Over the past week Qi and I had a great time in Tuscany and Monaco. We rented a convertible (307 CC) in Nice and drove most of the 1500 km with the roof down. It reminded me of the time that I drove a Fiat Barchetta while living in Germany. China is not a good country to drive open, but the Tuscan hills and French Riviera certainly are.
What did we do? We saw all the major cities, such as Lucca, Pisa, San Gimignano, Volterra and of course Firenze (Florence). We stayed at nice places in the countryside, and had good meals with local wines every day. As every vacation I got pretty much sun burned (I fell asleep at the pool one day, and found out that the Italian sun is already pretty strong in May). And as every vacation I got sick in the beginning, probably as a reaction of working (too) hard.
On the way back from Tuscany we drove along the Italian Riviera. Viareggio was a favourite for Qi because of the combination of a nice beach with lots of upscale clothing and shoe stores. We also passed by Genova (Genua), which is a much nicer city than I imagined.
The last day was spent in Monaco, where we found a hotel room with a balcony right on the Monte Carlo harbour front. One of the nicest views you can imagine, with the harbour full of expensive boats beneath us, the Mediterranean on the left and the Monaco palace on the hill on the right. The fact that they were preparing the F1 circuit already made it even more interesting.
We are back in Shanghai now, ready to get back to work with many new ideas to implement!