Off-season pleasures

12 Nov
Off-season travel usually means planning a trip around indoor activities, i.e., museums and churches. November in Roma has been glorious, so much so that I almost feel guilty knowing what the weather has been like in Portland. Tuscany was equally mellow and we were pleasantly surprised to find Lucca wreathed in fall color whereas Roma is drab. In Roma, the leaves simply fade to yellow and give up, falling into the path of AMA street sweepers.  Lucca’s trees give a bit of a show. Nothing like my native Minnesota, but quite pretty. (Click on any picture for a larger view.)
I’ve always said that it was not worthwhile to go to Pisa and waste a vacation day. Having visited — and being glad we did see The Tower — I would still advise those with limited travel time to spend their precious days elsewhere, but it was fun to see the iconic leaner. We were a 20-minute train ride from Pisa and the weather was perfect, so why not?
We also made a trek to the beach at Viareggio. I  expected more, expected to be wowed, alas the beach has not much to recommend it. However, the beautiful weather had us in shirtsleeves seaside before Noon. It’s not our beloved Cannon Beach, but it’ll do in November.
Lucca surprised us in many ways. After the costumed crowds cleared out, we found a walkable, shoppable little town, with affordable restaurants, inviting stores, and well-preserved buildings. Our B&B was from the 14th century, handily updated for modern living. This is a delightful place for a two-or-three night stay.


12 Responses to “Off-season pleasures”

  1. Marcia Kakiuchi November 21, 2015 at 23:54 #

    I just love that sign about no wifi….we talk to each other!


  2. Nigel November 16, 2015 at 12:00 #

    Absolutely LOVE the sign!!!! Says the guilty one who regularly checks things during a mean, such as transport, weather, etc. It is soooo true!


    • gooddayrome November 16, 2015 at 13:33 #

      Indeed, we try very hard not to check at meals, but at coffee we give ourselves permission to look at news, etc Isn;t it funny that WIFI in a restaurant has become a bug deal. I never sign on to a WIFI like that, not knowing who else might be looking at/for my activity.


  3. ckleonard November 13, 2015 at 04:00 #

    Lucca looks like it was a delightful trip for you. Looking forward to posts to read/see what all you are finding with Kim being with you. Whatever, I know it will be fun for all.


    • gooddayrome November 13, 2015 at 07:29 #

      Hi Carolyn! Will catch up on fun-with-Kim soon!


      • ckleonard November 13, 2015 at 19:05 #

        I have so enjoyed reading the comments about inappropriate cell phone use! Reminded me of two signs right in my own neighborhood here in Portland. One at my local service station: no cell phone use at pumps. Another at the Postal Annex store: No cell phones at the counter! I’m for all business’ doing this!


  4. mvaden1948 November 12, 2015 at 21:37 #

    I also love the sign. It is so sad to see couples walking and even in gondolas in Venice with their noses buried in their phones!…in the most romantic city in the world for heaven’s sake.
    Lucca is on my list eventually.


    • gooddayrome November 13, 2015 at 07:28 #

      Also annoying to see the selfie-takers! We are seeing some signs here-and-there that say “No Selfies.” Hooray! Yes, M, you need to get away from Venezia for a couple of days and go to Lucca.


  5. Chloe November 12, 2015 at 19:13 #

    I love the restaurant sign. Wish that they did the same everywhere. It is discouraging to go into a restaurant and see people with their heads buried in their electronic devices. When we eat out in France, I sometimes feel that my husband and I are the only ones in the restaurants speaking; actually, we usually are the only ones in the restaurants speaking. I would love to visit Lucca and thank you for the lovely photos.


    • gooddayrome November 13, 2015 at 07:27 #

      The sign first caused us to laugh, but then to nod in agreement as we see too many couples so engaged at meals. I have to admit to doing a but of news-checking over coffee now-and-then, though. 🙂


  6. Teri Byrnes November 12, 2015 at 18:44 #

    I totally agree with you about Lucca! We have been twice – once for 2 nights and another time for a week. It is a great town with a lot of wonderful restaurants and with the train just outside the walls, it is a great location for day trips. Can’t wait to go back!

    We also did a half-day in Pisa and another half day in Viareggio last December. And I also agree with you on both.

    Thank you for your blog. I very much enjoy reading it and getting mini escapes from my office in DC!


    • gooddayrome November 13, 2015 at 07:25 #

      Hi Teri. Thanks for your kind words! Always nice to hear from someone who shares my opinions. 🙂


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