Friday, October 8, 2004
We had been toying with the idea of going to Siena but given the drive times to San Gimiagno and Volterra we knew it would probably take two hours to get there and that was just too long. Instead we decided to go to the Parco di Pinocchio in Collodi. Pinocchio was written by Carlos Collodi, who took his penname from his boyhood home. Collodi is really close to Lucca and is perched on a ridge of a mountain. It’s very cute and we’d have taken pictures, but the villa at the very front of it was covered in scaffolding and we were too sore from the hills of San Gimiagno the day before to try to tackle more. The Parco is quite cute, there’s a little trail that leads past statues illustrating parts of the book, a whale you can climb in, boats to play in and other little things that kids like. There was a small carousel and a couple of other rides that weren’t working because it was off-season, much to the dismay of our kids, so we let them ride a few coin-operated rides. We’re raising little ride junkies, apparently. I think we would have gotten a lot more out of the park if I’d remembered more about the story of Pinocchio. I think I may have read Collodi’s version in my younger days, but it had been a while and I didn’t really remember the Disney version either so I couldn’t answer most of Genevieve’s questions about what the statues were supposed to be. We bought a good translation of the book at the bookstore so when G is a bit older I’ll read it to her (I tried starting on the trip but she lacks the attention span to get beyond a single chapter). After the park we went to lunch at a marginal restaurant. Charlotte broke a glass and the guy charged us five euros for it! Usually they don’t charge at all, and it’s okay if they do, but five euros?! That’s like $7.00 for a cheap glass. Oh well, what are you going to do. We still had a lot of time left in the day so we decided to return to Lucca as we all liked it so much.Genevieve perks up tremendously when she hears playground, carousel, pigeons and McDonalds, and Charlotte was pretty happy with the whole deal too. Us girls had gelato and played in the square (taking care to keep Charlotte from stomping on a wounded pigeon) while Mark went back to the Internet cafe. Funny , I would have thought I’d be the one who missed being online what with my forum addiction and all but in truth it was Mark. McDonalds was nice again, it’s good to be in a place where the kids entertain themselves and you don’t have to worry about how much noise they’re making. We arrived back at the Agriturismo at 9:00 and the owners show up at 9:30 to check us in (out). Very strange, we’d been at the place a week and only gotten glimpses of the other guests (two couples at this point) and the caretaker. We’d not even paid for our stay until this last night! We packed up our stuff got to bed.