Considering mainland Europe is so close to England, it’s surprising I haven’t visited it more. That it is so close is in fact probably the reason I haven’t seen much of it. It’s certainly not that I don’t want to!

So while I’ve been back in the UK, working under my own schedule, I figured it was time to buy a cheap ticket and go. The pretence was a working holiday. You can after all, write from anywhere.

With a daypack full of clothes, camera, laptop and journal I flew to Pisa, took the train to Lucca for the day and then on to Siena to stay with a friend for a couple of days. She let me borrow her bike (she needs in back in England so I am going to fly it back, win-win), so I cycled through Tuscany, spent a couple of nights on an olive farm with perfect hosts who kept me amply hydrated with wine and then took the train to the coast. A lovely way to spend the week and I even got some writing done.

Some wonky tower in Pisa - leaning to the right
Some wonky tower in Pisa - leaning to the right
Moped and motorbikes - a common sight in Italy
Moped and motorbikes - a common sight in ItalyLucca - the quiet town you can walk all the way round on it's city wall
Lucca - the quiet town you can walk all the way round on it's city wall
Lucca - the quiet town you can walk all the way round on it's city wall
Laid-back Lucca - a lovely place to chill out for an afternoon
Laid-back Lucca - a lovely place to chill out for an afternoon
Siena Duomo
Siena Duomo
Inside Siena Duomo
Inside Siena Duomo
Plaza de San Martino
Plaza de San Martino
Tuscan Tourist Tack
Tuscan Tourist Tack
View of the Palazzo Publico Bell Tower
View of the Palazzo Publico Bell Tower
Street Art
Street Art
Washing out to dry
Washing out to dry
Siena spread on the hills
Siena spread on the hills
A day in Tuscany
A day in Tuscany
Lake Trasimeno at Castiglione del Lago
Lake Trasimeno at Castiglione del Lago