The last four days have been wonderful wondering around the streets of some of the most gorgeous Tuscan towns with Mum and Michael. We even celebrated the Festa of San Giovanni with the locals by watching the fireworks on a bridge over the river Arno.
We perused the great art in the Uffizi before walking through the discrete Vasari Corridor, which was built in 1565 to allow the ruling Medici family to commute safely, and without the commoners, between the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace. Those who have read Dan Brown’s Inferno will be excited now.
Then we got wheels…..and the Tuscan countryside was our oyster. Michael and I first drove to the villa that we will be staying at next week to become familiar with the road and the car- a bit tricky on both accounts but for another blog. Siena was also on the “get familiar” drive agenda (and find a reasonable car park!) They are preparing the Campo for the Palio next Wednesday (another reconnaissance project).
Then we strapped Mum in the back seat for yesterdays drive. Arezzo was recommended and didn’t disappoint. Quite, hilltop little old town where scenes from A Beautiful Life were filmed, made us all go ahhh.
A short drive to Cortona, another beautiful, picture perfect hilltop town, a little more touristy as this is where Francis Mayers resides “Under the Tuscan Sun”.
Then down to Lake Trasimeno in Umbria to a little town called Castiglione de Lago before the storm clouds sent us home to our little Florence apartment.
Today we decided to lessen the driving stress ( the Italians drive like Fangio ) by catching the train to Lucca. Rimmed with four kilometers of 2000yr old walls, this fortified oasis is flat and perfect for cycling and walking. Michael and I enjoyed cycling around on the wall whilst Mum enjoyed the shops at her pace. Tonight the locals have assemble one huge table for 2000 people on the wall, where they hope to get into the Guinness World record for the largest “One table feast”. It’s a shame we won’t see that but the table was impressive! We all went to the Puccini Museum which is also the house where he was born. He was such a great composer of Opera’s such as La Boheme, Madama Butterfly and Turandot ( where the aria Nessun Dorma comes from- think the three tenors).
Tomorrow we leave Florence and retrive to our Tuscan villa for the week. The
kids all arrive tomorrow and Ashlee and Cameron crawl in tonight. Let the party begin.