I first moved abroad over 10 years ago and I feel so settled in Ireland that I often catch myself saying ‘I am going home’ not when I go to Rome for a visit, but rather when I am about to board a plane to come back to Dublin. Despite this, there are still a few things that occasionally remind me how far I am from where I grew up, and one of these things is definitely the evening light.

In Italy, especially in the summer, the transition between day and night colours itself orange. In Ireland, but I first noticed this in Brussels, when I lived there, the transition is very different: sometimes the sky tinges itself of pink, but more often the landscape acquires what I call a “Magritte quality’, with the lower part of the picture already in the dark, while the sky is still a light blue. It’s because of this difference that I chose a Southern tramonto to take part in this week’s photo challenge: Orange you glad it’s photo challenge time?

Southern Sunset

Southern Sunset

I always loved to watch the sun go down, the melancholic yet powerful feeling it evokes, and when I was younger I had no shortage of opportunities to  have a look at the orange sky, thanks to long summer holidays spent in a small town on the Tuscan coast: Castiglioncello.

Castiglioncello is a small tourist town in provincia di Livorno, on the coast of Mar Tirreno. It’s a lovely little spot and while it is not as known as other localities further north (Viareggio, just to name one), it has a long history as a holiday destination, especially for local Tuscan tourism.  At the week end, and for the ferie d’Agosto,  the beaches are full of families from Florence and Tuscany in general, making the most of the clear water, the nice cafe’ in the piazza (yes, singular: the once cafe’ in the one piazza), the elegant shops and the delicious schiacciata from the local bakeries.

I always had a soft spot for the place but for many years I thought this was because I had good childhood memories there, rather than for the qualities of the pace itself. But a couple of years ago I went back for a short visit to part of my family who still vacations there and I found myself to be wrong. Castiglioncello is actually very nice, even if you don’t have any personal memory of it!  The sea is clear and clean, the beaches surround the town so that you can choose between a sandy strip and more rocky waters and the pineta is perfect for afternoons in the shade (there is a playground, tennis courts and market stalls some week ends). If you have a  car, which I highly recommend if you decide to spend a few days here, Castigioncello is also very near to many beautiful localities and art cities, which are the perfect counterbalance to the tranquility of the place.

I am hoping to go there this summer, for a day trip from Florence (yes, we’re going to Florence!!): I can taste the salty schiacciata already….

 I’l love to hear from you, please leave me a comment!

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