I would describe what we’ve seen of Tuscany as very leisurely. The people are calm, not hurried; the sights are serene, not overwhelming. Experiencing Tuscany is like drinking wine, first taking in the aromas, then taking a sip, slowly, letting it float in your mouth, tasting the bouquet before letting it flow back in your throat to enjoy the lasting flavor on your tongue and lips. We have seen a lot of Tuscany, a benefit of renting a car. We’ve become intimate friends with our GPS directioner; she hasn’t steered us wrong.
Because it’s our last day here, we wanted to savour it. We’ve been to San Gimignano, Peccioli, we are in Terricciola, we’ve been through Volterra, Capannoli, Servatelle, Chianni. Today, we capped off our Tuscan adventure in Pisa where we saw the Italian icon, the leaning tower.
So…the driving. We do need to address the driving. Here are a few observations. There are few street signs and almost no traffic lights. There is a suggested speed limit and add about 50 mph to that for your average driving. Most roads can barely fit two cars side by side. Roads are called Via, then followed by two, three, sometimes 3-5 names. Strata Provincial is akin to our routes, like route 10. The major highway here is called the Fi-Pi-Li (Firenze, Pisa, Livorno)– this is like the Merit parkway. There are not warning signs leading up to exits. They simply appear. And the twists and turns….have twists and turns, mountains & valleys too.
That being said, I am very impressed by Anthony’s adaptive driving skills & calm at the a**holes driving past. I, and my trusting GPS friend have been his navigators. Thank GOD for the maps app, which almost ran out of battery on our way home from dinner tonight. We at a restaurant called Papaveri e Papere. I found it on Yelp, also a helpful app. One review said it didn’t have a Michelin star, but it should, and that was a spot on review. In all of Italy, this was my favorite restaurant both for the atmosphere and the food. The presentation of the food is one of the telling features of its sophistication. The GPS missed this location, however, located in San Miniato, we drove past where it was telling us to stop, luckily, because it was down the road a bit. The roads in San Miniato are steep and curvaceous; there were a few times I was afraid another car would be coming from the other direction & we wouldn’t have enough room for both of us to navigate.
Driving has been such an exciting way to see Tuscany. I think we are both glad we rented a car. One of the most beautiful,pleasures of tooling around in the car has been the breathtaking scenery. Among which are fields and fields of sunflowers (not to mention vineyards, grapes & olives, and rows upon rows of cypress trees.