After staying awake for 24 hours, we managed a good 5-6 hours’ sleep on the flight from Singapore to Rome.
It was VERY hot when we arrived in Rome – 41 degrees! Good thing our brand new leased Citroen C3 has air conditioning! The countryside along the coast road north of Rome was flat and dry. But once we crossed over into Tuscany, the gorgeous hillside villages appeared – they seem to pop out of nowhere. Still dry but Tuscany is beautiful!! We took a brief stop in Greve in Chianti and had some pasta in a little place we’d visited last year. A bit hairy around the narrow country roads but worth venturing from the autostrada.
The place we’re staying is less than 10km from Florence but really off the beaten track. We have seen squirrels and deer. The dirt road to get here is for residents only. Our brand new car is already filthy dirty! We received a warm welcome from the owner’s farther and were led into our “home” for the next month. The darkness was a bit of an initial shock until we realised that all the shutters were closed to keep the cold air in – the aircon runs from noon until midnight (Florence rules).
The following morning we woke up to another hot day. We had no food in the house so went to a little village nearby where they had a local market. A double macchiato and brioche was a good kickstart to the day. We also managed to find a coop (supermarket) to stock up on staples.
Our visit to Florence the next day brought back all the memories of why we fell in love with it the first time! It took a bit of courage to drive in and park at one of the parking stations, but it turned out to be easy. We had breakfast (macchiato and ricotta brioche) at one of our old haunts then went to church. It was also free museum Sunday – the first Sunday of the month – so went to Accademia Gallery to see the statue of David as didn’t get there last time.
Today was our day of rest. We took a walk into our local village – Grassina – for breakfast and a stroll along the river. The number of people smoking at the bars is something we need to get used to!