GREETINGS FROM THE SAILOR
They call me The Sailor because I watch the waves that, like endless jazz, repeat themselves from this sea port and, like life, arrive at my feet.
I came into the world under a blue and white striped sea umbrella. My father was an angular and sweet crab, my mother a pale pink starfish. I was born in this place, between the shoreline, the breakers and the wind that always blows lightly or mercilessly here. The salt and the sun dilute thoughts and make them come out slow as water from the ears. The sand, a shimmering paste of gold, sticks between the toes and seeps under the skin, until it breads the soul. And in the streets of the village, among the coves, the shops and the festive bells of the mother church, the scents of grilled fish and tasty fried food come up on Sunday mornings and waft through the salty air. Windows whitewashed with salt, yellow walls baked by the sun, and above and below a powerful Mistral blue.
Come and see where I was born.
Walk along the path that leads you to me. Sit at my feet, together we will look at the sea and I will listen to your thoughts. Then, before saying goodbye to me, touch the little fish Fortuna swimming in my tank and make a wish. On the way back, I will follow you motionless so that your wish may come true. I will let you go, for I know you will return.
Greetings from the Sailor, greetings from San Vincenzo.
THE SAILOR'S WALK
is a path between land and sea that starts in the centre of San Vincenzo and runs along the breakwater of the port for just under a thousand metres to the large statue of the Sailor.
The promenade was inaugurated in 2010, following the renovation of the port, and in 2016 it was enhanced with new paving, evocative lighting and decorations of fish and artistic mosaics.
The path, which can only be walked on foot, begins by skirting the port's boatyard and the Bucaniere beach and then winds along a slightly elevated route surrounded by rocks, offering a beautiful view of the moored boats, the village and the hills behind to the east and the open sea and the panorama of the islands of the Tuscan archipelago to the west.
Along the promenade are six stations housing mosaics designed by artist Daniela Magrì Troina inspired by the inner journey that every human being makes in search of his or her identity.
The mosaics are:
Night of San Lorenzo
The passage of the whales
The arrival of the white ships
The flight of the parasols
The sailing boats
The sketches of the mosaics designed by Magrì Troina are the winners of a national FIDAPA (Federazione Italiana Donne Arti Professioni Affari - Italian Federation of Women Arts Professions Affairs) competition on women's talents organised by the San Vincenzo Val di Cornia section and designed expressly for the Sailor's Promenade.
At the top of the promenade, which coincides with the mouth of the port, the lighthouse and the imposing Sailor stand out, seven metres high and weighing twenty quintals, a bronze work created by the master Giampaolo Talani (San Vincenzo, 1955 - Pisa, 2018) for the renovated tourist port of San Vincenzo, inaugurated on 13 June 2010. The statue is currently the largest work of harbour art in Europe and can be reached at the top of the promenade of the same name.
Talani's Sailor is a dreamer standing with his arms folded admiring the horizon and the boats arriving and leaving. He holds a paper boat in his hand, and his feet rest in a basin of water in which a small fish lies: a metaphor for the existential journey, curiosity, and the drive towards self-knowledge.
The work depicts many of the elements dear to the artist, such as the man dishevelled by the wind, the little paper boat and the little fish, which has now become the object of a good-luck ritual that obliges those who walk along the Promenade to reach as far as the statue to touch the little fish in the bowl.
The Sailor of St. Vincent, of which a copy three times larger was requested by the director of the Port of Miami, has now become in the collective imagination the very symbol of the city in place of the historic Tower.