Boveglio, Lucca. Tuscany, Italy…Visit to Collodi, home of Pinocchio…

Tom in the doorway that walks out to the garden.
Only a portion of the gardens in the yard.

Remove the running water, the electricity, and the wireless Internet, we’d feel as if it were the were now living in the 1800’s on a hillside in an old stone farmhouse in Boveglio, Lucca, built in the 17th century.

View of the road near our new home.

The gardens, prepared for an early harvest and the flowers blooming in the warmth of the sun, await our awe inspiring picking to enjoy their full beauty in our hands. 

Sign in the yard.

Many of the neighborhood roads are narrow, befitting a horse and buggy, never a modern day automobile. The main roads, also narrow and winding, are not for the faint of heart as one hairpin turn appears after another, as each guardrail- free curve suddenly looms before us.

The back of the property.

At night, the darkness is almost startling with nary a light in view in these vast mountains and rolling hills. In the morning, the melodic sounds of birds, new to our ears ,wafts through the fresh, clean air, inviting us to awaken early to partake in yet another blissful day of Mother Nature’s bounty.

Play and outdoor dining area.
Flowers are planted everywhere for our enjoyment while here.
Can you picture this table filled with friends drinking wine, talking loudly and dining on homemade Italian food?

Four times each hour, at odd intervals, we hear the clanging sounds of a clock tower, only steps for our door.  Within hours of falling asleep on the first night, we quickly adapted to the comforting sounds, allowing us to sleep deeply without disturbance. And yet, throughout the day, we stop each time we hear the clang, giggling over its peculiar patterns, ringing one and three minutes before the hour and one and three minutes before the half hour.

This is the clock tower that chimes at odd times, next door to our home.

Our screen-less shuttered windows freely opened to the day and night, invite an array of flying insects that mostly and oddly find their way back outside before we turn in for the night, often buzzing around our heads during the day, an annoyance we are quickly becoming accustomed to.

As we walked in the yard, we encountered many trees unfamiliar to us. 

With no working television, service lost some time ago to a storm, with no microwave or electric coffee pot, we rummaged through the Tuscan style few cabinets to find alternatives. Alas, an old fashioned stove top percolator, caught our eye with a smaller version to boil water for tea. Without a single small electric kitchen appliance in sight, we are fast learning to do it the “old way” whatever that may be. Without complaint.

Continuation of the walk on the property where there are other homes.

And again, a small front loading washing machine with no clothes dryer, directions in Italian, and again, a folding rack as we used in Dubai. 

An old wishing well in the yard.  No bucket.
Of course, there’s no dishwasher other than Tom and no garbage disposal. I’ll do all the cooking with a simple but clean newer “old fashioned” gas stove. The refrigerator is clean, small and antiquated with a tiny freezer with one ice cube tray. I dumped my earrings into a soup bowl using the ice cube tray I’d brought along to hold them.
Another fountain in the yard.

Not surprisingly, there are many utensils available for making and serving pasta, bread and wine which unfortunately, we won’t be enjoying while here, other than for Tom when dining out. We’d purchased a peeler and sharp knife in Dubai that luckily wasn’t confiscated in our checked luggage, although they took two of our power strips. Go figure.

The road outside our new home.

In order to get a decent WiFi signal we have no alternative but to sit on the upper level veranda. Our own MiFi doesn’t work here with the altitude and the three foot thick rock walls. Here is our view as we write each day.

Yes, we fit all of our luggage in this tiny Fiat we’ve rented for the summer.

Inspired by the calm of our surroundings after many months on the move, we both are finding the quiet and serenity of this magical place to have as profound an effect as any place we may have visited in our journey thus far. 

The  outdoor dining area of the house next door.

After a trip partially down the mountain yesterday to stop at Vivienne’s tiny market in Benabbio, five kilometers away, for enough food to last us for a few nights, she extended “credit” to us, as did Alessandro at his restaurant Sunday night, until we are ready to make the longer drive to a bank to get Euros. 

The spaces between the houses are too narrow for cars, but were suitable for horses and buggies many years ago.  Photos of our walks in the area will continue as we explore.

Credit cards are not used in this area. They only accept cash and credit accounts only. Today, we’ll venture out to the town of Collodi, a half hour drive to a larger grocery store. (Vivienne’s store was the size of a small bedroom with but a few items we need to cook our meals. 

View from our veranda and the best spot to get a signal.

Although we appreciate her setting up an account for us, we must go to a larger grocer. This Saturday we’ll go out to dinner again, hoping to make some new friends and to pay both our restaurant and grocery bills with our new stash of Euros.

The view to a part of our yard from the veranda.

In Collodi, the home of the Carlo Lorenzini (November 24, 1826 – October 26, 1890), better known by the pen name Carlo Collodi, was an Italian children’s writer known for the world-renowned fairy tale novel, The Adventures of Pinocchio, we’ll head to the bank to get Euros, buy groceries, fill the tiny tank in the Fiat and hopefully find more contact lens solution, my nemesis. There’s no pharmacy nearby. 

For Euros $23, US $30, we purchased enough food for a few days: four pork chops, one bag jumbo shrimp, four pieces swordfish, one pound of sliced ham, two heads of Bibb lettuce, one pound of carrots, eighteen eggs and one tube of mayonnaise (yellow box on the right).  The villa has seasonings, olive oil red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar.

Tomorrow, we’ll post photos of the interior of our new home and our visit to Collidi which hopefully will fulfill today’s errands. If not, tomorrow’s another day. We have all the time in the world.