Four amazing days in Tuscany, starting at Lucca, then down to Florence via Pisa and its Campo dei Miracoli. Then The Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Santa Maria Novella, then a chance discovery in the countryside: the Albergaccio owned by Machiavelli, where the great Florentine is said to have written Mandragola and Clizia, and finished The Prince during his exile. It is now a small museum, and across the street from it there's a delightful restaurant too. From there we wandered to San Gimignano, and discovered the beauties of Certaldo Alta, where Boccaccio died in 1375. It was certainly the highlight of our trip so far. Then today the surreal Monteriggioni fortress, Siena, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Pienza, San Quirico d'Orcia, Montepulciano – and we can't have enough of the Tuscan countryside, it's just too lovely. The funny thing is that there are almost more German, Austrian and Swiss number-plated cars than Italian. . .
And tomorrow and Saturday, cherry on the cake of our trip, ROME.