Dare I say all my trips so far were awesome. In some cases, upon my return home I decreed, at the time, were the best. But, after coming back from Italy this summer, I decided that it doesn’t get better than this. I was away for nine days. Probably my longest and most complex journey so far.
Took a plane to Pisa, then a train to Cinque Terre, with Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia and Monterosso al Mare, then a train to Siena, then a car to rural Tuscany, with Pienza, Montalcino, Montepulciano and San Gimignano and, finally, Florence.
The initial plan also included Lucca, on the way to Siena, but plans are made to be messed up. In this case by a train strike. In theory it started at 9 am and lasted until 5 pm. But what you ought to know about italian style strikes is that although in theory the trains don’t work, in reality maybe they do, maybe they don’t, maybe they’re late, maybe they’re cancelled, oh, no wait, they’re working again. And then, when it’s 5 pm and the ordeal should be over, things continue at the same pace. So we waited in train stations, we changed platforms, we stared at train info panels til we could stare no more, we argued with officials, we threatened with complaints, we rode the Frecciabianca with a cheaper ticket and serious anguish, we developed a high intolerance to the word “Attenzione” and a serious aversion to the term “Sciopero”, we played music on our phones and danced in Empoli just to pass the time. And then we finally reached our destination. Thats about all there is to say about our adventurous day. Well, I could also add a stolen wallet in Pisa train station. Not mine, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have decided this was a perfect vacation. Anyway, the line “Attenzione ai borseggiatori” should also be keep in mind, especially in train stations.
But, all in all, I vaguely remember all this incidents, because, otherwise, we had tons of amazing experiences, moments of wow and awe in the face of the beauty of certain things, conversations with cool people, lots and lots of slices of pizza and gelatto cones. I initially thought that nine days might be too much and I was somewhat worried about how things would work out. It wasn’t at all what I expected. It was waaay better. Infinitely better. I for one would have stayed there forever. Italy is a dream, and in Tuscany, although it’s not very big there are so many gorgeous places to be seen that I suspect, you can never really grow tired of exploring.