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Trip Report The long awaited trip report! Part 4 - Italy

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Ciao everyone ... For those new I will fill you in on part 1-3 , 1=London, 2=France( Uzes,Paris,Disney, Sarlat), 3=Barcelona

Ok so onto part 4 ... We decided we would go via ferry from Barcelona to genoa ... This was an overnight option and for 4 of us it cost around 350euros. Although I wasn't what we quite expected it was in my option a hell of a lot less stressful then the trains as the ports weren't anywhere near as crowded as the train stations and we were escorted and helped by a porter to our room that had a toilet and shower.

So we arrive in genoa at a very industrial style port ... No waiting taxis that's for sure! Thankfully with our limited Italian we were able to get one of the staff to call a taxi for us and off we went to collect our car.

We ordered this car through europcar from Australia and it was a great experience ... They were open early and had our car ready with the kids car seats and everything. They really went over the way the VW worked and my hubby felt as confident as h could as we drove away.

The drive to Lucca went fine until we hit the city wall. I have no idea why our hotel to,d s we could drive to them ... The streets were so narrow and with markets on and a summer festival it was an experience I will not forget!

We parked in an ally way and I got out to find the hotel and explain the situation ... Which was then responded with a try this street .. I am sure on a Vespa it would of been fine but with a station wagon I just said to hubby lets just park outside the wall and walk so....

Off we go but then we find a parking spot so we park and I go back to our hotel to get the permit and I take with me the 2large cases.

On arriving back to the hotel I am told our permit allows us to drive I. The walls but not park and that we must find a blue bay and pay for parking. No worries... Off I go back to explain this to hubby ..only I get lost! I mean completely and utterly lost! Now don't get me wrong there are worse places to get lost in...this is a beautiful town but after 2hrs I was starting to stress. I knew I had parked on a Main Street outside a school but for some reason no one seemed to know this school and kept telling me to go to this other one!

Anyway I finally found my way back! Best feeling ever! And off we went to park outside the wall but found our blue bay inside the wall. It is in an unsecured section but there is nothing in there for them to steal so fi gets crossed it'll be in fine condition tomorrow morning!

So car parked, family back together, time to go together to the hotel/ apartment to start our Italian journey :)

Our hotel/apartment is just wonderful! Huge! Sensational location! It actually overlooks the stage that the summer festival concert is on. So that's really cool!

The kids love the space and I love that outside my door I have a coffee vending machine that makes the perfect coffee for 60ceuro and can get soft drink and water for less then a dollar!

Once everyone had gotten over our morning drama we headed off for lunch and laughter ... We decided to go to a place I had found on my way with a wonderful waiter who was English and really helped me out. I have misplaced the card now but when I find it I will post it because if you like seafood it was a great place to go if you are not confident with speaking Italian etc.

We then went to the tourist bureau and supermarket and then headed back to rest.

A couple of hours went in a second ..our apartment had a tv channel that had all my kids favourite shows on ...so we literally got to rest in silence ...bliss!

Then we headed out for some street shopping and dinner. There are amazing antique market stallion this weekend. I have fallen in love with a handmade doll(120yrsold) that the lady wants 150euro for and a Pinocchio metal toy from the early 1900's again wanting just a wee fortune of 300euro! It was great looking at this stuff! Look forward to exploring it some more in the morning!

Dinner was at a very expensive restaurant ... It was nice and the kids loved the food ... I think I got one or two bites of my osso bucco and my son ate the rest! But for the 100euro it cost us it was nothing like the meal from Uzes!

So that is the start of the adventure! We plan over the next couple of days in this area to go to sienna and cinque terra for some day tripping. Might even go up to the beach ... But we will also make sure we explore this magical city .

Ok...suggest away people! We are here for 4nights and then are driving up to Varenna :)

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