“Be where you are, not where you think you should be.”
We have a laundry list of must haves for each place we stay. This is a new experience for us. Normally when we travel we just look for the cheapest place. But here we want a kitchen, high speed internet, preferably one bedroom instead of a studio, a reliable cell connection, a workspace for Ez and a location that is desirable for me. If there is no construction going on, that is also a bonus. We had a romantic idea of moving to Umbria (the region next to Tuscany) to find some peace and quiet and just stay in one place for the next 3-4 weeks. We wanted to stay at an Agrotourismo because I thought I could take some classes or help out on a farm.
This sweet little notion did not come to fruition. In three weeks we ended up moving 10 times! It was like goldilocks where this house has no cell service, the next one no internet, the following one was great but was only available for 6 days and the wifi was slower than dial-up. The next one was freezing. It’s pretty funny in hindsight. We could not figure out if it was lack of infrastructure or just the old brick buildings – we’ve had better service in some developing countries. We’re considering staying in hotels again.
Regardless we had a wonderful few weeks driving around and soaked up the Umbrian countryside. We got a few days in Le Marche and Tuscany regions to boot. We walked through olive groves and drank a lot of great inexpensive wine. We went to the truffle capital of Norcia, drove over snow-covered mountians, saw beautiful churches and ate an obnoxious amount of pizza. And everyone was so incredibly nice.
A quick obligatory stop thru Pisa.
Then on to Cinque Terre for a week of beautiful weather, cliffs and sunsets. We stayed in the town of Manarola which had great trails for Ez to run and I walked between towns and soaked up some of the warm sun. It was starting to feel like spring!
A quick windy weekend in Florence impressed with incredible views of the Duomo. We were lazy tourists and didn’t want to pay for anything but did manage to get pizza in one more time, walked outside the Uffizi museum and along the river to the Ponte Vecchio bridge which is unique for not being destroyed during WWII.
I had to treat myself to gelato at least once a week. If that’s not beautiful, I don’t know what is! I’m talking about the gelato not the buildings.
A lot of great signage in Italy.
Maybe this was not quite the experience we were looking for, but a good experience found us anyway.