Francesca’s Footsteps – Giving Thanks In The Maremma

Carbonifera!  Baratti!  Campiglia!

How many tourists to Italy or even, Italians, know these places? Already the names are evocative. They are all part of Maremma, the seaside region south of Livorno, but north of Grosseto, where the sea is especially beautiful and clean, and the food is as good as it can be – Acquacotta anyone? Pappardelle al cinghiale? – have you ever tried them?

Foto from Francesca Boni's BlackBerry
Foto from FB’s BlackBerry

In the summer this area is beautiful, but there are people – often too many – on the beaches (you sometimes can even go naked if your body still allows it).

BUT… now … at the end of November …OH my god!

Foto from Francesca Boni's BalackBerry
Foto from FB’s BlackBerry

I went on a weekend “retreat” to Campiglia Marittima. I needed to breathe, away from the usual Renaissance Disneyland of Florence, where I am lucky to have been born and live.

Anywhere else in Italy this weekend was rainy, cold, muddy, even snowy, and in Venice my friend had acqua alta again, poor thing, being a tour guide, that is true suffering.

Foto from Francesca Boni's BlackBerry
Foto from FB’s BlackBerry

BUT … where I was in the Maremma, the weather gifted me with two nights full of the best sound in the world – rain on the roof – followed by two days of pure perfection, with sunny, sweet air, accompanied by the most amazing clouds I had ever seen, cleaned by the storm, pieces of white cotton, sometimes pink.

Foto from Francesca Boni's Blackberry
Foto from FB’s BlackBerry

I turned my eyes for a second and here they are: two rainbows one after another. And then, close up a sighting of pure white on a brown beach: the long neck of a heron lifting off in slow motion, spreading gorgeous wings of gray and white.

To be able to walk on the beach in November is very very rare, but not yesterday. There was even a pink carpet going back and forth on the bagnasciuga made of tiny jellyfish.

Wow! What a gift from God this whole serendipity weekend, the air made me drunk with oxygen, I couldn’t stop smiling and loving everything that was around me. I felt lucky and in sync with everything and everyone else. This never happens in the city.

Of course, I forgot to bring my camera, but my beloved BlackBerry filled the need. Here they are, not technically perfect, but I hope they convey what I felt.

Foto from Francesca Boni's BlackBerry
Foto from FB’s BlackBerry

Actually with just two days away from Thanksgiving, I think this weekend is something to be very grateful for.

Thank you E&R for the house. Thank God for all the rest.

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