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Report 1274: Spring Comes Early to Tuscany (and so did we)

By Roz's Driver from Massachusetts, USA, Spring 2007

Trip Description: Late February - early March, 2007: Fleeing a Boston winter, we found spring in northern Lazio, Castiglioncello and Bucine in Tuscany, and even in Rome. We also went back to school for Italian lessons.

Destinations: Countries - Italy; Regions/Cities - Florence, Lazio, Rome, Tuscany

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Vacation Rentals; Day Tours; Language Classes; Sightseeing; Independent Travel; 2 People

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Page 1 of 18: Day 1: Going Happily to the Dogs

photo by Roz

Relaxing with prosecco and antipasti before L'Ombricolo's hearth

FRIDAY, 23 FEB. -- The overnight AirFrance flight from Boston deposited us at Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris at dawn’s first crack. By 8:50 AM, we had almost worked the kinks out of our bones before we folded them back onto an Alitalia hop to Rome.

We’ve been to Fiumicino enough times to know where the baggage pickup is and how to make our way to the Avis office part way out the long walk to the parking garage. I had requested an Alfa Romeo 147 (as usual), but they had a VW Golf ready to go, so I took it despite not liking automatic shift.

For once the G.R.A. had light traffic , and the drive north to L’Ombricolo went smoothly. After leaving the Autostrada at Attigliano, it was only a few kilometers further north. The Google Earth maps of the area are decidedly low-resolution, but I had guessed at the position of our favorite B&B and our GPS took us right to the front door without a hitch. (See Resources)

Welcoming woofs from Luna, Dawne’s sweet German Shepherd, as we drove in. Curly-haired Belinda (of unknown breed) was somewhere in the woods, but bounded in as we hugged our hostess.

Oleg, Dawne’s associate, helped me carry the bags up to our usual first-floor room while the ladies admired the early spring flowers already abloom. The sweeping view down to the Tiber and across to the Umbrian hills helped clear our jet-lagged heads.

Soon, refreshments began to appear on the cocktail table in front of the sitting room fireplace. Prosecco, shrimp, bruschette, smoked salmon, and other delights. Roz asked what we should do in nearby Viterbo the following day. Dawne referred us to a book on Northern Lazio written by a duo that included a former British MP.

With a basic plan ready for the next day, we settled in for one of L’Ombricolo’s feasts. This one included ravioli filled with radicchio, roasted whole sea bass, assorted cheeses, gelato, much vino, and the customary crowning glasses of limoncello. As usual, Roz went up to bed while Dawne and I hashed out the current political scene over further glasses of limoncello.

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