Waking up in Livorno, there was no time to explore this city oozing with authenticity. Onward to the world’s most famous tourist trap, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, where we met with one of our award winning travel buddies from the PashbyMaul guest awards, Mike, for a final time before we all leave Italy. Directly in front of the Torre Pendente, we met Mike at Cafe Duomo. Seated at a table on the corner of the street and the piazza, we had the absolute best cafe view possible of the entire Piazza Miracoli, and its famous tower with an unintentional tilt. The pastries were fantastic, top quality, along with a perfect cappuccino. Unexpected and a delightful surprise given its location. Arrive early to get a table, before 9am, before the hordes and masses overwhelm the scene. Following breakfast it is obligatory to snap several cliché pictures of you and your friends holding up the tower.
Vicenza is a three and a half hour drive from Pisa on a day with no traffic. Today, the Sunday before a national holiday, traffic was a nightmare. Fortunately we planned plenty of time, and it is a route I know all too well. Our Pizza date with the Rinns had been planned months in advance, so there was no way we could be late. After sitting in two separate traffic jams each for half an hour, we made up the time and miraculously arrived ten minutes ahead of schedule. Our local Pizzeria, Due Torri, of course served as the natural choice for a venue, and was the perfect location for our final meal with our favorite family, despite a few navigational errors.
As if the day was not packed enough with world famous landmarks and amazing food, our neighboring town of Lapio this weekend hosted their annual sagra. Thankfully our departure in just 20 days means we still get to enjoy the beginning of sagra season. Lapio’s Festa della Luganega was our first of the year! Luganega is a local type of sausage, and there were hundreds of people on hand to partake. Great sfuso wine was flowing, cheap beer, pasta, frittella, and lots and lots of sausage. This was also the last meal we shared with Jin Min, our travel buddy for our epic Italian road trip adventure, so it was great to send her off with a quintessential local experience. Even our neighbors from Pianezze were there, and it was great to be recognized by them and be a real part of the community.