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.
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.
Long days Driving
Spend a Week sitting and Working
Michelle's take on the day
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
Natasha's whine for the day
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.
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.
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.
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!