Tuscany part 2

We’re just about to move on from Tuscany up to Lake Garda, so I thought I’d share some of our general impressions and more unusual experiences of Tuscany.

We’ve loved the colours of the landscape, the rolling countryside and the lovely walled towns built on hills. So magnificently perched on the top of hills with streets that wind ever upwards leading to grand facades of buildings that you can hardly see properly, let alone photograph due to the buildings being so close together. It does seem like they’ve met the challenge to put as much beauty into as small a place as possible.

Tuscany also has a large number of unmade up roads that appear to be official roads, with proper road signs, but with no tarmac. We’ve followed a couple of routes where the tarmac has suddenly run out and then we’ve driven for miles along tracks with lots of helpful road signs about no edges, loose stones, narrow lanes and been overtaken at speed by one of the many Fiats on the road.

At one of our supermarket visits we were faced with long queues at the check out and Roger decided that a trip to the self scan might be a good idea. I was a bit nervous, as I haven’t always been successful in England so how was this going to work. We pressed into action scanning items, and all went well until the machine started talking to us. Presumably something about bagging items, or an unknown item in the bagging area. Very hard to tell when you don’t speak Italian. We pressed on, until the light started flashing and it was clear that we would need someone to come and sort it out. Eventually a nice lady came to help, but her English was only slightly better than our Italian. Anyway, she removed a couple of items from the bagging areas (I think on reflection I’d put them in the bag,and Roger had pressed the ‘I don’t want to bag this item button’ but it’s not clear) and we were able to get to the end. We put our card in and breathed a sigh of relief. Shopping done. We then went to leave and were faced with a barrier. It didn’t seem to want to open, so I pushed myself through, only to be stopped by the woman who’d previously helped us. After much waving of arms, another customer showed us her receipt and a bar code at the bottom. We needed to scan the bar code to open the barrier to let ourselves out. We did get there eventually and left, heads held high and shopping all done.

Tuscany is beautiful and I recommend it to you. The beautiful walled towns, the architecture, the rolling countryside, the food, wine, gelato and perhaps even a trip to the self scan to spice up an otherwise dull visit to the supermarket.

Finally, being a brass bander I was particularly attracted to a lovely tie shop in Siena with this lovely display. Thought that it was worth the sharing with you…..

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