To even consider a 15-hour drive (round trip) for a measly 15 waking hours in Italy, you must be pretty desperate.
Not only did we consider it, we actually went. Three weeks of winter in the month of May, all hell breaking loose at work and a nasty throat infection did it. We wanted Italy. We needed Italy. We found a nice bed-and-breakfast near Lucca at €120/night for four (Triolivo, in Guamo), packed a bag, and didn’t think twice.
An ambition that had been simmering in our subconscious quickly developed into a full-blown obsession. We want to see the leaning tower of Pisa! We’d been to Italy so many times, how could we have missed it? I mean, it’s not exactly hard to find. It’s right there, on every children’s atlas, right next to the red Ferrari. Simply had to see it. Simply had to climb it.
293 steps and we were at the top for the noon bells! Was it worth it? Well, our son was crawling on all fours under the large bell to explore the sound mechanism, and was so excited he even forgot to cover his ears in the hubbub, so you be the judge of that.
What else was on the list? The charming little citadel of Lucca (where Giacomo Puccini was born), sun and storm in the Tuscan hills, a seaside view of the Apennine mountains with surfers in the roaring waves, profiteroles, dry soup made of fresh tomato puree and white bread, and the hot sand at Camaiore.
We spent only one night in Italy, yet managed to return with a bagful of great memories. I think our son’s exclamation on the way back pretty much sums it up: “But we were there for 3 days!”