We took the boat from Forio on Ischia to Naples saying goodbye to our captain Flavio and our boat, Liberty. The first mate, Pasquale, left abruptly yesterday after getting a phone call to join a cargo ship on a 5-6 month trip through the Panama Canal, Mexico and Los Angeles and back – the start of his career.
We took a car from the port for fantastic pizza at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michelle. There was a crowd of people waiting to get in for a 1-hour wait so we got takeout instead. The place was a pizza factory that made only 2 pizzas: Margherita and Marinara. We got 2 of each. While I waited in line to get our pizzas I watched one guy flatten the dough, another put the sauce and toppings on, another guy took the pizza to the wood-fired oven and another guy plated or boxed and cut the pizzas. Over and over.
We sat across the street at a cafe that seemed to exist solely as overflow seating for the pizzeria, despite 4 other much less busy pizzerias in the same 2 blocks.
Both were great but I preferred the marinara, surprising to me, because of the garlic.
The driver gave us a short tour of Naples before dropping us at the train station. The train left right on time at 5pm.
We left Amalfi this morning after breakfast and went to the island of Capri, boated all the way around it checking out the grottos and all the mega yachts, had lunch in Marina Piccola, jumped off the boat’s gangway, went swimming and floating in the Mediterranean and then docked in the town of Capri for dinner.
Venice had its every-other-year art celebration Biennale (its history) this year and a new Banksy painting appeared. I knew then that we’d be in Venice soon so finding the painting was on my list of things to do. I did today:
We left Casole d’Elsa and drove to Volterra, about 30 minutes away on very windy roads. We had pizza lunch in the square and gelato after a walk around the town.
We happened upon a museum of torture which was kinda creepy.
Before driving to Volterra we had to stop at the restaurant where we ate dinner last night because I left my bag there, which contained my Rylo 360º camera. I forgot my Rylo camera at a restaurant in Germany and now in Italy. I must not be meant to have it. At the hotel they were starting a classic car show so we got to see some cool old cars.
We spent the day driving around the area trying and failing to get a SIM card for our phones and then went to a co-op grocery store. We spent the afternoon in the pool and then went to dinner at the resort’s restaurant.
It was a long day with flights and a 2+ hour drive from Florence to Castello di Casole but ended with a wonderful dinner. Foie Gras, pork sausage + fresh pasta, lamb + potatoes and semifreddo. Wine too.
The kids were great travelers. The airline lost Eva’s luggage and she took it in stride and Havana was creative enough to help her get dressed anyway.
It was a good flight on Lufthansa, although the food wasn’t very good except for the cheese plate. Me and the kids were all in one row and Gay was a couple rows back.
After a 2-hour layover in Frankfurt and a 1-hour flight over the Swiss Alps, we landed in Florence (at the Amerigo Vespucci airport, I love it!). I think this is my first flight ever on an Embraer, an E-90, plane.
It took a long time to pick up our rental car, the first wasn’t big enough to fit our luggage (we couldn’t fit 4 bags in a trunk that claims to fit 5) so we ended up with a Skoda Superb station wagon. Driving an Italian car in Italy is more appropriate anyway.
Then we drove for 2 hours to our place in Tuscany.