After Tuscany, we will take a train to Naples, pick up our second rental car and drive to Sorrento and then the Amalfi Coast Road where we will stay in a villa hanging on a cliff over the sea. I am looking forward to the drive along the curvy scenic roads of this region, the cliff-hugging towns, where Odysseus came upon the Sirens and where giant lemons grow.
First we will explore the southern part of Tuscany... The plan is to fly into Rome and take a train to Chiusi and pick up our rental car, then drive to our home base, an agriturismo named Cosona just outside of the lovely hilltown, Pienza. That will surely be a very long travel day--literally, planes, trains and an automobile.
Next will be another agriturismo with a view of the "Little Manhattan"--San Gimignano with its ancient towers. Next we will explore the northern part of Tuscany, including Florence, Pisa and perhaps Vinci.
Jerry's Dad was a sweetheart. He had a lot of Italy in him. Always eating sandwiches "deconstructed" style... bread in one hand, meat and cheese in the other. He was frugal, loved gardening, grew his own tomatoes. A real Italian. I'm only half Italian... maybe this trip will add a bit more on my Italian side.
Then it's onto northern Tuscany to explore San Gimignano, Florence, and our boy Lucas's request, Pisa. Then we will head south by train to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast to drive the world's most crazy and scenic road, hugging the cliffs above the Adriatic Sea.
After that we'll drive further south through Basilicata and visit in Italy's own version of Machu Picchu--Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano--where people still live in homes built into-and under the towering pinnacles of the rugged mountains. We might even see a ghost town or two along the way.
Next it will be a stay in a cave hotel in the Sassi town of Matera, and entire town where people have been living in cave homes for thousands of years. After that, we will sleep under the pointed roof of our own Trullo villa as we move into in Puglia. One could think these pointy stone cottages are straight out of the Land of Oz.
Then the most important part of the trip: To pay homage to Dad and walk the streets, smell the air and taste the food of Molfetta, his birthplace. He will be with us.
Then we will ditch our rental car and take the train back to Rome several days to soak in its history, the architecture, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peters, the museums and of course, the food.
Stay tuned. I will be blogging along with my wife Lisa and son Lucas. We will describe not only the trip, but the planning leading up to it all. Of course, my Father will always be a part of this. After all, in finding ourselves in Italy we will also be finding Dad again--and what made him so simple and dolce. He was one of the sweetest men I've ever known...