Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Beach Day at Castiglioncello (Part II)

Well, unfortunately Italy lost to Spain in the European soccer championship finals.
The heat has abated somewhat, but according to the forecast, the temperatures will rise to sizzling once more by the weekend.  The only remedy for this is to continue a beach day at Castiglioncello.
After colazione (breakfast) at Bar Ginori (see previous post), my companion and I headed for the water.
We saw what appeared to be a neo-Gothic castle in the distance (see above).
The "castle"-- formerly film star Marcello Mastroianni's beach villa --
in actual fact is a hotel.

This is what the beach looks like on the way to the castle.

Very pretty, but beach chairs and umbrellas too close together.
I had actually called ahead the day before and reserved an umbrella and sunbeds on the extreme end of the promontory, right below the castle.  A surprise lay in wait:
my name was posted right below the beach umbrella.

The beach club is called the Baia del Sorriso
(the Bay of Smiles).
We were greeted by the friendly proprietors,
Luca and Gloria.

Luca had originally studied horticulture and Gloria languages.  After work experience in Australia and Tuscany's Montalcino wine producing area, they seized the opportunity in 2008 to renovate an abandoned boathouse below a hotel 
and turn it into their Baia del Sorriso.

In terms of decor, Luca and Gloria were inspired by the vivid hues they saw during their travels in Florida, Central and South America--hence the sunny yellow chairs and sea blue umbrellas.

There is no room at the Baia del Sorriso to set up tables and chairs, so the pair prepare lunch and take it directly on a tray to the sunbeds.  Better than room service.

That day, my companion ordered ravioli stuffed with sea bass (branzino) and a beer.

I decided to opt for fruit salad.

Even the neighboring boxes of flowers reflected the chosen color scheme.

These flowers soak up the sun.  So did we.  As the sun climbed in the sky and the heat became fiercer
(after all Castiglioncello faces west),

there was no place else to seek relief than in the crystal sea of which the beach town is so proud.

This is why, at work in Florence, I often dream of a beach day at Castiglioncello....


  1. Hi Rosanna, we love your blog about the day trip at Baia del Sorriso. Did you book through the hotel? Or direct? I can't find any contacts other than hotel. Grazie.

  2. This looks so beautiful! Trying to plan a weekend trip, do you think you can spend three days in Castiglioncello?

  3. This post made me decide to go right away, first thing tomorrow! One question though: how to book umbrellas? I cannot seem to find the number to call. Grazie!