It was time for our next road trip. I had another military duty period scheduled in Aviano. We decided that the family would accompany me for that week and then we would travel on to Austria for vacation. The first leg of our journey entailed driving from the south of Italy all the way up the boot to Aviano. It is a long drive so we stopped for the night as a Bed & Breakfast called Casa Palmira ( just north of Florence. We got on the road around 5:00 am so that we could arrive in the early afternoon in Tuscany and enjoy the afternoon there. It was a nice ride and we avoided much of the traffic by leaving early. (The highways are insane on August weekends.) As we traveled through Umbria and Tuscany, everywhere we looked it was like a postcard.

We arrived around lunchtime leaving enough time to rest and then explore Fiesole, in the late afternoon. Fiesole is a small town north of Florence that offers a fabulous panoramic view. It was settled in Etruscan times (9th century BC). I always find it amazing to visit places where people have lived for so long!

Casa Palmira

Russell enjoying the hammock with friends

Duilio on the patio

Photos of Fiesole





Of course, we had to finish the day off with a Bistecca alla Fiorentina. In my opinion, the only beef steak worth eating in Italy. These suckers are huge and delicious. They come from a special breed of cattle called Chianina, A steak can weigh up to 6 lbs! We all tucked into our meals that night and Luca and I did some serious damage to that steak.

Bistecca alla Fiorentina

The next morning, we were in the car again for an uneventful trip to Aviano. The only thing of note on that trip was three stops at Autogrills along the way due to our little guys’ needs. Total madhouses. Notice the solar panels at the Autogrills also used to shade the parking. What a great idea!