Today we woke up around 8 and had breakfast at our hotel. We met Greg and Erin at 10:20 outside their hotel and we made our way to the train station. We were on a mission to make it to our villa in Tuscany. We took the 11:07 train from Monterosso to Pisa. Then from there we had to find the airport shuttle to pick up our rental car. It was tricky finding the airport shuttle because we thought it was a bus outside the train station, when really it was a train. If you’re looking for the airport shuttle in the Pisa train station just keep following the signs for “airport” and you buy your ticket right outside the train/shuttle. It’s very easy once you find it. Once we found the train it was super fast and we were able to get the rental van and make our way to Montaione to pick up the keys to the villa. The drive was pretty easy and the country was so beautiful! We also got stuck in the middle of a weird old/fancy car race. It was awkward because people were on the side of the road waiting for the cars and here we were just some Americans in a van. It was cool though!
It took about an hour to get to Montaione so by now we were running a bit late because another group was already almost to the villa; it was after 2 pm. Montaione was a weird small town, very quiet. It had a fantastic view of the country side by where we parked though. It was also very chilly here compared to the Cinque Terre; it almost felt like fall. It took a bit to find the hotel where the woman was waiting to give us the keys.
We followed the woman to the villa and she drove like a maniac! She was literally leaving us in her dust. We were driving so fast to keep up with her and the roads were gravel and curvy. We were expecting to see Julie and Alyssa’s group at our villa but we saw them on our way there waiting outside a different villa that they thought was ours. We had no idea where we were going so we called them and told them to wait there until we knew.
When we got to the villa it was about a 5 minute drive from where we saw the other group. Greg had me and Don go on a mission to go get the other group. I was pumped to drive in Italy! We found the other group and had them follow us to the real villa.
Our villa is called Villa Le Cascine and it looks awesome!! I couldn’t believe how beautiful everything around us was. The house is huge and amazing. The pool is also awesome. Once we got settled in there was another group who was in need of help so Don, the navigator, and Julie the driver went to go find the next group. They also were able to stop by a grocery store. I stayed behind. My throat was really starting to hurt which was really concerning because I had just had strep the week before coming to Italy and I had just finished my antibiotics. I’m so worried I’m getting sick again! It’s a pretty extreme pain but I don’t want to be a downer and I’m in Italy. Luckily for me, Dave (Mel’s husband), had little bottles of Jack Daniels and he shared some with me and after 2 my throat felt great! So I hung out by the pool to drink some whisky and get to know everyone while Don rescued lost people and got groceries. Let’s just say, I felt pretty much 100% better by the time he got back.
We made our own dinner tonight, but for the remainder of our stay here we will have chefs coming to cook. The villa had a little gift of pasta and sauce so we made that and also had some bread and wine of course! It was getting dark and we were still waiting on Jim and Doreen to arrive at the villa. They had been driving for awhile and Don had been in contact with Doreen to try to figure out where they were. They got to a point where they were lost and Don knew where they were so it was rescue mission #3 time! I drove, Don navigated, and Alyssa came with us to bring Jim and Doreen to the villa. It was kind of scary driving because it was pitch black, but the mission was successful.
Here’s some pictures of the place.
Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!
Here’s a bonus video of Greg driving.