Tag Archives: pisa

Lucca and Pisa

Today was our last full day at the villa. We got on the bus around 9 again to check out Lucca. On the way there our driver, Fernando, told us a bit about Lucca and what we should see. Lucca was a very cute city. There is a wall built around the old part of Lucca. The wall was cool because you could go on it and walk the perimeter. You could also bike the wall and we were planning to do that but we got caught up walking around and seeing different things.

We saw this awesome kid driving his car.

We ate outside at a cute little place called Bistrot e Winebar Des Arts. We had an appetizer of meat and cheese and of course it was great. I had a pesto pasta that was also amazing and Don had some kind of quinoa dish.

After lunch we walked around more and came across a very pretty church.

We also found the amphitheater which is all shops and restaurants now. We quickly got some gelato here and made our way back to the bus.

Our next stop was Pisa to see the Leaning Tower. It was pretty cool. It was fun to watch everyone trying to get the perfect picture of themselves trying to hold the tower up. It was crowded and hot but we all got our photos and headed back to the villa.

Once we got back to the villa we immediately wanted to make the most of the pool on our last day. We all were relaxing and having drinks at the pool. The water finally felt like it had really warmed up and most people were in it. All of the sudden Greg and I were in a diving/jumping contest. We had fun providing entertainment for everyone. Hanging out in Lucca today and seeing the leaning tower in Pisa was very cool, but the dive contest was probably the highlight of my day. It was so fun!

While we were swimming the chefs had arrived with their wood fire oven to make our final meal of pizza. The pizza dinner consisted of about eight different types of pizza that we all got to try. They were amazing! The ones that stood out the most to me was the margherita, veggie and burrata cheese pizza. The burrata cheese pizza was amazing!! I wish I could have some again right now. We also had an anchovie pizza, which wasn’t bad. The tuna pizza was probably the most interesting one and I don’t think I would eat that one again. After dinner we had some more drinks then we had to start packing so we could leave in the morning. This trip has been awesome!

Making our way to Tuscany!

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!

Cool cars in a parade thing
Our van.

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.

She drove crazy!

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.

Our room. None of he windows had screens, pretty cool!
Awesome pool!
Common area

Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Here’s a bonus video of Greg driving.