Sailing to Manarola: A Brief Reflection


It took nearly seven days to sail from Civitavecchia to Manarola, a recommendation of my partner Sofia, with frequent stops to resupply with local wine and pantry items.  Never having sailed this coast, it was a pleasure of lively wind gusts, line caught fish, and subtle ocean spray.  It was an escape, a time to distance from the ebb and flow of business and a transitioning into time marked by tide and setting of the sun.

Simple tasks of tightening the sheet or bearing a westerly heading marked by the horizon of tan buildings, or exposed cliff face, became my memo, my presentation, my report due by end of day. Taking it in, not via phone or recording, but through my own eyes, nose, and skin. 


When we reached Manarola, the tan, grey, and peach pastel colored buildings greeted us, allowing the familiar pleasantries of a hot shower and shave. A walk down stone pathways and corridors with a lit rolled cigarette, eyeing the shops and apartments, carried the afternoon.  Villagers were distinctly warm and welcoming, with a wine vendor especially helpful. A box of Sciacchetrà, the sweet local offering, among other things, was what we toted back to dock. The amber drink left strong notes of dried fruit with a savor saltiness that went well with the rustic bread, cured meat and unpasteurized cheese. 

Drinking into the night, the low hum of music from Zio Bramante and waves against the shoreline produced the revitalization of spirit of which I was searching.  The sharing of company, of sound and senses, of travel, of purpose to oneself and surroundings, is as intimate as any sexual experience.  It can become an inflection point that you carry deep inside. To improve oneself, to be more generous, more compassionate, more of a listener and do right for the future, ensuring that the next generation can experience this. 


The tenured aroma of seacoast mixing with the village air was sweet, lightly floral but with an indescribable richness. It was a unique scent that I can draw upon when shaving with your Bohemian Coast Shaving Soap. It takes me back. Back to the coast of Manarola and back to my last great inflection point. 


- Anonymous, CEO, Traveler, Plastic Free Advocate