Friday, July 31, 2009
Just to give you an idea of where we are headed - I've drawn a circle where we will be camping. This is about halfway between Livorno and Piombino (both harbour towns, where you can board a ferry to go to the island of Elba, for example. Piombino is more of an industrial harbour, so - not very pretty) on the coast. This beach is perfect from my point of view. It faces westward, so we can enjoy the sunset. It has sand and dunes, but also lots of pebbles (I get bored with a beach that has only sand...), some sea shells (not in great abundance, so it is a treat to find them) and sometimes, if I am lucky, beach glass. And not to forget the driftwood! The Mediterranean Ocean provides waves and an everchanging colour palette of the water. The camp site is situated in an area of pine forest and macchia, so there are bushes between most of the individual camp sites and there is shade provided by the pine trees, not to mention how they perfume the air! Although, sometimes the squirrels throw those huge pine cones on the cars. The camp site has the necessary commodities and a little snack bar/restaurant and grocery shop and there are also several restaurants in walking distance in the beach town, so you can really relax.
On the other hand, there are all those wonderful medieval mountain towns and the larger, well known cities, such as Siena and Florence, to visit, if so inclined. The first time I visited Florence, I discovered a very unusual shop called Bizarri (the name of the original owner), which looked like it belonged somewhere back in time. It was dusty and extremely old fashioned, with dark wooden wall to wall shelving, similar to old apothecaries. It had the appearance of an alchemist's shop, and actually, it was one, because they sold all sorts of chemicals and strange substances. I bought some sanguine de draco, which translates: dragon's blood!
I love to listen to the cicadas... There are plenty of beautiful lizards to watch. I just sooo love it there! Not far from our camp site, there is a beautiful country road, leading up to a tiny village, which is lined on either side with huge cypress trees.
Well, you get the idea - I am very enthusiastic about Tuscany. I will be taking my trusty camera, so that I can show you some highlights afterwards.