Tuscany 2006 Diary
Having taken the opportunity to stay a week longer in the Italian Lakes I am sure there will have been many hundreds if not thousands of photographs posted and the last thing people want is another offering of the same. In an attempt to make it more interesting I’ve put a few words around some of our pics .

Friday 7th July. We set off a day earlier to avoid a very early morning start with a long drive to Arbon, our 1st official meeting place , not a good start as it started to pour with rain as soon as I took the car out of the garage!

The Weather didn't improve much on the way to stay with Veerle & Ton (huge thanks to them for their hospitality)
8th July Ton allowed me to wash my car so that it would be clean when we met with Wolfgang & Anja, Kevan and Linda, and Mike & Mark at Hockenheim, a good plan but unfortunately the bad weather soon showed up again, also a great shot of Ton on the narrowest bit of Motorway he could find!
And on to Hockenheim, where we met the others
Now 5 Cars set off for our first night in Arbon, Switzerland where we were to meet Andrea & Racheal, Simon & Silka and Patrick
The Froshin Hotel in Arbon which has it's own Brewery.......very handy for us!, a pic of the first official beers, Andrea also organised a tour of the production side
9th July 8 Cars ready to roll, well not quite, Kevan's 456 refused to start with what appeared to be a flat battery, we jumped it from my 575 and it started fine but that was not to be the last of the troubles for Kevan, ultimately resolved with a new Battery. We headed South with some stunning views both on and of the road, unfortunately Marc and Mike fell foul of the very strict speeding laws in Switzerland resulting in a fine that did not fit the crime!
Around 5pm we arrived in Santa Margherita on the Mediteranian coast, here we met with Maura and Eugenio to complete our group of 9 cars. Our 1st night dinner coinciding with the World Cup Final, it seems some our group and the staff were very happy with the result!!
10th July Santa Margherita is a beautiful place but very busy at this time of year!, View from our window and as we walked along the seafront, today we spent a quiet day around the town
11th July. We accept an invitation from Eugenio for a drive in the hills, it turned out to be a great drive, great lunch, interesting visit to a medievil town and fantastic hospitality from Maura, Eugenio, Luca and Eugenio's parents who allowed us to return to their summer home to wash our cars, cool off in the pool, eat pasta, drink wine and watch the sun go down, it was a bit much for Marc & Mike!
12th July. We head for San Gimignano in Tuscany, unfortunately we lost Marc & Mike almost immediately
Some great shots of the cars and Tuscany above. left, Marc & Mike eventually catch up having taken Florence by storm. Below the nice and tidy Dinner table before we arrive! and the stunning view from the terrace, lastly some more stunning sunsets and a few pics of the team!
13th July We head off to Montalcino for a spot of wine tasting, a great lunch and lovely buildings
After parking up the evening was spent with fine Company, Food and Wine or we think too much wine in Ton's case :)
14th July Our last full day in Tuscany and we took the opportunity to do absolutely nothing! well except I washed the car (again!) then we stayed around the pool as others went into San Gimignano. In the evening we had a brief tour of the Winery, when I say brief it was long enough to consume a fair amount of the stuff and some great cheese too, Patrick was even drinking direct from the barrel!
Andrea managed to convince our hosts to bring forward their special steak menu by a night, a worthy cause when you see the pics below. Ton looked like he was staying awake this time having taken something!
15th July We head for Molveno, but some of us decide to go via Maranello rather than drive the Futa Pass (some of the Wives felt we'd done passes this week!) thanks to Wolfgang for leading into parking on the front of the Galleria
After a few hours we arrived in Molveno for the last night of the tour
So that's it, a Week with a great group of people in fantastic cars and beautiful surroundings, thanks to Andrea and Rachael for organising our holiday!.

All the above pictures and many many more are online at www.collinsclan.co.uk/pages/cars/tuscany1/index.html. If you'd like hi-res for printing etc then these are around 3 to 4mb each and can be e-mailed or burnt to CD/DVD

Later to come is some video of some of the cars in the mountain passes we covered in the earleir part of the week