Lucca, Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Castellina in Chianti … I think I’ve just been holidaying in one of the most beautiful regions on Earth.  Tuscany in Autumn takes some beating – the colours, the food, the countryside, the friendly folk, the art, the roads, the history, the architecture, the Chianti, it was all perfection.

A lion on the city walls of Lucca

I will long remember walking the 30ft wide walls of Lucca late at night with my clan and visiting Ponte del Diavolo the next day.  I think San Gimignano may be the most beautiful little town I have ever been to, nestled upon a high hill, bristling with medieval towers, markets, piazzas, frescoes and gardens it was just like a stage set for the best Shakespeare production you’ve ever seen.

Gotta dig that Tuscan geometry. San Gimignano.

Florence is the big city of course and I got to live out all my Room With a View fantasies there, just marvelling at all the art and architecture; my top travel tip though is to cross the Arno and climb through the Boboli Gardens on the other side for some of the coolest areas and the best views of that astonishing skyline.

Live from the banks of the Arno …
Florentine street art

I also stumbled across Rock Bottom Records on Via De’ Giraldi, a big place full of all manner of curiosities and 60’s gems priced at the level of the average small family car.  Amongst it all I stumbled across the best-stocked Hawkwind section I have ever found in a second-hand record shop – I may not have been able to afford the original poster for the Space Ritual tour but I was able to seek some consolation elsewhere:

Hawkwind: Live Seventy Nine

Holy hell! This is a brilliant hard rocking live LP from everybody’s favourite cosmic druids – you were right Neil.  Expect a review soon because this is all I can listen to at the moment.

Black Flag: Slip It In

My first Black Flag LP on vinyl and my first time with this beast.  ‘Black Coffee’ still sounds like being run over by an armoured truck.

Add N to (X):  Add Insult To Injury

My favourite robo-perverts, I’ve wanted this for many years now.  ‘Plug Me In’ is brilliant and every bit as rude as it sounds.  This is the limited edition version with stickers and 4 scratch and sniff panels on the LP cover …

Plus, found these in a vending machine in Lucca – what a nation!

802 Down (still).

PS: This bloody rocks:

PPS: The video for ‘Plug Me In’ by Add N to (X) was only available on a porn site – I’m not going to link to that, great tune though it is.

PPPS:  Firenze is the proper Italian name for Florence.

61 thoughts on “Feeding Firenze

  1. “drinking black coffee… STARE AT THE WALLS!” Man, the ultimate coffee song. Black Flag FTW!

    Wow, what a trip! My Nana toured through there years ago, and said there was so much beauty to take in that it became overwhelming (she was a huge fan of fine art). Did you go through Como at all? My lovely wife wants to go there so badly.

    1. Como was further north, I haven’t been there yet but I definitely will before too long. Tuscany was a much friendlier region than Northern Italy, or so we found it.

      (sighs)

      1. Sounds like you’ve found your place of retirement!

        My lovely wife studied architecture as part of her schooling and loved the Romanesque stuff. She wrote up a paper on a church in Como, hence the desire to go and see it for herself!

  2. Awesome. Sounds like the kinda place I could spend the rest of my days and nights. Reminds me that I really need a holiday (and vinyl).

  3. Great piccies man! Looks like you had a great trip all around with the added bonus of finding a record store and getting some great albums. I second your views on Hawkwind.

  4. That trip looks and sounds amazing. And kudos for stopping to record shop. If we make it to Paris next year like we plan, I don’t see the family letting me record shop, but I sure as hell am going to try.

    1. Thanks John. Paris is another wonderful city, I went to a great record shop there many years ago … sadly/luckily I couldn’t afford a thing at the time.

  5. What an amazing looking place… and a decent record shop too so it wasn’t a wasted trip. Like the look of that Hawkwind set a lot. And I have some Black Flag vinyl but not this one. Always loved that cover.

      1. Tracy told me you’d say that.
        She also mentioned you had 3 washroom breaks the day before your vacation, and that for the longest time she thought you were talking about mustaches whenever you mentioned you love Fu Manchu.

  6. That vacation soundd awesome.
    I would love to take my wife on a trip there. We love red wine, and Italian food.
    I love Italian sports cars, hidtory and archeticure.
    Ohh. I also love vinyl.
    Nice haul.

    On a side note, all I can think of is Hannibal Lecter when I hear Chianti.
    Also, for some reason that street art reminds me of The Wall.

      1. Speaking of following.

        I think my fat fingers must hit unfollow as I tend to miss out on stuff. Then I find out a long time later. Or it goes to spam.
        Not sure. I will eventually figure it out.

      2. When I post stuff I just mention it to Tracy at work and tell her it’s a secret, that way everyone in the whole world knows before lunchtime.

    1. Hi Bop, it was just bliss – even in a very non-sports hire car. I’ve been to different parts of Italy a couple of times now but this was my first time in Tuscany and I definitely want to go back.

      There was so much great street art/graffiti in Florence, it was brilliant. And Chianti? it doesn’t get me that way, until someone serves me fava beans …

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