Football here is as large a part of life as the food and wine…maybe even more! So, ever since we booked and organised our trip here, I have been waiting, no, hanging out to get to a football game.
Luckily, the Florence team, known as Fiorentina, are actually a very good team. They came fourth last year and will be playing some European football this year.
Their outfit is all purple, and they are affectionately known as “La Viola”. This is just perfect for Violet’s ego!!
So, on Monday night I ventured out to Stadio Artemio Franchi with James and Ricardo. After a very serious “warm up” at an Irish pub in Centro, followed by a kebab, yes a kebab!
we settled in to watch a cracking first half amidst a sea of purple, very cool, very fun.
Even better that La Viola scored two great goals at our end.
Half time was spent continuing our warm up! The funniest sight of the night was seeing the kind of litter you would only see at an Italian football game. Rather than piles of empty plastic beer cups everywhere, there were espresso cups in their hundreds!! Hilarious!
Just as good were the bar staff. No, not some daggy uni student hating life in an awful corporate uniform, but a beautifully
groomed 40-something lady in high heels!! Classic.
After the game ended, 2-1 to La Viola, rather than the dodgy hot dog on the street, it was Wild Boar Paninis and wine…La Dolce Vita
What a goal!!! Forze Viola!!!
La Viola!! On our way in.
Yes!!! La Viola are up, and looking good…almost as good as Jim?
So, it was the last day I was walking out of the water after a quick swim. To come out of the water, I had to choose between the ladder, which had a long waiting line. So I took the slope which was not the best choice at all. I was walking out of the water no problem, until I stepped on a very very VERY slippery rock, which had tones of moss on it. I stepped on the rock, looked at mum and dad and all of a sudden, fell on my two front teeth and both of them cracked, just like that CRACK! I would of put my arms in front of me, but I couldn’t because I was carrying a lilo. To be honest mum was about to say watch where you step. But I guess she didn’t have the chance! I was crying and crying and at first didn’t know what happened. Then I felt with tongue that I had lost part of my two front teeth. I screamed “OH MY GOD, MY TEETH, MT TEETH!” I showed mum and dad my teeth and we walked as fast as we could to a cafe to ask what to do. There was actually no blood at all, dad said it could of been way worse and I’m lucky that was all that happened.
My dad was calling Jim and our friend Jane while I was sitting with mum putting ice on my teeth. Finally we found a dentist that wasn’t working but was happy to do something about my teeth. I stopped crying and calmed down. I had relised that my teeth could be fixed and look like it had never happened. Well, the dentist fixed my teeth. I am 100% fine now and the funny thing is that when we walked in the dentists office, the music he was playing was Gangnam Style! LOL!
So that is the disaster that happened to me!
So, you have all read the brilliant written article of the first time we went to Cinque Terre. But now I am going to tell you about the second time just the Kingston’s went to Cinque Terre. Also I will tell you about the disaster that happened to me on the last day in Manarola.
So we had a great time the first day just swimming in Manarola! It ended up raining but that didn’t’ t stop us from having a delicious dinner by the ocean! My dad is now worried because I love having lobster and it isn’t the cheapest thing back in Sydney. So, the next morning in Cinque Terre we found ourselves at the Manarola Train Station. We were waiting for a train to come pick us up. We were heading for one of the other 5 towns called Monterosso. This town we had never been to before. But we did know one thing that I chose to go there… And as soon as we got there we knew it was the right choice.
As soon as we walked out of the train the first thing we saw were loads of people, but the second thing we saw was a beautiful beach! There was no sand that you find in Australia but it was good enough. Along the beach there were two sections. One where you just lie on towels and the other where you buy daybeds and umbrellas which is the section we chose. We got two day beds and one umbrella but that pretty much covered both of the day beds. We had a great day swimming in the water and Violet and I were having comps where whoever gets pushed and pulled down by the waves were the losers but we didn’t really have a proper comp we just had fun falling down.We had some nice panini’s for lunch and afterwards got some delicious ice cream! Half way through the day Violet and I got a lilo each and I was giving mum a tour but she didn’t give me a tip?!? Ha, parents these days. After an exhausting day at the beach mum and dad took us to their fave restaurant. It had amazing views and delicious food.
The next day we just hung around Manarola, played on our lilo’s, did alot of swimming, had some lunch, ice cream, climbed rocks and had a great time. We had some amazing dinner in the middle of Manarola. It was YUM! My lasagne was to die for, It was just the way I Iiked it. On the last day we had a yum breakfast of patisseries down by the water. Then we were just swimmming around. Until the disaster happened!
TO BE CONTINUED… DA DA DAAAA!
Just outside the beautiful town of Fiesole we took the kids to a place appropriately called Tree Experience. What an experience up in the trees!! Kids had their brief lesson in Italian (so basically didn’t understand anything) on what to do and how to stay safe and were sent off high in the trees strapped into professional harnesses to climb ropes and swing between the trees. All a bit nerve racking to start off with. Pretty incredible set up and amazing experience for the kids. Naturally Violet had to push the boundries by asking Hugo to dare her to fall between the obstacles, a dare she happily accepted which resulted in two guys having to climb up and rescue her. Mild panic amongst all of us below watching unlike Vi who had the biggest smile on her face and seemed to be enjoying the attention. Great place, now on list of places to return to often, sort of like visiting your favorite park on a Sunday afternoon in Sydney – nice!
Ringo’s for afternoon tea – always
Vi before she “accidentally” fell between the barrels
Vi on the move
…and she’s off
Vi starts out….cautiously
Mima starts climbing up…being very sensible
Strapped in and ready to go!
