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Marina di Carrara, Tuscany - Italy's Best Kept Sea Glass Secret?

A picture of a hand containing sea glass
Carrione Beach Finds

In a break from my reviews of UK sea glass beaches, I can't move onto the next one without venturing further afield to review a recent discovery on a trip to Italy. Quite possibly the best sea glass beach I have ever have the pleasure of combing, trust me when I say, you will not want to miss this superb find if you're ever holidaying in the Tuscany region.

People often chat to me about what I do for a living, and the general consensus is that it must be loads of fun with long days spent soaking up the seaside vibe. Well, sorry to throw seaweed on your sunbed, but 99% of the time it isn't. It's cold, dirty, windy and it's tough on my knees. However, this little beach delivered big on fun, warmth, sunshine, bounty and best of all remains largely undiscovered - perhaps I shouldn't be writing this actually!

Marina di Carrara - A Beautiful Beach Town in Tuscany

Photograph showing the author and her partner in the sea at Carrione, Italy
Swimming at Carrione

Marina di Carrara is a charming beach town located in the heart of Tuscany, Italy. It is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and stunning views of the Apuan Alps. The town is also home to a number of historical and cultural attractions, including the Carrara Marble Museum and the Cathedral of Sant'Andrea.

Marina di Carrara was originally a small fishing village, but it began to grow in popularity in the 19th century as a resort town. The town's beaches were a major draw for tourists, and the marble quarries nearby provided employment for many locals.

Many of the beaches in this region of Italy are private and charge access fees, however, this little gem, marked simply 'Carrione' on Google satellite and tucked away to the side of a shipping container depot is not. It's very small, there are no sun beds or parasols, it's a little bit of a mission to access (not horrendous, my niece, nephew and parents in their 70s managed it) and the scenery isn't the most salubrious, but for all it lacks in facilities, it certainly delivers when it comes to treasure seeking.

The Sea Glass at Carrione

A picture of marble pieces collected at the beach
Pieces of Marble from the Quarries

Within a few steps from the car, it was pretty apparent it was going to be a good day. Call it intuition, but I can sniff out sea glass from at least half a mile away.

For starters, there was plenty of shingle, sand and gentle waves, creating perfect conditions. There was also a fair amount of rubbish and fly tipping near the car park but that's another story and trash to treasure is what I'm all about so I was hopeful.

In terms of the glass, what can I say? There was lots of it and it was easy to find. Most of it was pretty well 'cooked' meaning it found its way into my haul. In addition to this, there was also a lot of well smoothed marble, a lot of it chunky and cube shaped, making me wonder if it had found its way down from the quarries via the stream that fed into the beach. Fascinating and pleasing at it was, I left that to the sea though, trying to stay mindful of my already rapidly dwindling baggage allowance. There was, however, plenty of pottery and terracotta which did make the cut - if you're a fan of my besties frames, you will know how much I love a pottery 'handbag'

The Haul

A photo of the author on the beach
Getting the Family Involved

We ended up visiting the beach 3 times, twice as a couple and the third time dragging the whole family for extra manpower. Each time we spent between 1-2 hours and in total we hauled just over 6kg of glass and pottery back to the UK. For comparison, I can collect the same amount in weight on a good trip to Seaham but it takes me 3 days of solid digging... in the cold... and the wind. So you can probably see why I was so keen to risk breaking my back carrying it all home in 30 degree+ heat! Luckily I pre-empt any trip where there is potential for treasure by keeping my wardrobe simple and packing super light.

The summary

In short, it was everything you guys imagine my job must be when I tell you about what I do... warm, sunny, rewarding and fun-filled for all the family. Can I recommend this beach? Yes, 100%. Would I visit again? In a heartbeat! If you want to see what I do with the sea glass I collect, you can check out my shop.

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