Monday, April 29, 2013

pisa-lucca---day 2 {travelogue}

saturday in florence
is like saturday in any city
locals pouring into town to do their weekend shopping
tourists milling about in large groups
staring upwards

just an all around
crowded situation
which is why
we got out of town

pisa and lucca the destination

turns out
it wasn't such a bad idea
the weather had turned runny
just as we took our seats on the excursion bus
rain began pouring down
(that really isn't its name...i don't know what the name was, except that it was one of those total tourist deals...which turn out to be a pretty good thing, actually)

i never think i am a fan of the organized tourist train/bus/walk
but i nearly always give them a try
i am hardly disappointed
except when it  includes food
which is a big bad bust
most of the time

those, i avoid
as you know
i am all about the food

speaking of which
we had steak and eggs for breakfast
but there are no photos
because i forgot
and by the time i remembered
it didn't look so appetizing
just trust me
leftover bistecca fiorentina
with a couple of fried eggs
and hunk of bread
is money

in Pisa
we did a tour of the church
which is beautiful
but dark
which is why i don't have any good photos
because in churches
you can't wear a hat
you can't use a flash

the real draw in Pisa
is the tower
a leaning tower
i love all the great photos that people fashion
holding the tower up
grimacing under the supposed weight
they never cease to humor me
but you rarely see this maneuver
someone kicking the darn thing over
but it is funny
that is my husband
who enjoys a good laugh as much as i
we hooted over this one for hours

time for lunch
but in a tourist town
where restaurants actually name themselves
restaurant tourista
getting a good meal is a bit dubious
but we found one
just outside the main tourist area
trattoria bruno
(no identity crisis here)

the pasta outstanding
hubs had
penne with rabbit and boar sauce
and i enjoyed
pasta with porcini mushrooms
the pasta was handmade
and so thin
you could almost see yourself through the sheets

simple yet delicious

from Pisa
we got back on the bus and headed to Lucca
a medieval city
that is usually quite lovely
but on a rainy saturday
with many of the venues closed for the afternoon
there was little to see

after getting a bit drenched in the rain
we stopped for a hot chocolate
which in this part of italy
is more like
warm chocolate pudding
than chocolate water
you decide if it sounds better or not

e poi
(which means and then
not the poi you eat in hawaii
which is not italian by any means
despite having the same name)

we visited a winery just outside of lucca
it turns out
they make the house wine
for one of my favorite places in New York City
Sant. Ambroeus
when i was getting married
my dress came from vera wang
and before my first appointment
and subsequently
my fittings
i would go have
coffee and a little something
sant ambroeus
 so when the proprietor of this winery in lucca
off-handedly mentioned the restaurant
i perked up with
on madison avenue!?!
she and i had a bonding moment
it is her brother's place
and all the "house wine" comes from here
 it is pretty good
a tasty drinkable wine
i was set to buy quite a bit
but then my new friend
(the owner)
gave me the name of their american distributor
so i wouldn't have to pay for shipping
which now means
i'll probably buy a whole case
those italians
so crafty!

after the wine and the food and the travel by bus
we were pretty wiped out
without plans for dinner

we grabbed a quick porchetta sandwich
and called it a night
a night and half a day
since jet lag reared its ugly head
and we slept
about 12 hours
waking up just in time
to search out lunch....


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