|My bathroom. Tom took the smaller bathroom in our master bedroom. There’s no tub, the shower is small but it serves its purpose.|
|The authentic Tuscan kitchen; no dishwasher, no microwave, no small appliances, no electric coffee pot but otherwise well-stocked kitchen with items used for making pasta, bread and sauces. We’re improving.|
|The TV wasn’t working again until today when the owner’s parents stopped by to install a new cable box. However, we’ve yet to find a single English speaking channel. In Belize, we were able to get all US networks. Here we’ll watch movies and shows.|
|The master bedroom has a comfortable bed, good pillows, and blankets. With no AC or fans in the entire house and no screens on the windows, we still open the windows at night for some cooler air. However, surprisingly, we are comfortable in the heat of Italy’s summer. The thick stone walls keep the house cool.
Yes, there are some basic amenities we are living without as described in yesterday’s post. But, after today’s trip to Collodi, a half-hour drive through narrow winding mountain roads, we are much more at ease.
Walking onto the patio required serious maneuvering over the side of a flight of stone steps, not for the faint of heart.
As we commenced the long drive to Collodi from Boveglio.
Me and Pinocchio outside the children’s park.
A sign on a stone wall advertising Pinocchio.
Metal sculpture of the author, Carlo Lorenzini 1826-1890, aka Carlo Collodi, and his Pinocchio.
Another sculpture of Pinocchio.
On our long drive from Venice to Boveglio, Tom was worried about not having enough euros with us when our credit cards didn’t work at a few unattended gas stations, forcing us to use part of our few remaining euros.
Collodi is a popular tourist attraction as the home of the author of the favorite children’s story, Pinocchio.
Much of the town’s activity centers around the story of Pinocchio.
Today on the way to Collodi, we purchased gas at a station in Bottocini with an attendant who had no trouble getting the card to work for gas at which proved to be approximately $6 a gallon.
Botticino, the little town where we purchased gas for $6 a gallon.
Once we reached Collodi traveling along the treacherous guardrail free road, we had a few goals in mind: exchange US cash into euros at a bank, buy enough groceries to last for two weeks and find a drugstore, yet again, to purchase contact lens solution, a rare commodity in certain parts of the world.
One of the main streets in Collodi.
At the bank, we walked into a single person glass round bulletproof tube, opening as one enters after pushing a button. Then the door closed behind me while scanning for possession of any metal, such as a gun. Then for 30 seconds, I was locked in the tube.
Outside the entrance to a small hotel in Collodi.
Tom had prepared me as to the procedure that he’d read about many years ago. These tubes were installed in all Italian banks due to rampant bank robberies in Italy. With the installation of these tubes, bank robberies are now non-existent.
Driving around Collodi on one-way streets.
Once inside the bank, with no other customers in sight, I stood at the teller’s window for no less than 30 minutes, while the manager of the bank and the teller ran some types of reports for me, all the while chattering in Italian, after taking my passport. All I wanted was US $800 converted to euros.
The road as we were leaving Collodi.
Good thing I was the one doing this since Tom’s temper was about to flare with frustration. When I realized this was going to be a lengthy process, I suggested Tom sit in the waiting area and read and Italian newspaper which he did.
The road back “home.”
Fin toally, walking out the bank with our euros, we sauntered to a coffee shop next door, hoping for a plain cup of coffee with cream. Apparently, no such coffee was available, only espresso, too strong for our liking. Also at US $4 a cup, we decided to pass on the coffee and head to the grocery store next door.
Enchanting villages line the narrow road to the top, where we live in Boveglio.
The grocery store proved to be exactly what we needed. Although small they carried almost all the items on our list except coconut oil, coconut flour, diet 7 Up for Tom’s occasional cocktails, and the equivalent of US bacon.
|A semi-truck was in front of us, part of the way on the return drive. Tom got a kick out of seeing it maneuver the narrow winding roads.|
Instead, we purchased Prosciutto, wonderful grass-fed meats, locally made cheeses, and organic vegetables all grown in the area. Our two-week grocery purchase was US $326 for which we were pleased.
|Wonder how it works out when two semis, meet on this road. Fortunately, we didn’t have to witness that. Finally, this semi turned off into a paper recycling plant.|
We purchased prime rib; the best looking two night’s of short ribs I’ve ever seen; two night’s of grass-fed chicken, two nights of pork roast; three night’s grass-fed ground beef for making meatballs, about five pounds of various cheeses and all of the ingredients necessary to make our favorite staple, homemade cheese crust pizza along with a batch of ten Italian sausages attached by strings.
|More houses high in the hills.|
|Continuing on the road. There’s no spot where one can stop to take photos. It’s way too dangerous to stop along these roads.|
After the grocery shopping, we stopped at a pharmacy where we found contact lens solution, leaving me stocked up for the two and a half remaining months we’ll be in Boveglio, Tuscany.
Greatly relieved to be well-stocked with groceries, euros, and gas, we’re feeling more at ease, able to embrace this peaceful area, its smells, sights and sounds knowing that, for a time, this is home. Not too bad, really.