Sunday, 12 July 2015

show you Vilła Uno

Villa 1 was hidden away behind stazzione massona; the nearest town being Montecatini Terme.

It was a classic villa, as one dreams about. 
This is actually the back entrance, showing only 2 of the 3 levels.

There were 3 accessible floors with the grand staircase linking them. A 4th floor attic gave the children much to speculate on..... And secret passage ways and a chapel to boot.

One of the 5 or so sitting rooms.

A china pantry with sufficient  settings for our 15 guests.

Signore Myles 1st floor appartment. He had this floor to himself.

The car park

And from the garden.

Meanwhile back home, strange things were going on???

sweat in Orbetello

It's hot, damned hot. We were hopeful that by heading for the coast for the last couple of days we may induce a sense of cool and maybe even a sea breeze.
It's 31, not 38, but the plan isn't quite working. Restaurants are not air conditioned.

The views are beautiful though, as we flash by them in our air conditioned car.

Porto Ecole

A refreshing Magnum and caffe americana at this spot.

Lunch at Porto Santo Stefano

I know you're feeling sorry for us right now!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

cinque terre

It was a glorious day when we set out from Villa 1 to explore the Cinque Terre.
You hear about these wonderful places and decide to go.
At some point logistics have to enter the exercise.
So, in 3 separate vehicles we entered a key car park in La Spezia into the GPS. 1 hour and 20 minutes. Got lost on the way to carpark, due to the GPS not being updated by Avis rent a car.

Finally rendez voused in the car park with the free shuttle bus to the main street. Sought directions to the ferry terminal from friendly natives.
Lined up with 200 others to buy tickets and at 11.30 were on the boat to Porte Nevere.

At Porte Nevere a change of ferry and then finally on our way between the 5 villages that make up the Cinque Terre.

Village no. 1 Rio Maggiore. We continued through to Village number 5.

This one called Monterossa. Lunch and fast stroll here before moving on to...

Vernazza, which some of us explored and some jumped off rocks into the Mediterranean. (And I'm the one with the broken wrist)

Manarola we gave a miss (and the other 3) as we had to find our way home again before the last boat sailed.

Time for a quick gelati before the boat to La Spezia.

Now, what was the number of that bus???

Sunday, 5 July 2015

go shopping in Coop

Our favourite supermarket for our staples is Supercoop or Ipercoop.

We've stayed fairly simple in our recipe choices, but if we wanted to get really gourmet, the following are available.

When choosing fruit and veges here one must don disposable gloves and paper towels are available for any messes.

Then of course, serve on Tuscan ceramic platters.

report on the weather

It's a heat wave in Europe. We know; we're in it. What would normally be 32degree days have been up to 38 - 40 each day for the past week. 
We've given up coping through the afternoon and have given in to the concept of the afternoon siesta.

It's hot; damned hot!

Any extra time in the air conditioned car is very welcome.

For those without plaster or who aren't plastered, there are other options.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

squeeze our car through some tight spots

When we picked up the hire car, we were expecting a compact Renault. 
An upgrade to a larger vehicle has seen us in some tight spots.

This is Assissi. It would have been lovely to walk around, but we were caught in a downward spiral of driving desperation, not knowing if the narrowing streets would bring us to a dead end.

Montecatini Alto was no better

We did ok though because we had the support of the Blessed Mother Mary.