It was time to leave Chianti and head to the next stop on our journey, Rapallo, the largest of the five villages of Cinque Terre on the coast. I planned our route so we could stop off in Pisa on the way and see the famous Leaning Tower or “Torre pendente di Pisa” (so you know what signs you’re looking for when you get in the city).
Once again, the lack of good maps and gps led us astray and we lost 45 minutes to an hour going in wrong directions. We finally made it into the city and started following the numerous signs to the “torre”.
We had heard about the parking nightmare near the tower, and the fines and towing of vehicles parked in wrong spots, so we were leery of staying long. We happened upon a prime spot just three blocks from the tower where a person was leaving. It seemed to be a legal spot, but didn’t really have signage to tell you. So, we took a chance and decided to make a quick trip and hope our car was still there when we returned.
I was thrilled that the streets leading up to the tower were lined with antique vendors! What luck! There was a variety of wares from fine furniture to fashion to ancient household goods. I had to move fast so didn’t get to linger long and enjoy it.
Outside town, the view back across the fields shows the Tower leaning in the distance. We were blessed with blue skies for the 30-45 minutes we were there, because the clouds moved in as soon as we got back on the road.
The villages and houses cling to the mountainsides and as we went along, we began to travel through tunnel after tunnel. I can’t imagine how long it took for travelers to go by land before they built the highway tunnels!
Next stop, Rapallo!