27th July 2017
Instead of spending our second weekend in Rome, the four of us took a day trip to the beach. Professor Gadeyne’s colleague, Cecile, has a daughter who we invited to come along with us, so it was actually the five of us! She doesn’t speak English, however, so Mathilde was once again put into the role of translator. This was incredibly necessary, because we had to figure out how, when, and which bus to catch to take from Artena to the beach we had chosen. After figuring this out, and spending the absurdly-low round trip fare (compared to Philly!), we caught a bus around 9am and traveled in sleep-deprived but excited silence for the hour-and-a-half trip.
None of us had ever been to this beach before (even those of us who have been to this area of Italy before), so we had a hard time trying to figure out our stop. Fortunately for us, another lady had seen us get on at Artena and told us that she was going to the same beach front as we were. Luckily, she knew where she was going and told us we could walk with her and that she would help us out – even though she ended up getting turned around and made a five-minute walk from the bus stop to the waterfront into a fifteen-minute, sweaty trek.
The reason why we chose this particular beach was two-fold: first, it was free and finding free-to-enter beaches in Europe is surprisingly difficult; second, this beach lies in the ruins of Emperor Nero’s villa. Anzio is not the best beach in Italy, per say, but it is definitely beautiful and interesting. If only the shores in Jersey had ancient ruins surrounding them! It was quite a sight, to swim out a little ways, turn around and see windows and columns carved into the mountainside centuries upon centuries ago. And turning towards the sea, there are multiple rings of large, ship-wrecking rocks that were covered in brave souls who had made the swim out that far with the waves and the strong current.
A little while before this trip, there had apparently been a death of a young man at this particular beach, as well as a shark sighting that morning, according to Nonda. Already having a fear of the ocean, I was understandably nervous about going anywhere near the water; I fully planned on staying on the shore, working on evening out my awful glove and sock tans from the dig, and reading my book. However, I was convinced to go into the water – up to my neck, no less! There were no sharks, no deaths, and everything went absolutely as smoothly as it could have gone. A little more-so, I would even say, given that our tan lines were slightly evened-out and we got some of the best pizza we’ve had yet here in Italy! Not to mention, the two euro gelato that was definitely worth much more.