Drive to Florence & Tuscany Italy Day 8 - August 5, 2018

Most of this day was about the drive out of the Amalfi Coast, back north to Florence. We were fortunate to have front row seats for the drive. I recorded some video of the experience.

This first video is on the way up out of Maiori. Watch this one to the end.

This was recorded on the way down with incredible views and tight turns. Unfortunately though trash is seen frequently on the side of the road.

This is what happens when the coach enters a town and encounters other vehicles.

“All good things, gotta come to an end” Jackson Browne

Despite our best efforts to gather in as much of the experience as possible, our time in Amalfi was completed, and it was time to venture northward. The video examples above illustrate, the road to and from paradise is a narrow, sometimes precarious path. Our coach driver was unfazed (perhaps unfazeable?) as he responds and addresses each potential pitfall above with great alacrity.

Our first major stop was at the Allied forces cemetery in Cassino. This is the final resting place for thousands of eternally teenaged and twenty something sons of the Empire and Commonwealth who gave all to beat back Hitler and the Axis in advance of D-Day. It’s architectural details suggest that it was part of the inspiration for the DC World War II memorial. Though there are several other geographical features to observe - the change from valley like vistas to flat, fertile plains, the network of tunnels and bridges which allow this major artery to connect the North and South, this stop is by far the most impactful.

We arrive in Florence in early afternoon Sunday, a bit early for the locals to have completed the Siesta. We were situated in the hotel long enough to quickly freshen up, and then we are whisked off for dinner at the Machiavelli Estate. The eyes, ears, and tastebuds were again lavished with a cacophonous collection of experiences that inspired and soothed us all.

Music, laughter, delicious food and beverage helped nurture newfound friendships.

A day like this could end only one way, a short walk from the hotel to a locals’ watering hole spotted on the coach ride to the Villa, the “Joshua Tree Pub.” A homage to the Irish Band with the album of the same name, or a tribute to the national park in our extended backyard? You might say the answer to the question was “yes.” The night closed to the sounds of young Florentians singing along faithfully with original Beatles songs piped in from the sound system. Magical.

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