Having walked all over Cinque Terre I now know walking is easier than driving.

Firstly walking in Italy is slow where driving is usually done at 130 kms and secondly when you are going the wrong way on a walking trail you can just turn back in a few steps whereas on the autostrada you find yourself on a 50k journey in completely the opposite direction.

See the google map above, well all the yellow lines in the middle are the autostrada interchange roads that take you from La Spezia to Pisa.

Ok from these google pics you can see I’m at the autostrada interchange on the way from La Spezia to Pisa.

Where?, you may well ask  is the word PISA on any of these signs and where the heck are they pointing.

I ask my fellow travellers can they help. “Yes, there” is the answer.

At 130 kms the conversation then went as follows:

“There, where’s there?”

“Over there” is the reply.

I say “Over there as opposed to over here”


“You mean left or right?”

“Turn off here”

“You mean back there?”


I say in a very calm and polite way, “a right or left would have helped.”

So on we drive to a nice little town called Aulla from whence we immediately return to the interchange and make our way to Pisa.

It seems everyone knows Pisa and it’s one of the best-known cities in Italy, maybe the world,and it’s all because of the leaning tower. It’s the main attraction in the city.

The story goes that the tower began to sink after construction had only progressed to the second floor. Yes the design was flawed from the beginning, the building having been erected on weak foundations.

Anyway after 177 years of construction the bell tower was finally opened for ringing in the late 1300’s.

Our visit to Pisa was short and sweet, but I’m not sure we really could have found much else to do. We had seen enough markets and after Cinque Terre we wanted more romance but the area around the tower is everything but romantic.


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