Granted, summer is coming to an end, but a mile stretch of undeveloped beach, 20 minutes from Rome with two dozen people on it at the most? On a September Sunday? Unthinkable! Yet there it was.
Sleuthing around (read: kinda lost) we knew we were heading in the general direction towards the sea, but much macchia mediterranea (Mediterranean maquis/scrub) stood between us and it. At a sharp turn there were about ten cars parked willy-nilly along the side of the road, and we noticed a trailhead between two stout clumps of bamboo.
Who knew?! Right at the trailhead was a sign reading Monumento Naturale Palude di Torre Flavia (Natural landmark of the Flavia Tower pond/swamp) and well maintained trail that worked its way through this pleasant “rest stop” for migratory birds.
Five minutes later and the trail drops us onto the above-mentioned rarity of a beach. Prior to this discovery, finding a quiet, relatively empty beach of this type required at least 45 minutes to an hour drive from Rome.
Warning: walking half a mile in either direction along the beach leads you to “belvederi” north (at the end of the Nature Reserve) and south (other side of the ruins of the Torre Flavia) from which you see nothing but miles of concrete development. This beach in between might be just a small holdout piece of land, but what a welcome discovery!