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Lucca Italy to Formello Italy (Rome)

Lucca Italy to Formello Italy (Rome)

By on Aug 17, 2015 in European Road Trip, Road trip European Vacation | 2 comments


August 17 Day Eight Lucca Italy to Formello Italy

Simon's Statements of Relief



Lucca is another Italian town built around a Citadels ancient roman fort. First thing this morning Michelle and I jogged around the city wall a relaxing 4.5 km run on a very flat surface and with some shade. It was a very enjoyable run considering its been quite some time since my last run.

Making breakfast in park under the wall as the kids played in the play ground and Natasha sat use reading a book was a good way to to watch the Lucca people begin their day. At 7:30 the city and the city wall were deserted apart from a few other silly runners. Even at 10:30, as we started cooking there were very few people about. The car park near us was empty. An hour later the place was bustling and there wasn't a parking space to spare.  Its a slow start to the day in Lucca or is that every where in Italy?

The kids loved riding the wall in a five person pedal bike, they even enjoyed navigation the streets of Lucca even though each time we braked the bike made a god awful noise. Causing everyone to look our way.

Italian engineering

Amazing engineering feats. The Italian motorways.  So high and so many tunnels making a very long driver very short. Changed a 4:30 driver to a 2:00 drive.  So pleased they were built otherwise the journey from Torino to Formello would have takes a few more days. I had not idea that Italy would be so mountainous right down to the coast.


As we drove in to Formello on a very rough highway and then even rougher city roads my heart was sinking with the though that this place maybe seriously agriculture and approaching a third world standard of living. Narrow streets pot holes and poor lighting.  

Thankfully as we approached the house things changed, street lighting open paddocks and a house nestled in the hill overlooking a beautiful rural vista. A great start to the end of a very long journey. 

Later in the evening Richard (our host) took the kids and myself down to the centre of Formelleo for ice cream ( gelato ) and a look at the old quarter of the town. I instantly fell in love with the place even though driving through the town hours before gave me serious reservations about our impending stay.

Our Hosts

Luca meet us at the gate and directed us right to the front door of his house. Luca is the 14 year old son of Richard and Sara Pinto our hosts. Shortly after Livia (3) and Ari  (16) appeared with Sara to greet us to Formello and the Pinto Residence. After a whirl wind tour meeting neighbours and friends, eating and talking we finally fell to sleep after a very long day. The last day of our European road trip.

Long days Driving

OK I'm over the driving now. I think we'll just stay put for a week before venturing out to see Rome.

The roads

Ok I'll rate the roads the Swiss roads were the best for visibility and smoothness as were the german roads. The French weren't bad but occasionally too narrow but the Italian surfaces were the worse. The motorways/autostrada spectacular feats of engineering  but the surface very lumpy and the roads around Rome could rival the big dipper at Luna Park.
The Toyota will need new front shocks before long on these roads.

Spend a Week sitting and Working

Get some work done. Driving for 5 hours a day and poor internet meant not much work has been performed in the last eight days. I expect we were too ambitious to think we could work on a road trip.  We will have to call it our European Vacation and spend some time catching up.
Running the citadel wall lucca
Nose of florence
Livia ready to go
Livia sad to leave octavio

Michelle's take on the day


Underpass in Mons

Run and a Ride in the most amazing place! 


Today was all good!

Started the day with a jog on top of the walls around Lucca - approximately 4.5k.  Then we all hired a bike that 5 of us would fit into and 4 of us could pedal at once - we went around the Lucca walls 1.5 time more and finished by getting lost in the narrow little streets of the village - great fun!

Then we drove to Florence for a whirl wind tour and didn't get to see much, but what we saw was awesome.  Finally we drove the last 2.5 hours to Formello - the village we've all been talking about for months because it will be our stop for the next 10 months - the longest we've stopped any where in 20 months!  WOW...

Very exciting to be here finally!  The family we're watching the house for are lovely and the house itself in fantastic.  We're all feeling very happy 🙂



Time in Florence

Thanks to our bike ride in Lucca, we seriously ran out of time to see very much of Florence which was a disappointment.  On a positive note we did have a great 'American' meal in Florence, which filled us all up!


Back to Florence

We've all decided that as Florence is only 2.5 hours up the road we will make the effort to go back and look around before our 10 months is up here!
Also on my bucket list is Rome!  We're living just 30 minutes out of Rome so I imagine we will have a number of trips in to explore the Italian capital city 🙂

Natasha's whine for the day


Formello House-sit

The best bit by far was being able to finally arrive to the house sit, we've been anticipating it for so long that when we finally got here it was like a huge relief. The house is amazing, the people are lovely and the neighbors seem very kind and hopefully patient with our learning of their language. They have a family friend that we met and one of her sons might be taking us out for ice cream some night to teach us some of the basic informal Italian terms, like how to order and helpful phrases and things. 

The cats extremely cute as well, so far it's all shaping up to be a good ten months to come. 


I'm shy with other teenagers...

The worst bit about today was probably me being anti social, I don't know what it is, probably that I haven't been around many people for a while. Like a group that I'm meant to talk to, converse and all that, I'm not good at that, especially if there is someone close to my age there. I'm not sure whether I'm subconsciously self conscious or I've just become a really awkward shy mess, I'm really not sure. I need to work on it though, I'm okay with adults and kids younger then me but as soon as some ones my age, I just like curl into myself and and try to make it so I'm blended in and hope no one with notice I exist. Oops.


Visit Home..

Today's item for the bucket list is defiantly being able to at least visit home, two years is a long time to be away and I miss all my friends a lot so it would be great if I could just fly home for a couple weeks, just to see everyone and hear how they're going. Also to see family as well, I really miss my family, it's weird because we all used to live so close that I didn't even realize what it was going to be like not to be able to just walk down the road to see them. I'm still hopeful though that somehow I'll be able to go home, maybe it can be my Christmas present, I guess we'll see.

Mons Grand Place

Benjamin has his say


The Bike in Lucca

What I liked about today was the 6 person bike we rode it was really fun and hard to peddle with everyone else.


Nothing - everything was great!

I don't really have anything I didn't enjoy today.


The American Dinner in Florence

What I would like to do again is go back to the American dinner in Florence.


Seb's Thoughts


The house in Formello

Arriving at the house in Formello, Italy and having a look around was awesome - we've been talking about it for ages.


Ran out of time in Florence

Not being able to have a big look around in Florence - we just ran out of time!



I want to go back to Florence so we can have a better look around.
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  1. avatar

    Helloooo Everyone over there in Formello … so happy you are safely ensconsed now in your new home for a few months and good to read your snippets along the way. Wishing you lots of learning and fun and so looking forward to visiting while you are there. Big hugs, Wendy, Grandma, Mum, Mother-in-Law .. LOL xoxoxoxoxoxox

    • avatar

      Hey Mum!

      Lovely yo hear from you !
      Its great to be here and start to settle down a little – Formello is lovely and Rome is very close, so we’ll be able to explore quite bit!

      See you here next year 🙂

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