Today is our travel day from Cinque Terre. I know you are all waiting to hear if the taxi arrived for us…… yes, including a phone call just before to ask if we were already outside waiting, also handled in Italian. Ok I will stop bragging, but I finally got full credit from Tanya!
We have to change trains in Pisa for Florence and our platform change gives us only 10 min, this could be a challenge as we also need to validate our tickets before boarding. It is very busy with tourists in La Spezia, Florence a hot destination, making luggage placement a bit of a challenge. Luckily this leg we have booked seats. We upskill André on where to lodge the bags and we are good for an hour. Luckily they actually announce which platform the Florence train will be leaving from so we make a bolt utilizing the only 4 person lift with a Canadian couple, all making close friends due to the squeeze on the way. Tanya and André are on board while I am trying to validate the tickets, it is slow and keeps on spitting the tickets out, in the end I figure two out of three validated will have to do. We cram in, Tanya facing the right way for travel, no seats booked on this leg.
After a 15 min roll of our bags to the apartment we move in and set up. The apartment is very light with basically a wall of greenery on one side due to the tall, chestnut trees outside full of spring growth.
It starts drizzling and we are in for three days of patchy wetness.
We still want to explore so we head out to the historical centre. On the way André has managed do find a huge mercado with lots of fresh food and street food vendors. We have left Tanya behind to browse the many leather goods shops and stalls with a Meeting point in 30 min to give her a chance to get a feel for the pricing and quality of goods.
We have found a tiny stall that makes fresh pasta as you wait, I pick the truffle ravioli with butter and olive oil/Parmesan sauce, André gets tagliatelle with a fungi porcini sauce and I pick a gnocchi with Caprese sauce for Tanya. The Bear family is back together and we enjoy our respective pastas in the market. It is now raining pretty heavily so we duck in and out of shops, there is so much choice in leather goods, it is hard to pick anything. Tanya likes a few bags from a very friendly Italian vendor and designer but does not settle on one as yet. These leather goods are made from cow and buffalo hide, all Tuscan, locally put through tanneries and then dyed with vegetable dyes, finally designed and hand crafted by local craftsmen.
We try to visit the Duomo but it is getting too late , last visit 4.45pm, so we settle for some shopping and supplies for breakfast and fresh local strawberries. I pick up hot, straight out of the oven pizza and we head home with our loot for dinner in tonight.
For a travel day it has still been good fun.