Stuck in the midst of a heatwave, our little van does the best it can not to kill us in our sleep. In hindsight we probably should have put in a window. But nevertheless we carried on into Italy.
We stopped in Finale Ligure, a seaside town that Josh wanted to check out because of its cycling. So he went on some more difficult trails whilst I watched House of Cards in the van. I like Italy because it’s impossible; words are even more difficult to interpret but I heard a woman literally exclaim “mamma mia!”. They are pretty unforgiving of our ignorance; Josh tried to order a sausage pizza but our mangled pronunciation got him a pesto one. Who orders a pesto pizza?, the great chefs of Italy probably asked each other on their great chefs of Italy message board.
We went to Modena, where parts of Master of None season two was filmed. Sadly the locals seemed to be unaware of this – I was expecting Aziz Ansari fridge magnets! Expecting a quaint village, it was actually a decent-sized town with shops and restaurants. The parma ham was delicious.
Currently we are at Lago di Suviana, about two hours away from Florence. We swam in the freezing cold waters and then bravely attempted to walk around the lake. It took four and a half hours and involved a lot of scrambling up hills in search of hiking paths. We found lizards, tadpoles and a big snake. I am having my third period in five weeks, which means that I am officially a superhero due to my impressive resilience walking long distances with cramps. Also my body is a joke.
Italy does not have many supermarkets. I miss the Carrefours and Super U’s of France and Spain already. On the plus side, gnocchi is 49 cents a packet and the granny smith apples are huge. Ciao seems to mean hello and goodbye. Everywhere sounds like crickets chirping in the grass. Tomorrow we head towards the more recognisable landmarks, such as Pisa, but for now I’m totally relaxed in the summer heat.