Today was forecast to be nice weather wise, and that was how it started, so after breakfast we left Helen at her desk in the office and headed into town. I dropped Mom and (auntie)Helen into Pescia, while John and I went on to Chiesina to look at the tractor I've been considering buying - John has plenty of experience with this kind of machinery so he offered to look it over for us. We arrived at the showroom, found Norberto, who grabbed the keys, and we played with the tractor for half an hour or so while picking Norberto's brains. It was good fun and the seal of approval from the knowledgeable uncle was given, so it looks like we might be the owners of a little red tractor soon.
After that, we popped into the wood yard to ask for a price for the life line system that Andrea has told us needs fitting to our roof. I took the email address of the guy in charge and promised to send him a plan so that he could look it over and give me a price, then we headed into the piazza to find Mom and Helen - which didn't take long as they were hanging over the wall from the clock tower waving at us as we crossed the river.
We met up and had coffee, ice cream and pieces of torta della nonna before heading to Amanda's to buy some lunch in the form of rosemary roasted potatoes, lasagna and escalopes in tomato and caper sauce. When we got home, Helen was just finishing a 2-hour-long conference call, after which she joined us on the patio for lunch.
After lunch, the holiday makers and I changed into warmer weather clothes and headed to Lucca for the afternoon, while Helen headed back to her desk.
I dragged everyone around the usual spots: the church of San Michele on the site of the old Roman forum; through one of the old medieval gates to see the medieval moat that runs around the city; Piazza Napoleon where they hold the summer music festival (where this year we'll be seeing Paolo Nutini); Piazza Amfiteatro, the old Roman amphitheatre that now has shops and houses built into the old arched walls; and a stroll around half of the wall before heading home. Of course we stopped a couple of times for liquid refreshments as well - it would have been rude not to.
By the time we got home at 6pm, Helen had finished work for the day and mowed the lawns so while the holiday makers rested their weary legs and lit the fire pit, Helen and I took Reggie out for a walk.
We had a lovely walk from the village of Sorana out towards the abandoned village of Lignana in a very pleasant, sunny warm evening before turning back and heading home to join the others on the patio for a glass of wine.
As the time headed towards 8pm I decided to start preparing dinner. John, who was intrigued by the prospect of artichokes on the menu, came up to help so that he could watch how to prepare them. I was very happy to pass on the knowledge given to me by my good friend Dave, and between us, John and I cooked the now famous artichoke & goats cheese gnocchi (thanks again to Dave) and ate it sitting on the guest patio thanks to the warmth of the very successful fire.
It wasn't long though before we all went our separate ways and retired to bed after what had been (for me and the holiday makers at least) a thoroughly enjoyable day. The plan for tomorrow was to be much less holiday-like, with strimming and car cleaning on the agenda.