Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday, May 30th, Lucca


We’ve only eaten out three times so far: two dinners and one lunch. Abbadia San Salvatore has only a couple of restaurants, and our interests have been focused on soup, salad, and pasta. Of course, they do all of them well here. How can you go wrong with ingredients like porcini mushrooms, fava beans, light breads, homemade wheat pasta, great cream and tomato sauces, and good local wine.

Not having an internet connection has reminded us how much we take it for granted. The computer phone card our host provided doesn’t seem to work, and there is no wifi café in town. Phone and email correspondence provide an important link to the rest of our world, and, except for Pat (who seems quite content to not be in touch), we’re all feeling a bit out of it.

This morning, we left Abbadia San Salvatore for our next stop along the travel route - Lucca. Ken and Dianne are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary tomorrow, and they wanted to do it in Lucca. We packed up everything early in the morning, said our goodbyes to Alexandra, and headed up the road for what turned out to be another perfect Tuscan day. We took a short detour from our original route (that's part of what traveling without serious deadlines allows), and explored the fortress on the top of a hill we had seen from Abbadia San Salvatore. It's called Radicofoni, and it's a beautiful towered natural park which housed a rebel count in the 14th century who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Kind of like an Italian Robin Hood without a forest. Supporters have gone to great lengths to transform it into a terrific nature educational experience, and it's visited by school programs from all over the country. Truly a spectacular site, and worth the side trip.

The drive just kept getting better, and included great weather, unreal views of wildflowers and amazing tuscan colors, an outrageously scrumptuos lunch in Greve in Chianti following a visit to its famous butcher, and an all-that-we-ached-for bed and breakfast in Lucca. I know that sentence contained far too many over-the-top adjectives, but it's hard to describe our experiences in anything but glowing terms. Later, we walked into the walled city at sunset, and strolled through the old town streets to end the day.

Our plans for the next few days are to have more great meals, and spend the last two days well in northern Italy. We'll be heading to Naples on Tuesday, and begin the southern portion of our travels.

To view the photos taken today, click on Radicofani, Greve, and Lucca


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