Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Where we are at ........

So after 2 months of our adventure, we’ve decided to write a blog - here’s a little catch up of what’s been happening so far.

We arrived in April and threw ourselves straight into an Italian language class. Marino who has Italian born parents already had a good base for the language and has taken to it like a duck to water. Me on the other hand, my progress has been ‘piano piano’ as they say, slowly slowly! It's not easy learning a new language!

Lucca is a town encircled by a massive medieval wall; this photo was taken from the top of the Torre Guinigi, one of the many towers that remain. As you can see we are surrounded by the beautiful Tuscan countryside.

Our first month was in a holiday apartment, we’ve now rented an apartment in the 'centro storico'  and have officially commenced ‘living’ in Lucca!

Lucca is flat, and car traffic is limited inside the walls, most people either walk or cycle. In May, we bought bikes (Australians buying Dutch style bikes, made in China, from a French hyper market in Italy)! That's mine with the basket - her name is 'Roma'.

To date we are loving all things Italian! The food and produce is of the highest quality, and my cooking has improved out of sight (must be the Tuscan air).
Here's a taste of lunch we had at home with 2 friends - yum!

Wine – we haven’t yet decided on a favourite, we’ll have to keep drinking until we find one. Here we are busy 'researching' at an annual winetasting event 'Wines of the Tuscan Coast' with over 50 wineries, 300 wines and all set in an amazing palazzo.

Concerts – Lucca is known for its musical history, being the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini (Tosca, La Boheme, and Madame Butterfly to name a few). There’s literally a concert on every night, some of which are free entry, and sometimes even include a little snack and wine during interval!

Travel wise, we’ve been to Trieste, Marino's family home town. A very different city to others in Italy, it's a lovely port city on the northeastern border of Italy. Very European in feel. Here's Marino in front of an old family favourite - Cremcaffe.

We’ve had a couple of trips to Spello, an exceedingly cute medieval hillside town in Umbria, to visit friends from Australia who live there  - and we made some new friends too.

In June, we spent 3 days walking in Chianti. We’ve had our first visitors from the UK, and many threats of visits from our family and friends at home (ha..ha..).

Florence is only 80 minutes away by train, our gateway to the rest of Italy.  We’ve been through Florence many times without stopping, so recently we decided to stop and check it out!

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