So it was time for another outing on my precious day off from Pierotucci with my dear husband or DH is I think the new term for our other half in the 21st century. We programmed the navigator (not that we always trust her) and off we went. Stupidly DH stopped off at the tobacconists to buy a stamp and casually mentioned we were on our way to Montecatini, and the so called knowledgeable woman said most definitely to take the FI-PI-LI. This is the major road that runs from Florence to Pisa and Livorno. For once, the navigator must have been right because she was quiet when we got to the turn off at FI-PI-LI. This is because we should NEVER have come off there. We should have carried straight on. An hour later we were still driving around the country lanes getting angrier and more frustrated and giving each other glaring looks that could kill.
Eventually we arrived, starving and in much need of a cool glass of wine. We found a place and slowly began to unwind and relax from our tour of the Florence countryside which had definitely not been on the agenda. I have to say, Montecatini was a bit of a surprise. It has a Riviera feel to it that I didn’t expect. Palm trees in the town, beautiful canopied cafes, smart boutiques, and elegantly dressed men and women making sure they are being noticed. We found a simple little restaurant with tables outside and a dear Irish lady was the waitress. I hung my handbag on the chair, loosened up my collar and ordered a glass of wine from the Montecatini area, absolutely perfect. Good old fashioned customer service, which I have to admit is sometimes lacking in Florence was like a breath of fresh air to my British bones. After lunch and a stroll around the pretty shops and boutiques it was time to head back to the car before some enthusiastic traffic warden slapped a ticket on it. Needless to say, the journey took half the time going back!