Tuscany Departure Day Trip Report-Part Two

November3

Our lunch stop in Lucca was at a place called La Collona on one of the village piazzas but not a large (or significant one). D spotted hot dogs and hamburgers on the menu but luckily they also served traditional dishes. D loves carbonara and chose it with the inclusion of Italian eggs.

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The dish was very yellow and truly looked like scrambled eggs and pasta.

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I knew that it would be my last chance for authentic Italian eggplant. I was not disappointed. The portion was petite but the flavour was huge. The eggplant was smooth & silky and sparkled when combined with the tomato sauce. I think that the dish had been baked without breading and frying the eggplant first. I thought to myself “I am going to have to try this version at home”.

The nicest part of our lunch was meeting Jeremy & Sarah Northcott from Cornwall where he is a retired teacher, now writer and photographer and she is a police crime investigator. They had a similar charm and wit of our friends Dave and Elaine and I have a hunch that we will stay in touch.

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This was the spot where we decided I should stay put until D found the car.

We lingered for longer than we had anticipated and then I got us lost. D wanted us to follow our path back to the car but I insisted that would mean back-tracking and I thought I knew better. D ended up doing the brunt of the walking to retrace our original steps, find the car and pick me up. Unfortunately, the car keys were in the backpack that he asked me to hold and so he ended up making another lap across town to fetch me on foot. He was lovely and patient with our delayed exit of Lucca.

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We drove through a long valley to make our way back to the autostrata and Milan. The sun was setting over the mountains to the west and kissing the ones to the east with patches of sunlight. We were sadly leaving Tuscany and in order to do so we had to cross a section of the country where the autostrata was elevated and there were hairpin turns. To make it worse, there was construction which resulted in two way traffic. I was happy to get back to flatter land but my relief was short lived. Grid locked traffic was encountered the closer we got to Milan and instructions on the Googled maps that I had were cryptic. Once again I regretted that we had not acquired a GPS when we had picked up the car.

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We were blessed by this beautiful sunset that I captured as we were speeding by.

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The view from our room at the Hilton.

I was stressed and worn out by the time we checked in. We had a pretty pedestrian supper in the Hilton which otherwise was a pretty decent hotel. D took care of gassing up and we headed to the airport with time to spare to avoid undue surprizes.

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Our last Italian meal was pizza at the airport and we were off to New York City.

Kath’s quote: “My idea of heaven still is to drive the gravel farm roads of Umbria and Tuscany, very pleasantly lost.” ― Frances Mayes

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Love never fails.

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