Monday, September 16, 2013
DATELINE: Florence (1)
Arrivederci, Roma and buon giorno, Firenza.
It rained like crazy in Rome yesterday. After breakfast we strode forth to see more of the city. In five minutes it was pouring rain so we turned around and hurried back to the shelter of the hotel. We were actually soaked through. We dried off, changed clothes and napped until the rain stopped. It being Sunday, the one place we wanted to try for lunch was closed so we returned to another spot, had delicious pasta with vegetables (me) and pasta with truffle sauce (Mr. C). Back out for another walk; we got a bit further this time until the rain returned, bringing with it thunder and lightening. It rained off and on all afternoon and into the evening. We went out for a quick dinner in yet another little piazza we had come upon and made it home before it started raining again. It kept up sporadically throughout the night but dawned bright and sunny. We checked out of the hotel, took a taxi to Termini station, caught the 11:55 train and arrived here about 1:30. I watched the travel screen as we tore through the countryside: 250 km/h (150 MPH). Seemed slower until I looked down at the rail bed! The area between Rome and Florence is so green, rolling, verdant. Grapes as far as the eye can see, along with corn fields. Clusters of buildings here and there with the ubiquitous red tile roofs and walls painted a faded salmon shade and green shutters. Picturesque as all get out!
We left our luggage in the baggage storage office and walked to our favorite restaurant, La Spada. But what happened? It is completely changed. It has lost it's charm, ambiance, warmth. It is now painted a grey-green shade instead of the warm peachy hue; it now resembles the cafeteria in a Mussolini-era train station. Oh darn, now we'll have to eat our way through the city to find a new favrite.
We taxi'd up to our apartment, located on the back side of the Boboli gardens. It's filled with light, has spacious rooms with high ceilings, a fully equipped kitchen, a WASHING MACHINE which we need desperately, two bedrooms, another minuscule shower in the bathroom, and a lovely plant-filled patio off the kitchen. I'll take pictures and post them tomorrow. Meanwhile, we're having leftover La Spada lunch, smuggled here in my big oilcloth bag! They told us we couldn't take any uneaten portions of our lunch out of the restaurant. Bah, humbug!