In October we once again had a visit from Debra and David Rixon who produce their own professional set of DVDs of their walking tours. Today we watched a DVD of Tuscany which included visits to Florence, Pisa, Lucca and Siena. These visits were made partly in their Smart car, which, as it had ‘Passion’ emblazoned on the side, they named their Passion Wagon, and a trip in a Fiat Cinquecento but most of their touring was on foot.
We were treated to the beauties of Florence, including the Uffizi Gallery and saw the hustle and bustle of the Rialto Bridge. They then travelled on to Pisa and its famous Leaning Tower. After that they went on to the beautiful town of Lucca, ending up in Siena. Siena has an unusual shell-shaped piazza, the Piazza del Campo, divided into the 17 contrade or districts, of Siena. Twice a year the contrade compete in a horse race called the Palio which David and Debra had filmed and told us about. After that they walked part of the pilgrim trail known as the Via Francigena which actually begins in Canterbury and ends in Rome. The section David and Debra walked was from Francigena to San Gimignano, some of which looked very muddy in parts!
What makes the Footloose in Italy films so eminently watchable is that they are not just impersonal descriptions of towns, with an off screen narrator. The audience sees both Debra and David onscreen as they walk, climb hills and occasionally very high towers. They try the local cheeses, enjoy some wine tasting, and engage with the local population. As with all their previous films, it was most enjoyable and informative.