Our lovely friend, Anne Carlucci, suggested we visit Pietrasanta and Forte dei Marmi. Jim grumbled at first because we’ve been doing so much driving. But he’s not grumbling now! He fell head over heels for them, as did I, particularly Pietrasanta. Forte dei Marmi was GORGEOUS with the Apuan Alps surrounding the sea, some with remains of the snowpack. The town reminded me of Palm Beach or Santa Monica in terms of being upscale and beachy.
But Pietrasanta, a town comprised largely of artists and crafts people, is outstanding. It’s where Michaelangelo studied. The olive and orange orchards, the greenery and, the most gorgeous sculptures around the main square, are mind-boggling. There was a Duomo, naturally, and although I vowed NEVER to enter another church, Jim convinced me. This church was special. Compact and magnificent. Truly one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever seen.
One of the things about Pietrasante is its marble quarries are legendary and the works that have been created from the marble are breathtaking. It’s been labeled a “small Athens” because of the marble studios and artisans that come from here.
My ONLY disappointment this trip to Italy is the gelato. Haven’t had gelato that blew me away like times before. On the other hand, the LAST thing I need is even one more calorie. OMG. Do I need a workout regime and diet when I get back to LA. Okay, back to Italy.
Italy is an easier place as a tourist in a hotel than a renter. When you take a house, particularly one in a remote mountainous area means being subjected to all the problems you encounter when you own/rent anywhere. Things that make us flip out, i.e. suddenly no water, they take in stride. Nobody rushes in Italy. I know I said that about France, but its even more true in Italy. Whereas back in the US we have an expectation that when something goes wrong, you make a call to a plumber or whatever and it gets fixed. In Italy, people shrug, accept it and get to the problem when they have time. Our “landlord” has been fantastic. He’s run over every time there’s a problem — and we’ve had plenty. But when you stay in a hotel, it’s a completely different experience. Rarely are there problems and when they’re immediately fixed.
My theory is Italians have anarchistic hearts and natures.. They do what they want when they want. If the store says it opens at 3 PM but opens at 4 PM, so what? Life will go on. What cracks me up is that everybody drives 500 mph and they pass on curves on two lane roads like they’ve on the way to save a life. Yet they have nowhere to go! And if they do they don’t give a shit if they’re late. So why is everyone driving like being chased like a tornado. It’s bizarre and funny.
Italians couldn’t be nicer. EVERYBODY, even if they don’t speak a word of English, will bend over backwards to hep you or find someone who can. And, of course, they loathe Trump and have embraced us. The dogs have also been a huge hit. There have been quite a few people, mainly older women, who go absolutely mental over Tootsie. Maybe they think she’s a religious symbol or something. They start carrying on, kissing her, waxing on rhapsodic in Italian, verging on tears. It’s bizarre. Tootsie, of course, hates it. She is so totally disinterested in everybody and everything, sans us. Whenever we’re in the car, Kukla has his face pressed against the window, taking in everything. Tootsie, literally, turns away from the window and buries her face in my arm. So we have one cultured dog and one American moron.
Our friends from London arrive tomorrow and we’re so excited to see them. Too much distance between LA and London and I miss them terribly. BTW way, if you’re traveling download “What’s App.” It’s been fantastic. We can talk to anyone anywhere, and for free, via the internet.
The only downside of it all is that it’s our last week. How can time go so fast? I remember when I was a kid and summer felt as though it went on FOREVER. By August I was chomping at the bit to go back to school.
Those days and the feelings that accompanied them, are long gone. STOP THE CLOCK!! I don’t want to leave Italy.
The good news is Paris lies ahead and a short just planned trip to London to see friends and “The Ferryman”, which I’m dying to see. The reviews and feedback have been off the charts. Also the new addition to the V&A. Plus an unexpected visit with my brother and sister-in-law, who are also going to be in London.
A couple things about the pics. There’s a video of church bells where you can actually see the bell ringing, which I think is so cool. I’ll put it at the end of this post if you was to see/listen. The church bells, throughout the country, have been quite wonderful, even to died-in-the-wool atheist.