Onward again to one of our loveliest stops yet. Our Camperstop book, which lists all the free places to stay in a motorhome in Europe, is 4 years out of date, a fact which tends to quicken the pulse when driving winding mountain roads in search of a potential stop with a hungry and angry Frankie, thinking, 'this can't be right' and 'please god let it still exist'. The tatty book hasn't let us down yet, and this place was a proper find.High in the olive groves above the sea, in the shadow of a hilltown with medieval castle, we arrived to our own private terrace under fig and olive trees, welcomed by the Italian farmers who owned the place, and all for free. We decided to stop for a couple of nights and explore the nearby hill town and its castle the next day.
Well the climb up to said town certainly got the blood flowing and, medieval castles forgotten, we went in search of lunch. This being pretty much a one horse town, our expectations weren't high, but a peroni and pizza would do nicely. Stumbling across an unprepossessing establishment, really just a doorway with Trattoria above, and a mercifully and miraculously sleeping Frankie, we ducked in and enquired about a beer. No beer, this is a restaurant, and one which we made the most of. Feeling in need of a treat, we ordered the 'glis di antipasti' for two and a bottle of local white wine. There followed a succession of some of the best dishes we had ever tasted. The place being next to empty, we enjoyed telepathic service from the proprieter, who brought out dish after dish at precisely the right moment - veal tartare followed asparagus omelette, and was followed by a plate of local salami, proscuttio and cured lard, seafood fritters, asparagus and mozarella fritters and chicken salad to finish. Frankie awoke as the nougat semi freddo arrived, and I think it was pretty much the best thing he's ever tasted.
We left our lovely camp with regret, and had a slightly more stressful time trying to negotiate the frankly baffling road system around the town of Lucca (which in itself is quite a nice historic place but the parking restrictions placed on campervans did hinder our enjoyment of it) on the way to Florence.