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Published: April 22nd 2013
We’ve been in Italy for two weeks now and are living on a diet of pizza, risotto, pasta and ice cream (and our first BBQ of the trip!) which is gorgeous but I imagine will show on the scales! Italy seems to be much faster passed than France, still with the long lunches where everything closes down from 12-4, bigger waist lines and scarier roads! We thought that French drivers were a bit mental….but all is forgiven! A lot of the roads here seem to have lost their markings, their edges, and the resulting free for all can be interesting especially as everyone’s in a rush (but then the shops do close at midday!).
The language thing is harder too, as even though before we left I would have said I couldn’t speak a word of French, my school days much have had some effect after all as phrases and sentence structure and pronunciation came (tricking slowly) back to me and making yourself understood in French was actually pretty easy. In Italy it’s a lot harder, especially pronunciation and I feel like I have no basis to start from, but it’s a beautiful language that sounds lovely half the time and like everyone’s arguing the rest of the time! We have tried our best to speak some basic Italian, though most of the time we just get a confused ‘’do you speak English?’’ and we give in!
We’ve city hopped our way from Diano Marina, to Lucca, Pisa, Florance, Siena, Piombino and now to Rome. Lucca was beautiful, Somewhere I would defiantly go again; the cities walls have been made into wide path’s on top that we cycled around twice, the view is beautiful and there are plenty of parks and routes into the city from the path’s that both locals and tourists use. The shops were fab and we splurged on locally made packs of risotto, pasta sauce and expresso’s with brandy and listened to the beautiful choir sing in the Church. After Lucca we got lost on our bikes in Pisa (‘’can you
see it’’) as I keep thinking that we can just cycle along and magically find our way to where we want to be, and then our way back, even though we often don’t really know where were going. Always works out though! We wore our shoes and ourselves out walking around Florence and ate ice cream and sunbathed in the piazza del campo in Siena and then headed to Piombino to relax by the sea! Piombino itself leaves something to be desired but we camped for free literally next to the beach a few km away where we swam in the sea and sunbathed with a view of the isle of Elba. The second day we where there we decided to cycle into Piombino to find out how much the ferry costs to visit Elba; what we thought would be a 12 mile cycle ended up being a 26 mile round trip but we found the port and headed to Elba the next day (driving this time!) We spent the day exploring around the fort and harbour of Elba and we found a secret beach where we paddled to cool our feet, it’s a really beautiful island and I wish we had more time there. As it was free we stayed for 4 nights by the beach and then decided we defiantly needed a shower! Washing in a bucket just doesn’t cut it. On a whim we headed towards a lake on the map and as luck would have it rolled up to a cheap, open lake side campsite with showers, toilets and washing machines by lunchtime! Adventuring made easy J We even dried 20 kilo’s of washing on make shift washing lines between the van and trees and nothing blew away into the lake!
Today we used to motorway for the first time, which is much cheaper and in better condition than the ones we used in France and arrived 6km from Rome which we plan to conquer tomorrow (Ange has got maps and books out everywhere and is drawing up battle plans as I type!)
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