ITALY DAY 2, LUCCA

The locals have taken a real fancy to my legs (and no wonder!) and I am bitten to shreds. I am usually impervious to the little buggers but not the Italian variety it seems. This led to us having to find a pharmacy where a touching mime ensued. The pharmacist took a look at the bites and enquired “before or after?”. I felt that this was pretty obvious.

Busy day today. We spent the morning in Montecatini Terme spa, a beautiful building and grounds just a short walk from our hotel. The waters themselves are supposed to have healing properties and, inevitably, tasted disgusting.

Next we took the car and made our way to Lucca stopping on the way at Pescia. Having parked up In a back street car park we were approached by a man trying to sell odds and sods. I had hoped that my ignorance of the language would suffice but, no, even “street traders” speak English. When I refused to hand over money, which I was assured was to “ensure the safety of my car”, the talk turned vaguely threatening. We walked off with me wondering what the excess was on damage to the hire car.

Lucca was much more rewarding. It has a largely complete wall which is the widest of any city wall I have ever seen. Lucca also has its fair share of towers and this time I was able to go up and get a wonderful view over the city. It was strange, however, not to go up without my tower climbing companion Grant.

Finally, after a quick bite to eat, we made our way to Calci. Not somewhere that is on the normal tourist track but it was where Mat was playing his first concert this evening. It was great to see him and hear him and the rest of the orchestra play. He seems to be having a fantastic time and certainly isn’t missing us, which is how it should be, but he did look pleased to see us.

Tomorrow Mat now goes south and we won’t see him until he returns to the UK. We, meanwhile, will be tackling Florence.