On my way back to Milan from the Masterclass, I was able to catch an earlier train. I had to change trains at the Carrara Avenza station and ended up having two hours time. That’s a lot for sitting around at a two-track train station that doesn’t even have food vending machines, right? So since it had cleared up, I decided to explore the town. All I knew was that Carrara is famous for it’s marble that makes it seem like the mountains are covered in snow. According to Wikipedia, the Pantheon in Rome, Michelangelo’s David and the Marble Arch in London are among the sculptures and buildings made out of Carrara marble!
Leaving the train station, I first walked in the wrong direction, out of town. Going back, I followed an old man that was walking his dog. I think I’d make a horrible detective in terms of tailing people, but I still got to take the kind of picture I had had in my mind before I left the two alone.
The street I was on soon turned into something like a main street, with many shops and even a few hotels on it. There was not much going on though, especially for a Saturday afternoon. I entered a little corner store and asked the owner – a very good looking Italian with shoulder length hair – if there was something typical, regional he’d recommend. “Spaghetti”, he said, after collective contemplation with the old man who was shopping groceries. I felt bad when I left without buying anything, especially as they had been so eager to come up with something for the girl who’d travelled all the way from Milan.
The main street soon got boring and I was excited to discover a sign pointing out the direction to Avenza’s historic center. “Historic center” might be a little bit of an exaggeration though. There was the ruin of Torre Castruccio, a church I didn’t enter (no time) and some cute buildings. But the atmosphere was very homely and lively, very much like that of a “typical” small, old Italian town.
Overall, I really liked it. I thought it was a place where the world is still in order, as if no wars, no crises and no politics could bother the people here. Where daily life is normal and simple, yet offers little moment of happiness. Where people have close, strong relationships within their community and their families. And where change only happens very slowly. A very peaceful place where the biggest problem might be that Ciccio, the town cat, keeps trying to sneek into the corner store.