From Pisa it takes only a short distance to the sea, this time to the Tyrrhenian. The entry point to the sea is the harbour of Viareggio, with moored small boats as well as luxury yachts, which also have their service station here. Viareggio is followed by an additional 30 km stretch of continuous mass tourism. You can swim and sunbath here, that’s about all that can be said about it.
But after those boring 30 km it gets more interesting: “behind a rock” is hidden a beautiful bay with a large port of La Spezia. And if that is not enough, just continue to the end of the cape on the opposite side of the bay, to the town of Porto Venere. And there is just about everything: a small beautiful town with narrow romantic streets, boats in the harbor, a towering cape rock surrounded by sea on all sides, making the impression of the end of the world… From the cape you cannot go any further, so I turned back and changed the sea for the hills.
And the mountains
The sea is walled off from the rest of Italy by the Apennine mountains, so I had no choice but to go up, heading to Parma. I got over the Apennines through the Passo della Cisa pass (1040 m). After the industrial lowland and the busy coast, this is again a quiet place with just a few villages but lots of panoramas of the limestone hills and gorges.