We decided to go to Lucca in Italy after seeing it as the start for one of the Top Gear challenges.
It looked a brilliant medieval walled town and the missus had been banging on about going to Italy for ages. (she likes pasta , wine , and young men in tight black trousers )
The flight, hotel and car hire were booked online through Travel Republic and the drive from the airport was planned like a military operation meticulously in advance down to looking on Google to see photos of the route and road junctions so that it should only take about 30 minutes from Pisa to Lucca.
Unfortunately all of the photos were during daytime and when we set off in the hire car feeling very tired at 9 in the evening from Pisa Airport, everything looked completely different.
After about 2 and a half hours of driving backwards and forwards past the airport, and going 30 miles going South on the Autostrada instead of North I suddenly realised that Genovo on the signs was really Genoa which from my O'level geography 40 years ago was North of Pisa.
So we were now heading in the right direction but things had become very fractious and frosty inside the little Fiat .
Conversation had stopped because I felt that if I spoke one more time, I would be strangled with my own seatbelt.
I had the feeling I would be asking if there was a spare room at the hotel for myself
As we got close the Lucca we saw a fantastic fireworks display going on which as we learnt later was every year in celebration of something.
Anyway, long story short, by the time we had booked in , it was about 12.30 and we were starving because I had decided we would not have any food on the Ryanair flight. (I'm a mean husband apparently)
The hotel guy said we might still get a drink in the town so we walked in through the town walls.
As we were walking along the Via Elise, we noticed the Drogherie cafe/bar still open so we went in.
We were welcomed and we asked about food expecting the answer to be no but they said no problem.
(contrast that with pubs in the UK where you get the answer Chefs gone home after 9 in the evening)
We ordered Pizzas and drank a couple of beers while waiting.
The Pizzas appeared quickly and they were much better than the ones you get in the UK.
We finished off with some Italian Ice cream.
The service was quick but they left us alone to get on with it.
Prices were very good as well.
During the next few days we went there a couple of times for meals (they have a restaurant section as well) and always for a drink and Expresso late at night.
They also do very nice cakes and savouries.
Although their English is not perfect, they are so friendly and helpful that I cannot recommend the place enough.
The food is excellent and freshly cooked and authentic.
Absolutely 5 stars A+++.
Can't wait to go back sometime.
By the way, the missus is talking to me again now, which is good.
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