2 weeks have almost passed since we came to rest in Livorno (Barbara’s family home). We have been well and truly fed, rested and have had many gatherings with friends and family. Our feeding frenzy must come to an end soon and I think we have been spoilt, soon back to bread and cheese for lunch! In this time we have managed to replace the important equipment that was stolen on day 3 with the same make and model. Our insurance claim is on going but hopefully when this comes through it will cover some of the items brought previously. Another frustrating aspect has been Barbara’s Chinese visa application. Applying for this in Italy has not been possible due to the validity of just a 3 month visa and to get to China we certainly need 6 months to get to a border. We have had to apply via the UK as a 6 month one is possible there but these means posting documents/passport and waiting for postage and processing and postage back! We hope this will arrive here Wednesday pm or Thursday am and then we can continue our journey.
During our time here we have planned the next cycle leg to Ancona and arranged some important paper mill/ museum visits. We will visit Pescia (Tuscany) the paper document museum and Fabriano (Marche) the first paper mill in Italy in the next 10 days.
We visited Florence, which is always stunning and wondered the streets absorbing the culture and art, which floods the city. We stumbled across an old print shop where they still used old printing presses and letterpress. We also popped into a similar print shop here in Livorno, where the owners seemed more aware of the value of the old materials and processes, where in Florence they seemed to have given up on it and hadn’t given away their proofing press.
Here in Livorno we have cycled along the coast and made sure we didn’t become too much like couch potatoes and hopefully this slight movement will help us as we saddle up again on Thursday (18th May).
We are looking forward to the next leg across the west to east coast of Italy even though there will be some climbs but also some good downhills. We have to reach Ancona on 29th for our ferry booking to Split, Croatia for an important 50 birthday celebration of our best-mate Trace.