Italy 87 - another cities sosta, the wheels on the bus and a custardy cake

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Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Prato
May 1st 2015
Published: May 1st 2015
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Prato duomo Prato duomo Prato duomo

Is it an umbrella to keep off the sun or the rain?
After our eventful trip into Modena we sadly had to leave our lovely campsite. We have not seen many travellers yet. There are some Italians on the road but the season does not seem to have started . There are no Germans about, no French, definitely no Brits and very few Dutch. The weather is holding up with the temperature a very respectable 19 – 25 degrees which is quite acceptable. Perhaps not sun tan weather but it feels much better than back home.

Our trip today took us to the pretty city of Prato. Expecting little of Prato it actually delivered where Modena failed. It is odd at times how when you expect much you can be disappointed. When you expect nothing you come away excited and pleased with yourself . Today was going to be a good day.

We had found another sosta near to the city. This time a huge one which acted as a car park for McDonalds and had a bus stop for the cities park and ride. Again it would tick all our boxes. We found it easily and there was indeed plenty of parking with just another motorhome apart from us. We watched the couple in it going for the bus and noticed that every ten minutes a yellow bus trundled into the site , picked up passengers and left . Another noticeable thing that amazes us is the ability of the Italian motorist to ignore the signs that say motorhomes parking and park in those very spots . Rules are made for everyone else but not for the Italians and that is perhaps why we love them so much . The rest of the car park is empty but they choose the area they shouldn’t just because it is nearer to Mc Donalds and they don’t have to walk so far.

Having arrived at the bus stop the bus turned up. I proffered our money and got the blank look and the stare. With pigeon English and Italian we needed tickets . Where was the machine? Nowhere to be seen. The driver decided to ignore the fact we had no tickets and with a prego we were waved aboard for the 10 minute ride to the centro storico. At one stop the kids from the local school alighted and all hell let loose as they shouted to each other and the teacher tried to maintain order. We got to the station – should we get off? It was not the centre but here were signs for the Duomo which suggested it was within walking distance and we would be able to find the bus stop back. But we stayed on and then the children go off at the castle . I suggested we got off there but we decided to stay on as it didn’t seem to be the centre . The bus driver did not say anything and we foolishly sat there thinking that we needed to get to the end of the line before getting off. We passed the duomo and seemed to be heading out of town. After two more stops I asked and the driver smiled pointed backwards and suggested we crossed the road and got a bus ticket back to town. We on the other hand decided to walk which to be fair only took minutes.

Prato was delightful . A tiny square and piazza as always in an Italian town or city. Lots of cafes and restaurants all plying for trade. A public building, a free castle which we went into
Prato Prato Prato

black and white zebra banding and a clock
and lots of noise. The church was very similar to many Siennese ones with green or black and white zebra banding. Inside it was plain but had what looked like an umbrella on the corner. Obviously a pulpit for outdoor sermons it looked rather odd and was something we have never seen before.. The baptistery was full of singing and chanting as a midweek service was well underway.

We headed for a café . Very much in the French style. It smelled of fresh coffee and had bottle after bottle of wine lining the walls. The cabinets were full of pretty deserts all made up ready for lunch time. Chocolate bombs with unnamed fillings and fruit toppings, tiramisu and other pretty cakes . We chose a thin pastry with a base similar to a custard slice but thinner. A layer of thin custard was covered with a sugary topping partially caramalised . It was nothing short of heaven to eat this sugary confection complimented with a bitter espresso. Two flavours that complimented each other. We don’t like big cities but Prato was interesting. A city but not big and bustling. Slightly more workaday with a lived in manageable feel to it . You couldnt get lost there if you tried.

Not a big place ,not a lot to see but we enjoyed it much more than we did Modena. Horses for courses I guess .

Taxis were easy to find and we decided that it might be a better option to just get one back to our camperstop. It cost 10 euros 10 cents for the short journey back. But given that we had a freeby in to the city it was worthwhile paying rather than struggling to find our yellow bus home.


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