Dinner Time in Cinque Terre
Sim and Nic
Pre-dinner drinks Cinque Terre
Nic and Sim Cinque Terre
Daddy in Vernazza
Cinque Terre Manarola
So last week we spent two days, three nights in Manarola which is one of the five lands of Cinque Terre. After a long drive from Florence we walked down a massive hill… By the time we reached half way I was still trying to figure out how to drag my bag down the long hill. Once we reached the bottom, We all thought the walk was over. We were all wrong we still had to drag our bags up flights of stairs. Once we reached where we were staying we were all tired and didn’t even want to go into our rooms. It was really cool that the 5 kids got there own room. With 3 single beds and a double bed all lined up in a row. Except somebody took up more space than he was supposed to, not mentioning any names.(Sebastian Elder)
After getting settled in our rooms we got our cossies on and went down to the incredibly rocky beach!!! The water was beautiful, everyday it was beautiful. The next day was even more clear than the first. The funny part was in the main swimming area they would ask people to move because they had to lower boats into the water. The next day we took a boat to Vernazza one of the other five lands. There was nice water there and everyone except for Violet and mum, swam round to a place where there was clean water and small rocks to dive off. The clean water there should of been there when we were swimming there. Me and Jazz even thought we saw a jellyfish but it turned out to be a plastic bag. I said we have got part turtle brain.
The next day we had to leave but I did a 20 foot jump into the water that Jaz and Seb had done. It was quite creepy and I was very shaky. We all had a great time and we would be happy to go back there again!
So the day in Lucca was FAB! I would definitely go back there as many times as my parents want to go. Why do they have to decide where we go all the time? I mean last night dad told me to shush so why can’t I tell him to SHUSH! Anyway we hired some bikes for only 3 euros an hour and went bike riding up through the shady trees and around the Lucca walls. Which had some incredible views. There was this beautiful garden that actually belonged to a house not just built to impress people. While riding under the shady trees for a bit, me and mum were singing the Sound of Music. ” Doe a deer, a female deer, ray, a drop of golden sun!”
After our 12 kilometer bike ride my bottom was sore and me and I guess everybody else was starving for some food. We found this really cute Ristorante in between 2 buildings. We all had yummy pastas except mum and I could say me weren’t very happy with our choices. So we shared around with Dad and Violet. Later on after our great lunch we walked around Lucca and me and Violet both got a souvenir that said Lucca on them. We decided we would collect something from everywhere we go while n this trip. I am collecting small snow globes and Violet decided to collect cool magnets.
When we were walking back to the car, we passed this awesome gelato place where you do self serve. So you squirt your on gelato and put your on toppings and syrup on. It was also very delicious
. Then at the end they would weigh them to see how much it would cost. You wouldn’t also choose how much you pay?!? It was a fun Giornata a Lucca! So going back there again. DECISION MAKER!
Lunch in Lucca
Gardens of Lucca
Cycling the walls of Lucca
So apart from lying poolside, eating melon and prosciutto and drinking Prosecco, week 1 did consist of several important chores. Obvious ones include finding a house, buying a car, opening a bank account and getting a phone all of which are vital to starting our lives here. We knew we had high expectations to secure such things quickly, however the quicker we could do this stuff the sooner we were back lying poolside, eating melon prosciutto and drinking prosecco. Our Florentine friends informed us we were dreaming and no schedule of this sort would come into action in one week, we must limit our expectations, get on Italian time and be prepared to breathe deeply.
HA! The Kingos are now here lead by chief organiser, Tones, schedule master and time keeper.
A little different to ANZ Avalon!
Banking Italian style!
The waiting room in our bank!!!
The new car, nice!
The Merc baby
Tony’s helpers buying the car
Violet’s choice of transport
This morning I got up early, well, early for Italy, 6.30. I went for a run to the Frescobaldi vineyards. No, not even I, drink this early! I went for a look, so beautiful, so close. Sim and i will definitely be heading for a tour and tasting later this evening. La Dolce Vita!
Morning Run Montespertoli
Morning Run Montespertoli
View from the driveway
We are lucky enough to be house minding a gorgeous Tuscan villa near the little town of Montespertoli. We are in the middle of the Frescobaldi Vineyards, just amazing. The house is surrounded by lush, green gardens and then beyond the garden are vineyards as far as the eye can see.
We have access to a large, shared pool, and the girls are finding life here a little like a dream. I would too, except I am actually working, believe it or not!
View from pool
Garden at night
So today was dad’s 44th birthday! Grandpa Tony! We had a great day and I am not sure if dad is expecting stuff for this evening? This morning I woke up and went downstairs with mum. It was CRAZY… Everybody was wrapping like mad and everyone was sharing one little roll of sticky tape and a pair of scissors. (awkward) Finally we finished wrapping all of these presents, mainly all for the one big present. PRESENT TIME! The first present dad opened was the present I got him, I got him a Juventus soccer ball that I signed. On the ball I wrote Caro Babbo, Buon Compleanno, Jemima. Violet didn’t really get dad a present So she just wrapped up an apple and 2 oranges?!? WEIRD! She could of just given him a nice card! Mum got her OLD husband a coffee machine and the 4 best coffee capsules. The Elders gave him coffee supplies and ugo got him a Florentina soccer ball.
Later on we to this amazing restaurant outside with this beautiful garden. We had this amazing food and I said that I am defeniteley going to go there for my birthday dinner!(DECISION MAKER?)
It was agreat birthday for Grandpa Tony!