Follonica, Toscana

Even if we work hard all mornings in the B&B, we have the afternoons off, a good chance for H and myself to get into the car and start exploring the countryside.

Today we decided to go to the beach of neighbouring Follonica, a good 10-minute drive from Scarlino where we are based. We did not really find the town attractive enough for sightseeing when we drove there the first time some ten days ago, what with the characterless highrise apartment complexes and a tall chimney at the outskirts spouting heavy fumes which look very out of place – and unhealthy – to the  amazing agricultural and mountainous landscape of Tuscany.

But seeing it today has completely changed our outlook of Follonica – from initial dislike to complete fascination, all courtesy of their Beach!

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This is the spouting chimney which is actually a waste incinerator.  Of course, the locals are not happy about this and have been meeting regularly to get the authorities close the factory.  I don’t blame them.  The acrid smell is so strong and spreads even hundreds of miles farther during strong winds.

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Sand lines,with the town of Follonica in the background

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Sleep time for the Nonnos (grandfathers)

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This Colonia Marina used to be a vacation home of Mussolini when he was young, as told to us by two Signoras we met on the beach.  They noticed H photographing the building and were so kind enough to act as tourist guide.  Albeit our broken Italians, we actually understood each other!

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Are these holiday homes?  Fascinating to see different style of architecture for each one.  They look empty though.

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Noticeably, each home is tightly secured with grills.  We were told by our two tourist guides that the Colonia Marina next door is also home to the Homeless so we reckon this is to keep them at bay.  But that doesn’t stop the sun and beach lovers – like Nonno here – from sitting on their steps.

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And a lot of them actually….

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Lovers wearing the same colours….how romantic!

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Golden shutters, why not?

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Fiery orange – my favourite colour of autumn is also in Tuscany!

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The port of Scarlino (in the background) and the port of Follonica (foreground)

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A typical Italian sight – old people sitting and chatting together in the piazza

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A toy puppy

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The beach huts of Follonica.  It gets extremely busy here in the summer.

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The imitation bag traders

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Next time I come to Follonica, I’ll make sure I dress smartly

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H and I

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Sunset

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Sunset

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Sunset

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Fisherman and the island of Elba (silhouette in the background)

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