Free Soft Shell Crab & The Best Sunset 39 Comments

Come Monday morning, we were ready to leave the crowds of Montalto Marina. Its been good to spend time in an Italian resort but we now seek a bit of solitude. With weekend out the way, our opportunity to find a quiet place to swim with the dogs should increase. Time to find a beach or village that is not on the tourist trail.

We head down the coast and spot a GPL station, so pull over for a top up. Since we’ve had the new gas valve fitted (Sweden) the GPL consumption has been brilliant. It wasn’t bad before but now it just seems to last for ever. I bet its now only costing around €0.50 per day to run fridge, freezer, hob, grill, BBQ and hot water.

Not far and and we pull in at the town of Tarquinia. Small resort with a few little restaurants and cafes in the middle of town. At the beach front the obligatory private beaches with exclusive offerings! We head to the far end, the communal beach which has a sign ‘dog friendly beach’. Yeah! Its quiet, so we park up and head out of a day on the beach. Surfing and playing ball. The dudes are in heaven.

Our Bumble wild motorhome sleep spot at Tarquinia GPS position: for N043.403237, E010.864631

In the evening, we are blessed with great sunset looking out to the island of Elba. We sit sipping a beer beside the beach lilies…no idea what they are called?

After few days on the beach at Tarquinia and its starting to fill up. Seems like Mon – Wed is fine but then slowly but surely the crowds start to build for the weekend. We move on to the next place and hope to avoid the crowds.

Through a couple of towns and the main road started heading in land. Not what we want. Craig had a bit of shuffle and turned Vin back round. Then he took a bit of a dirt track road heading back to the coast. Soon the road leads to a decent tarmac amid a canopy of pine forests. Not a soul around. To our right rows of pine trees then rocks and the ocean.

To our left fields upon fields of cindered grass. Craig wasn’t content and want to be right on the beach, so he followed his instinct. Soon we arrived at a massive fossil fuel station called “Alessandro Volta”. The biggest power station in Italy.


Down the side of the ugly power station a dirt track leading to the shore line. Vin slowly wobbles his way to the ocean and takes a right. We bumble down the track until the power station is out of sight. We spot half a dozen little pockets of coves and parking spot. Excellent! We park up Vin and have a walk to see what suits us best.

We stop on a little headland with beautiful sea views. Not long and we set up our stall, pull out the awning, chairs and tables. Perfect. There is little or no sand and its pretty rocky but pick your patch and its fine. The rock boulders create a natural mini harbour wall, so our ‘private’ beach is shallow and calm. Next the fun bit. We open the motorhome doors and out shoot the boys. Straight in to the sea. They run around like crazy, whimpering in pure delight. Its great to watch.

Our Bumble wild motorhome sleep spot near Scalgia GPS position:  N042.141864, E011.743663

Later that day we are joined by three other motorhomes. Its great, we all say hello and attempt to have a bit of a conversation. An English van in a remote part of Italy provides fascination. Why here? How did you find it? etc etc.

A lovely 3 days by the sea with the sound of the ocean lapping by our door. It was tranquil and calm especially after the manic affair at Montalto Marina. Craig cleaned the solar panels and I did the washing.

Mac n Tosh played in the sea with their ball and surfing. Tosh took to crabbing with his dad. The only problem he acquired a taste for soft shell crab and got obsessed with the little tasty morsels. Every time we let him off the lead he would shoot to the rocks, disappear for 5 and then return with a gob full of crab. Poor Mac hadn’t got a clue what to do and made do with licking Tosh’s lips in the hope of a scrap or two.

Our neighbour, a keen fisherman spent his days and nights, casting his rod, spear fishing, crabbing etc. 100% effort but 0% return, poor thing. All made worse by Tosh return with multiple gob full of crab for zero effort.

Saving the best until last…the best sunset ever. No words to describe it only a big, fat WOW.


If you too are in search of an isolated beach cove then here are our 5 top tips to help you find it.

1. Check out the map

Instead of creating an itinerary based on the next town or city that will clearly attract crowds and attention, seek out the destinations that seem to have been missed.

2. Ditch the GPS

When in wander mode ditch the GPS or switch it to map only mode. Look for beach roads outside of towns. Dead ends can sometimes mean little hidden beach coves. See if there’s a route that takes you along a quiet shore or coast pine forests. Give yourself permission to wander intentionally of course.

3. Talk to Locals

Best is to ask the locals. There is a good chance they know of a hidden gem. Italians love crowds, so places of solitude are not always the best places in their view but good chance they will know what you want. If not, ask on line and fellow travellers will tell you where to go or recommend a place

4. Lack of Populous

No houses or non-residential areas are a good indicator it could be quiet.

5. Be open to a journey

Getting lost isn’t about being reckless or unsafe; it’s about choosing a path that hasn’t lost its allure. The key is to open yourself up to the possibility and intention of doing things differently. This is about succumbing to the true idea of travel…to explore

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