29 September 2013 Sunday – Tuscany / Pisa

This morning we showered and got ready for the day, as usual. When we opened up our door, we were greeted by several cats, and they were meowing very loudly and insistently. Apparently they wanted food. I've never heard such vocal cats. As we explored the grounds, we discovered a litter of kittens outside. They were shy but very cute; too bad I'm allergic and couldn't pet them.

Still wanting to take photos, I started snapping pictures at the farm: the flowers, plants, even the snails.

Today we drove from the Farm to some neighboring hill towns. For the first time this trip, it started raining. Not far away from the farm, we encountered our first winery. We stopped and were greeted by some nice people who didn't speak English. Finally, they managed to find a woman named Claudia who spoke some broken English. She gave us a nice tour of their winery. She even let us climb onto a ladder and peek inside the containers to see the fermenting grapes.

When I told her I was a computer guy, she asked me for some tips and information on how to use the Internet to increase her business. I told her I had a website and posted travelogues of my trip. I told her I'd add a link to her website, and maybe that would help her business. The wine was very good and we bought a couple bottles. The winery was named Mirandola, and the website is:


Next, we drove to a small “tourist trap” town, but it was pouring rain. It was raining so hard that we decided to not even get out of the car. Our book, “Brick,” said the town wasn't very interesting, so we decided not to even try. Instead, we drove to Pisa and saw the leaning tower. Again, I took lots of photos.

Today we used Jill—our GPS—for more guidance. Before we left the farmhouse, we set the farm as a “favorite”, then we got directions to Pisa. That all went reasonably well. What was hilarious, however, is Jill's pronunciation of the Italian street names: She would just butcher the names! Whenever she'd instruct us, she'd say some ridiculous name. “In 350 meters, turn right on ba-da-fray-la-blah-da-can-do-lo-pia,” at which point, we'd all burst out laughing. Priceless.