We awoke in time to catch the 8:00 bus to Follonica, thinking we had a train to catch at 9:30 AM. Got to town, went to the bus station and bought three tickets… checked the line and sat waiting. Trains went by on both directions at a high rate of speed… time moved on. Finally a railroad employee asked us what we were waiting for? We said to go to Grossetto… we walked him to the sign, and he showed us the 9:30 train only worked on Sundays and holidays… BUMMER.
So then we walked around, somewhat familiar with the town since we has been here the day before yesterday (that was the day we learned to take the early train) Trip to the grocery for David to get some beer, stop for a sandwich, then down to the beach… not exactly hot, but not too cold either. So we sat on the wall and watched Italian society evolve around us, while David drank beer, and ate strawberries and sweet rolls.
Finally, time for the train… a quick ride, less than 50 KM (that’s what the ticket said) and we were at Grossetto. All the shops in the train station wanted 7 Euros or more for a map… so we wandered, until we could pick up a free map (pretty bad Zerox), but we found a fantastic “Museo Archeological” and spent several hours learning about the old former city of Rocellae, an ancient town of Etruria (now Tuscany), which survived until the Middle Ages before being abandoned. The ruins are about 8 km northeast of Grosseto. There was lots of interesting pottery and other information about how life was lived in that time.
There was also information in the museum of Roman evidence in the area, statuary and pottery.
Then we wandered into the old walled city of Grossetto: The walls were begun by Francesco I de Medici in 1574, replacing those from the 12th-14th centuries, as part of his policy of making Grosseto a stronghold to protect his southern border. The construction took 19 years, the resulting walled city in the middle of the current Grossetto has a hexagonal shape, six straight walls, between each is an arrow shaped reinforcement , for defense. Until 1757 the exterior was surrounded by a ditch with an earthen moat.
After dinner, a quick trip back to the train station for the return to Follonica, and finally to Punto Ala, home until Friday and we venture on!
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