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.
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.
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.
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.