A long day’s journey to Casa Duetto

The first day is all about getting to the destination still in possession of all luggage and a modicum of good cheer. We meet our travel mates at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport for the ceremonial checking of the bags and frisking by the TSA. Two and a half hours, and we are in Toronto for a three-hour layover and salads at the iPad bar.

Then we board for Frankfurt and the seven-hour Crossing of the Pond. Two movies and much squirming in tiny chairs later, we are on the ground. But there’s more. An endless journey through the airport to get us to the gate for Bologna, and finally we are on the final leg — an hour and a half to Bologna. We are carrying extra baggage to hold formal wear for four and a wedding bouquet, but we shoehorn it all into our rental car and start the drive to Bagna di Lucca. Midway there, the heavens open and Mike drives through a torrential downpour with nearly zero visibility. Pat, the designated navigator, promptly falls asleep. We stop at a supermarket for groceries and recovery.

The long and winding road

Ultimately, we make it to our turn, but wow. The roads are steep (45°?), and narrow (about an inch), and feature 280° switchbacks. Liz freaks out (but silently) and prays that stopping will come soon and that we will all still be alive. Christine is invigorated by it all. But then there it is. Casa Duetto is lovely. But the view from the villa is spectacular. We are perched on a steep hillside (how did they ever build it?) overlooking a valley that is lush, green, and dotted with small ancient villages. We set out our store of rotisserie chicken, olives, cheese, and some hearty Tuscan bread, open the wine, and eat with our hands. Tomorrow, we decide, is for resting and absorbing the amazing place where we are. One by one, we wander upstairs to bed. The last of us is in bed by 7. We sleep for 14 hours, awakened only once by the clear tones of a child singing in the village below.

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A Long Day’s Journey To Casa Duetto

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