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Report 1043: Luggage, Lattes and Lunacy

By Palma from California, Spring 2006

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Page 14 of 17: June 1: Sun in Viareggio

photo by Ida

Sun in Viareggio

A 6:30 wake-up, coffee, and I was ready to go to market day in Viareggio, a new destination for me. We arrived at 10:30, and I put five Euro in the parking meter, handing Gail the ticket and asking her to display it on the dashboard. We walked to the mercato. We had agreed to meet at the gelateria at one. I needed a bathroom, so I quickly found a caffé, got a latte and a cornetto, happily sitting at a sunny, warm table. Before long, Ida and Gail approached, showing me their purchases, and stopping for Gail to use the restroom. They moved on through the blocks of stalls and I stayed and finished my coffee. I looked up at the corner to see what street I was on, so I would be able to retrace my steps later. I almost spat out my last sip of coffee laughing, when I noticed I was on “Via di Machiavelli”!

I began strolling through the blocks of vendors. It was a large market with stalls down the main street for several blocks, and on the side streets as well. I bought a five Euro tablecloth for the patio and two shawls for gifts. I soon realized, there was nothing else I wanted from the market, but the nice stores along the main street were calling me. I bought two small centerpieces from a luscious home store, and a gold purse charm for my bracelet. In a clothing store, I bought a scarf and a cute beaded t-shirt top with charms around the neckline. Brad had given me a monetary amount to buy myself a belated birthday gift in Italy, and I chose a gold and pearl ring.

I had just walked back to the gelateria about 12:30, when Ida called my cell phone in a panic. She said Gail had wandered off again and wanted to know if I had seen her. I told her to relax, and come back to our meeting spot, that Gail knew where we would be. Ida returned and ordered a bowl of gelato. I said, “Aren’t we having lunch at one?" With little nudging, she convinced me that gelato didn’t count, so I had two scoops. Gail arrived a few minutes after one. We went to a beachside restaurant for lunch. I had spaghetti with oil, garlic and red pepper.

After lunch, Ida and Gail walked to get more gelato, and I stayed on the restaurant’s patio and had coffee and read in the warm sun. This was only our third warm day in two weeks, and it felt so good! We went back to the car and found a parking ticket because Gail didn’t put the ticket I bought on the windshield. It was still in her jacket pocket. We argued our case with the ticket-giver, and showed him the paid ticket, but he said, if you are going to drive in Italy, you need to follow the rules. I agreed with him.

We left Viareggio, and stopped in Lucca on the way home. I bought two cute cardigan sweaters with zippers up the front like a sweatshirt (for my next trip to Italy… so I’ll never be cold here again), and a Lucca Christmas ornament for the Italy tree. I walked for an hour, then read in a caffé until we met at 6:30. We drove to Bagni for dinner and had great pizzas. I had marscapone, sausage and prosciutto. We went home where it was FREEZING and went to bed early.

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