain the kind man taking our order as we combined English and Italian to create somewhat of our own language (haha!).

The remainder of the day was spent by the water. The clear sky and hot sun made for a perfect day to get a little color and bask in the cool water of the Ligurian sea. Between taking naps on the beach I squeezed in a little reading time (I'm currently reading Me Before You which has been such a page turner!), and of course some gelato!

What made this trip so great was the lack of tourists. Many seemed to be locals relaxing on the beach side, which gave us plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the sun without feeling like we were invading someone else's space. If you're looking for an inexpensive day trip, Castiglioncello is the perfect place to visit. Between the round trip train ticket, food, and a beach chair I only spent around 30 Euros all day.

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Swimming suits have quickly become weekend attire for me and my roommates and I can't complain. The hot weather has given us the perfect excuse to extend summer a few more weeks. We just returned from our trip to Croatia last night, so expect to see more beautiful views coming your way soon! 

xx Mariah