Monday September 15 ’14. Pisa.
Cobalt blue skies. A hot Tuscan sun. Narrow streets and shuttered windows.
My goodness. Pinch myself. Yes, I’m in Pisa Tuscany. Arrive at Hotel Bologna and take a deep breathe as I fling open the window of my upstairs room. Tiled rooftops, red and ochre tones are all I can see.
Some of the sketchers have arrived. We throw our arms around each other. We are here. It’s Tuscany. Can you believe it!
The afternoon is still before us, so why not get ourselves to the Leaning Tower of Pisa – what else is there! A great deal in fact, but for time poor travel sketchers, this will do us.
We’ll get our first sketch of the holiday in.
Mind you most of us have sketched aeroplanes and airports for about 25 hrs+ on their way here. But that’s the journey we’re on and it’s a great way to pass the time.
We set off with our map and trot along the incredibly uneven brick and cobbled streets and lane ways, heading hopefully to where we are going.
It’s Monday so many of the little shops are closed, but enough of them are open enough to discover we are also shoppers! One scarf now purchased.
We stand at a spot where we can sketch, near the tower, among the throngs of people gazing up at this extraordinary site. It is quite a site too, so we do a 20min sketch and head back to the hotel to catch up with those who are now there.
Such excitement. More hugs and how are you’s.
We decide to have a drink in the bar and then off to dinner around the corner while still on our feet.
It’s a little place called Osteria San Paolo. We just loved it. Tasty dishes and with a sense of Italian flair and dash. There’s a courtyard which you wouldn’t even know was there, as is mostly the case when you see a little frontage and think that’s all there is.
Non non. That’s just the beginning and we were so delighted to be here, really truly in Italy. By the time we’d all eaten most were fading fast, and starting to lean like the famous tower, so we wound our weary way home to our lovely inviting beds.
We need to be up bright and early tomorrow as we’re off to our Tuscan home in Barga, high in the Garfagnana National Park. See you in the morning all. ZZzzzz.