Nug had her heart set on seeing varied places in Italy so we rented a car. They asked if we wanted a GPS for 12 euro per day extra. “We are good,” I scoffed as I figured a map and road signs would suffice. Little did we know that road signs in Italy are inconsistent at best but more often than not are non-existent or dead wrong. It got to the point where we would bet on how many times we would have to stop and ask for directions before finding a destination. Thankfully, the Italians we met were over the top friendly and helpful. Without their guidance Nug and I would have probably found ourselves in marriage counseling.
One time we were searching for an Agriturismo in Cerreto Guidi. An Agriturismo is a working farm that puts up travelers. The one we staying at produced wine and olives out in the middle of nowhere and I assured Nug it would be easy to find. We were bickering and driving around in circles when we decided it was time to stop and see if some kind soul would point us in the right direction. We met a tiny, cute old woman and asked if she could help. She spoke no English but assured us that her husband was fluent. She led us through several back streets and into a beautiful courtyard with an impeccable garden. She insisted we come inside and sat us down at the kitchen table while yelling to her husband. He came in and said, “Hello,” before we showed him our intended address. As we commenced another game of charades it became apparent that his English was as limited as our Italian. Frustrated he held up one finger and walked upstairs.
We spent the next few minutes attempting small talk with the little old lady but mainly taking turns smiling at one another before he returned. He had his hat, a coat and the car keys. He waved us to follow while saying, “Come for we take you there!” He helped his wife out to the car and we followed them through a labyrinth of turns and back roads in our little go kart to a place that we would have had no hope of finding on our own. As they pulled up to, and pointed at Borgo Vigna Vecchia enthusiastically we couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear and thank them in our elementary Italian. We all exchanged heartfelt goodbyes and later as we checked into our room I gloated to Nug, “I told you it would be easy to find!”