On a downtown train? Every night it’s just the same. Oh, baby!
I located the high speed train from Venezia to Firenze… track number (5) posted ten minutes prior to boarding… a long walk to our car, second to last… I keep on rolling. We were first in the car and had our choice or luggage racks, of which there were plenty. We found our seats and settled it. All in all, a good first experience with the Italian rail system
Both Europasses were validated correctly and I easily found them in the Rail Planner app on my phone. We were served coffee, tea and a nice biscuit. “Eggs and sausage and a side of toast. Coffee and on a roll.” The Italian countryside, towns and cities flew by.
The 2h, 10m trip included several stops. The trains are very comfortable, clean, quiet, smooth and fast. At 262 km/hr (163mph) and all the above still apply. Oh, and by the way. We arrived on time as well.
The taxi stand is immediately outside the train terminal. Everything you imagined about driving in Italy (at least Florence so far) is true. Little cars barely able to squeeze through narrow alleys constantly accost you, then a huge garbage truck comes lumbering by. I am sure they know the developers of Harry Potters Knight Bus.
Frances recommended a restaurant near (400 ft) from our hotel. The hotel concierge called but there were no reservations available for the next two days, however, they would accommodate us for lunch if we could be there within the hour. We could, and did, and were so glad we did.
We sat in a small table near the back. Actually, all 10 or 11 tables are small tables. If you think the staff at a NY deli work fast, they got nothin’ on these three, all the while laughing and joking with the patrons and each other. Their menu states they do not have cappuccino, will never have cappuccino so don’t ask for cappuccino. A man at the next table ordered one and the waitress brought him an empty cup and saucer. Laughs were enjoyed by all.
We are staying in the Bernini Palace hotel. Is it coincidental there is also a historic palace named Bernini? No coincidence. There much history this hotel beyond being built in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, as a gathering place and residence for parliamentarians.
After lunch QC and I went for a long walk. We had no tours booked for the afternoon and thought a walk through some local neighborhoods would be interesting.
As we neared the hotel I thought a nice glass of wine and a light bite to eat would be nice at the end of the day. Again, the concierge found us a small wine bar very near the hotel.
A short comment on the concierge service at Bernini Palace Hotel – they are a member of and managed by ‘Les Clefs d’Or’ and they are fantastic.
A very full, delightful day with no tours, just enjoying Firenze for a day.