Page 53. " racing green Aston Martin "

Aston Martin Lagonda Limited is the full name of the British company which manufactures this luxury brand of sports car. Founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, the ‘Aston’ in the name comes from the Aston Shilton Hillclimb, a speed climbing motor race which was won by Martin and Bamford in their self-made car in 1914.

Once owned by Ford Motor Cars, Aston Martin was privately bought in 2007. The cars are luxury vehicles which are renowned for their speed as well as for their style and long history.

Page 53. " any time in Provence last year "

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie in Upper Provence
Public DomainMoustiers-Sainte-Marie in Upper Provence - Credit: Nepomuk
 Provence is the Mediterranean region of south-eastern France on the border with Italy. Bordered to the west by the Rhone river and to the east by the Maritime Alps, Provence is a beautiful, historic region of France with a warm Mediterranean climate – all of which combine to make it a very popular region with visitors. The countryside is naturally hilly and a good wine-growing region. Marseille, St Tropez and Cannes, Aix en Provence, Avignon and Nice are some of the most well-known and popular towns in Provence, famed for their beauty, culture and history.

Page 57. " the Tulip Hotel "

The Golden Tulip Galilei is a real hotel on the outskirts of Pisa, very close to the international airport – exactly where Lucy, an air stewardess, would be staying.

Page 57. " I saw you at Gatwick "

Aeroplanes at Gatwick Airport
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAeroplanes at Gatwick Airport - Credit: Ian Taylor
 Gatwick is one of London’s international airports, despite being situated around 29 miles from the city centre in West Sussex. The second-largest and second-busiest airport in London after Heathrow, 33.6 million passengers used Gatwick in 2011. It takes its name from a manor owned by the De Gatwick family until the 19th century and the airport was developed from an aerodrome, opened officially in 1934. Lots of flights to and from Gatwick are bound for Europe, but it is also served by American, Asian and African carriers.

Page 61. " heading for the Garfagnan area "

Tuscan wheatfields
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeTuscan wheatfields - Credit: Norbert Nagel
 Garfagnana is the wooded area of Tuscany around Lucca. Once a separately governed region under control of the Este family, Garfagnana is now a purely historical area. The most mountainous and rainy part of Tuscany, its economy rests largely on agriculture and tourism – it is known for its forests, porcini mushrooms, olives and wheat farms.

Page 62. " look around Bagni di Lucca "

The river at Bagni di Lucca
GNU Free Documentation LicenseThe river at Bagni di Lucca - Credit: Franztanz
 Bagni di Lucca is a small town in the locality of Lucca, Tuscany. It has a population of around 6,500 and is famous for its natural thermal springs which were noted as far back as Roman times. The hot springs have a temperature between 36°C and 54°C and contain sodium, lime and magnesium. During the 19th century it reached the pick of its fame when Napoleon made it his summer court, bringing much of the French nobility with him. The town’s economy still thrives from its hot springs, visited by many tourists who are attracted by the springs and the surviving medieval architecture.

Page 62. " to buy a pig in a poke "

This is a phrase which dates back to the Late Middle Ages of Britain. At this time, meat was scarce and confidence tricksters would sell ‘pigs’ in unopened pokes (bags) to unsuspecting consumers. When the buyer returned home, they would find a cat or a dog in the bag instead of the promised pig. The phrase passed into everyday language, referring to buying something which turns out to be quite different to what was promised.

Page 62. " it's been a spa town for hundreds of years "

A classic Roman thermal hot spring in Algeria
Public DomainA classic Roman thermal hot spring in Algeria - Credit: Batni
Spa towns take their name from the Belgian town of Spa and became especially popular amongst the upper classes during the 18th and 19th centuries. They have, however, existed for centuries, with Bagni di Lucca being a notable example from Roman times. Spa towns are built up around a rich deposit of minerals which means that the water is particularly good and considered to have healing or beneficial health properties. There may also, or instead, be a natural thermal hot springs in the town. In Italy, spa towns are often prefaced by the words ‘bagni di’ or referred to as ‘terme’.

Page 63. " trailed silently around art galleries "

Michelangelo's 'David' - one of the most famous Renaissance works of art
GNU Free Documentation LicenseMichelangelo's 'David' - one of the most famous Renaissance works of art - Credit: David Gaya
Florence is famous for its art galleries and other history, art and archaeological museums.

Among the most famous art galleries are:

-       The Palatine Gallery (16th and 17th century art),

-       The Bargello National Museum (Medieval and Renaissance art),

-       The Horne Museum (a private collection of works collected by the English critic Herbert Percy Horne),

-       The Academy of the Fine Arts Museum (principally devoted to Michelangelo),

-       And, of course, the Uffizi Gallery  – the most famous art gallery of them all.

Page 63. " walked along the Ponte Vecchio "

The Ponte Vecchio
Creative Commons AttributionThe Ponte Vecchio - Credit: Flavio

The Ponte Vecchio is one of Florence’s most iconic landmarks. The Medieval stone arched bridge is not the original structure to stand on the spot – it is thought that the Romans also bridged the Arno River at this, its narrowest point – but dates back to 1345. As was common at the time, small buildings were built all along both sides of the bridge, which once were shops for butchers and grocers. Unusually for a modern bridge the buildings remain, now housing expensive jewellers, leather merchants, art dealers and souvenir shops, and the bridge is one of Florence’s most-visited sights.

Unlike the rest of Florence’s bridges, the Ponte Vecchio was not destroyed by German troops at the end of World War II – it is suggested that this was on Hitler’s express orders.

Page 64. " the Marco Hotel "

The Hotel San Marco is a real three-star hotel just outside the ancient city walls of Lucca.

Page 65. " climbed into her Fiat Panda "

A Fiat Panda 100HP
GNU Free Documentation LicenseA Fiat Panda 100HP - Credit: Thomas doerfer
The Fiat Panda is a small car made by the Italian automobile manufacturer Fiat. Fiat was founded in 1899 in Turin, where it retains its headquarters. The Panda is a three-door hatchback built for city driving, which was first introduced in 1980. The first model was discontinued in 2003 and a second introduced; followed by a third in 2011. In its life span around 31 Fiat Pandas have been sold around the world.

Page 65. " the local olive oil industry "

A bottle of olive oil
GNU Free Documentation LicenseA bottle of olive oil - Credit: Alex Ex
Olive trees in Thassos, Greece
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeOlive trees in Thassos, Greece - Credit: Petr Pakandl
Italy is the world’s second-largest producer of olive oil after Spain. Whilst most of the country’s oil is produced in Puglia, Tuscany – especially Lucca – is also at the heart of Italy’s olive oil industry. Many small farmyards in the Tuscan hills grow and produce olives and oil and Bertolli, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of oil and olive-based spreads, was founded in the town.

The Italian olive oil industry is, this year, undergoing investigation as it has recently been discovered that some producers selling ‘extra virgin’ olive oil have actually been mixing it with cheap imports, making it far less pure.

Page 66. " views over the river Lima "

La Lima – also known as the Lima River or Lima Stream – is a small mountain stream which winds through the Tuscan hills above Lucca.

Page 71. " the Tombola at her church fete "

A tombola is a type of raffle which is very popular especially in Britain. Raffles actually originated in Italy in the 1980s. A tombola is different to other raffles in that all the prizes are assigned winning tickets before the event begins – the players can therefore immediately ascertain if they have won a prize upon buying their ticket. Church fetes and coffee mornings are popular events for tombolas as the winners may not be present for the entire event.