Last weekend, we had gorgeous weather with clear, blue skies and warm temperatures. Thinking it would be nice to take Scully on a walk on the beach, we soon changed our destination from our small, local beach to the wide expanse of sand just over the hill from us. We had yet to visit this beach, but we've taken good looks at it from up on high, while visiting the ancient ruins of the Cuma settlement. A friend who takes her dog there gave us directions, and with Scully full of excitement in the back of the car, we headed out. After a few wrong turns, expected, we found a road we thought could lead to the beach (our directions included "turn down the unmarked, dirt road") and voila. The unmarked dirt road is one car wide, full of ruts, huge pits, water, and has broken, barb wire fencing falling into it, but it does parallel the Cuma hill, which has some really cool caves that are only visible from the beach. This beach is unlike almost all other beaches in the area. There are no "clubs" with parking and fancy structures and beach beds, the beaches are wide with light colored sand rather than volcanic sand, and edging up to the sand is all vegetation, not a human structure in sight. Getting out of the car, I almost doubled over in horror at the smell. Stink is not even the word for it. Horrible, putrid, icky! There is a sewage outlet at this beach, and supposedly, the sewage is treated before it's dumped. But this is Naples. Now I'm not saying the sewage water wasn't treated, but I am saying the place smelled like a public toilet that hasn't been cleaned in a few months...or years. But Scully was just so excited, so we decided to at least let him run on the beach. That is until we actually stepped onto the beach and saw the trash covering it. My picture above doesn't really capture just how much trash was present. Tiny pieces of litter were everywhere in addition to the big stuff, like metal drums, cargo ship sized boat fenders, even a refrigerator. There was so much trash we decided to keep Scully leashed in fear of him cutting up his feet. Between the smell and the trash, we didn't last long. Thankfully, the same friends who gave us directions also recommended a walk in the forest.
Heading back to a turn-off road, we followed a narrow, dirt path that opened onto a small parking lot and a walking trail. We could hear the roar of the sea, but smelled only fresh air while surrounded by trees. Scully even found an old temple to play on (these are the remains of a Temple of Isis, built in the 1st century B.C. and in use until around 400-500 A.D.). We may give that beach another try at a later date, or we may just skip it and head to the lovely walking trail. I love to think about how we're walking the coastline where the first settlers of mainland Italy landed and began creating a new city that, 3000 years late, is part of the densest city in Europe.