La Dolce Vita

Italy, la dolce vita. “The sweet life”, in the movies. But that wasn’t quite the case when we got into town at 11pm to start a week-long adventure in the country of wine and olives. It was more like “la vita stressato” or “the stressed life”.

Our holiday started with rushing though the tiny airport in Pisa to get to the car rental place before they closed, only to wait nearly two hours before finding out that we couldn’t get a car with them without an international driving license. We ran over to Hertz before they closed to get one of their last cars…at nearly 7 times the cost of the other place. Such is life. Tale รจ la vita.

Our mini, expensive car

Our mini, expensive car

Then our real journey began. The trek from Pisa, through Florence, and on to Norcenni Girasole Club where we had a week booked in a 2 bedroom apartment. To those at home thinking that they’ll activate international cell coverage before they come over, let me enlighten you. Don’t expect much…or anything. You’ll be lucky to get any coverage, and the 3G is slower than a snail crossing the Sahara. After plenty of turning around and stopping to look at the map(thank god there’s nobody on the road at 2am) we finally made it to the site.
Pisa to Florence Map

Florence to Camp
Being a campsite, there is no front desk to check in at, and especially not at that hour of the night. There was one security guard there who was expecting us, and was arguably one of the nicest people we met throughout the entire trip. He showed us three different flats, giving us the option of whichever we wanted. We ultimately chose the first one, a two bedroom place with a kitchen and patio area up on a hill. Then again, what isn’t on a hill there? This might possibly be the hilliest country I’ve ever been to, but I haven’t been to all that many countries either.

This also isn’t Chicago or London. Nothing is open at 2 am. I repeat, NOTHING. Not even a rest stop or convenience shop. Having not eaten since lunchtime, the security guard took us to the on-site “disco”, which consisted of 2 people dancing and a bartender, and also had small snacks. Dinner was served; Pringles.


That was enough excitement for one night. It was off to bed to recover from the travel and get ready for a full day ahead.

Too bad the bed ended up being the least comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in. La dolce vita, right?