Bella, Bella Lucca

Trip Start Oct 24, 2010
Trip End Jan 16, 2011

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Where I stayed
Pensione Ferritti, Florence

Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Originally founded as an Etruscan community, this little gem is situated in a beautiful valley west  of Florence. We took the 1.5 hour morning train and on arrival we began by walking around the three mile long berm that surrounds the medieval city. The walls are 4 meters high, are made of bricks, and it appears that there used to be a moat around this beautiful city. At one point in it's history, Napoleon's sister ruled here.

It was a brilliant fall day and the trees were blazing with fall color. The women were walking their bambinos in strollers, old men would ride bikes to sit on a bench with their buddies and play dominoes. I think it got up to 74 degrees during the day. After circumnavigating the outer walls, we descended into the Medieval city, where we wandered around looking for a lunch spot. There were lots of restoration projects going on, and lots of upscale apartments for sale or rent.

We found a little blue collar ristorante named Ristorante de Leo. It was full of locals and we entered and sat down for a good Italian Lunch. Just then an argument broke out among the cooking staff. It was a hum dinger. Two Italian women were heatedly discussing some problem in the kitchen. The manager was dressed in a skeleton shirt (Holloween?) and was leaning on the counter peering into the mele that was the kitchen. The hollering went on for 15 minutes, while the full house of  customers chuckled and the waitresses were embarrassed. While they kept on screaming at each other, I walked back towards the men's room with my camera set in video mode. (See "You wanna piece of me? ) in photos that follow. Italians really do talk with their hands, and I believe, if they have a problem with you, you're going to know about it.

As it began to cool down, our food arrived. Our friendly waiter, Marco, said,
 "No extra charge for the show", with a wry smile.

 We return to Florence tonight for one more day there. Enjoy the photos.
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bro don on

That looks like a beautiful spot! Nice hidden video work; had the cooks seen it they might have started tossing eggs or plates at you. Or at least burned your toast.

Joe Rinaldi on

All these pictures make me yearn to return to the mother land. You have done a fine job capturing the ambiance of Italy.

Don McKee on

The picture of the "tiny rig" and "bus" and the spirited 'discussion' with its lively hand gestures says as much about Italy as do the all of the other pictures. Your narrative is as as every bit as informative as your wondefrul photography.

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