From Lago d Iseo we drove south through a mess of autostrada past Brescia and then off onto a drive that Sharon had found in her "back roads of Italy" book. The title was accurate. Luckily the Tornate King ( the Pandas new name -Tornate being a hairpin turn) was up to the challenge. We managed to find a great number of Tornate for the "king" to conquer. The road wound through the hills of Northern Tuscany through many small villages. We stopped for a Grande cappuccino doppio and a quick look through the local supermarche which always takes my fancy. When in Sulzano we had found a local food brochure that told of a cheese available from the local shop which was made from mountain goat milk, covered in ash and then stored in caves for 5 years to mature. We asked for some and the staff were quite surprised before producing some from "under the counter". It had quite a "nose". So smelly that despite wrapping it in paper, plastic, sealing in a plastic zip lock bag and then putting in a Tupperware container - the car still stunk. We broke it out for lunch with pane, pomodoro and tapenade. I could taste cheese. Our destination was Barga - yet another hill town with an old and new city. I had found a place through trip advisor which was an apartment in an art gallery in the old town callled Casa Cordati. Great place, great room and we found a lovely resturaunt/cafe for dinner. In fact we enjoyed Cafe Capretz so much we had dinner there 3 times. So three days in Barga saw us do some local sightseeing, take a long ride up the valley and do a day trip into Lucca. The ride came about after the advise of the local bike shop which involved a lot of charades and finger pointing as our little Italian and their little English made the conversation challenging. We rode through Castelnouveau Garfargna which had a big market on. It was an old walled city and the market really bought it to life with all the locals out and others from further afield. To be honest the market stalls were a bit like 150 red dot stores coming to town for the day. And I couldn't find the bright red pant I had see so many stylish Italian men wearing! I did however buy another cycling jersey. In this town we came across a slow food Osteria Vecchio Mulino http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Restaurant_Review-g676357-d904708-Reviews-Osteria_Vecchio_Mulino-Castelnuovo_di_Garfagnana_Province_of_Lucca_Tuscany.html where we had a great coffee and thought we might come back to for lunch. When we did finally get back there lunch was in full swing and the one long table in the place was full. It looked wonderful and certainly somewhere to go back to. Back in Barga our host Giordano had moved us to a new room on the second floor with a superb view. The next day we ventured into Lucca and I had fun cycling around the busy streets of this huge old city. I can't imagine how busy it gets in peak tourist season and this was by far the most Touristy place we had been to date. Sharon did her own walking tour while I was cycling and we both climbed various towers - I did have earthquakes in the back of my mind. I was very tempted by another cycling jersey but unfortunately Sharon arrived at just the wrong moment and my purchase options were dashed. We had to move accomodation for our last night in Barga and Giordano was full and we took at room at Alberge Alpino which was very nice but a bit noisy. It was Friday night and it sounded like the local footy club were all out singing the club song while revving their scooters in unison until 2am. Peaceful. Ok, enough for now but more later from Val d Orcia.