Published: June 29th 2012June 24th 2012
Lucca to Bologna
12th June to 19th June 2012
Tuesday 12th June 2012
We leave for Lucca via Arezzo as it looked like a scenic drive through the mountains.
It was a fantastic drive and Tom figured that the road was OK as a few buses and large trucks came past us, so that meant is was OK for camper. Soon we started to climb and then comes some serious climbing, then the clouds and on with the fog lights front and rear. Reach the top and start to descend, whilst watching the TomTom to see where the road goes as the fog is so thick. The road winds back on itself constantly and the descent is steeper than the ascent. A bit hairy. We come out of the fog and onto a straighter section of the road – and then coming towards us are two prime movers with trailers. We both thanked someone up there that we did not come across them in the fog and on the descent.
Onto the tollway to avoid the streets of Florence and into Lucca to campsite called ‘Il Serchio’. It is only
800 metres from the wall of Lucca, €20 a night, swimming pool, good ampage for electricity – great value.
Went to Giacomo Puccini’s house museum – very good.
Into town for dinner but first we wanted to find the Church of Santa Maria Corteorlandini as there is a concert on at 9pm that we wanted to see. The tourist office lady gave us the wrong church so we searched for a while until we found it. Just around the corner was a Trattoria (a Trattoria is generally a family-run restaurant serving regional food in the home-cooked style). It didn’t open til 7.30pm, so Tom waits in the Piazza and I go window shopping.
When restaurant opens, Tom sits at a table and I come back looking for him – I can’t see him and look across to the restaurant. Nope he’s not there either – just an old bloke reading the menu. Oh shit – the old bloke is Tom !!!!!! Whoops. I cracked up laughing – still feel young - when did we get older - when did that happen?
We had a very nice dinner and chatted
to a couple from Melbourne sitting next to us.
The church is small, but fully painted and well maintained – very beautiful.
There was a young lady at the church handing out programs. When she hears our accent, she starts speaking English. She is from Wales and her job is to look after visiting choirs.
There are two groups performing tonight. The local group and then the Palo Alto High School Choirs from San Francisco, California, who are on a 4 day tour.
The local harmony group come out and sing. Their conductor carries on like he ants in his pants. They were a good choir to listen to.
Next come young people dressed in period costumes (made by one of the mums who we meet later). Then a separate 2nd
group of singers and a 3rd
separate group. Then they all come out together – 75 singers – and did they bring the house down. There singing can be described in many words – fantastic, majestic, moving, incredible, etc.
The Welsh lady came up to us after the concert and gave us their CD.
What a great night – one of the
best concerts we have been to in the churches in Italy this trip.
All good intentions to get up early. Nup - not happening.
But we still go for a bicycle ride along the river down one side and then back on the other – about 2 hours.
Up early, pack up the van and drive to Bologna via a motorhome dealer not far away from Bologna, to look for a shower tap. They did not have much there or what we needed, and they said it would take 20 days to get from Germany.
So off to the campsite – ‘Citta di Bologna’. It’s the same campsite as last year. It felt good to be back and to know our way around and some of the people.
We had dinner in the restaurant at the campsite – still great food and fun staff. The pool is open this time round.
Tom went for a 50km ride and I went shopping.
In town lots of streets were closed off as it is now summer. Also some extra streets were closed off as The President was visiting the town later today and there was also going to be some demonstrations. Lots of police around.
We take the 5pm bus to town for a concert in a small church. Not our cup of tea but good players. One player was really good and had 3 curtain calls.
Then off for some dinner. We see lots of students using a smorgasbord, so ask the waiter. It’s €7 for a drink and all the food you can eat. This is what a lot of bars do there, some more expensive than others.
Well, it’s Monday and Tom finds shops are shut when he got there.
Then tried to kick start scooter again and that failed – so it is stuffed. Camping reception call the Honda dealer and a recovery company collects scooter at 3pm.
We hang around the pool and wait.
So at 3pm the scooter is collected. At 7pm we catch bus to have dinner with Andrea (Gaye’s teacher from last year).
We go via the Honda dealer and they said to collect scooter tomorrow after 11am.
In the main street there are many buskers. One was absolutely fantastic. One man dressed with a double mummy on his back and danced. Unreal.
We meet Andrea at 9pm and it is just starting to cool down.. We had a great meal in library restaurant called ‘Ambasciatori’. Talk, talk, talk. Great night. Home by taxi.
Tom gets bus to Honda dealer. Tom asked about a helmet box to be fitted and a bike cover. He orders a good 2nd
hand helmet box . The bike cover would not get there til late in the afternoon, so he said he would collect bike tomorrow
At 4pm we pack up the van and Tom takes it to Georgio – just around the corner - for the radio to be fitted. Miscommunication – Georgio only wanted to show the radio to Tom and will fit at 8am tomorrow morning. So back to campsite with camper and hang around the pool til dinner.