We checked out of our hotel in Florence and headed for the train station about 10:45. Of course we were too early, as usual. We stood and waited for nearly half an hour until the platform for our 11:30 train came up on the board. This time we had no seat partners; we had two seats facing each other next to a window and empty ones beside us. Very nice! There were a lot of tunnels and then lovely scenery along the way. Interestingly, we saw a fair number of soy bean and corn fields, which is our usual scenery in Indiana. But lots of vineyards and picturesque farmhouses with their characteristic red tile roofs.
We knew our hotel was close to the station and we set off walking. Fortunately, it wasn’t more than 5 minutes away. I could see that there was a stairway going up into the hotel, so Dan stayed with the luggage and I went up. It was three flights up, and one was about double the usual height. There was the reception desk and the woman greeted me nicely. She told me our room was just outside and gave me two keys, one for the outer door and one for our room. Luckily, it was only one flight up. There are four rooms on this floor. Ours isn’t very big, but the A/C works, a good thing! It was hot again today. We have more cupboard space than in Florence, but no mini-fridge.
|Outer doorway to our hotel room|
|Little park below our room, beside our outer doorway|
By the time we were settled it was well past two o’clock and we were ready for some lunch. There is a restaurant attached to this building, but we decided to walk down the canal a little further to see what the options were. We found a place that appealed to us and we went in. We had two of the special dishes of the day, cod with tomatoes and olives and a small salad, and penne pasta with pesto and tomatoes. We shared them and both were especially delicious. I suspect we will go back at some point.
|Fish and salad|
After lunch we walked along the main drag that parallels the Grand Canal, crossing over many small side canals. We didn’t get quite to the Rialto Bridge, but we were both tired and hot, so we came back to the hotel and showered. We had such a late and large lunch that we just had a snack for supper — slushy coffee (for Dan) and chocolate (for me).
|Gondolas on side canal|
|Pepperoncini at fruit vendor|
|Piazza near train station|
The internet in our hotel is slow, in fact nearly nonexistent. So I am going to post less often for the next few days.
Wednesday morning we went to the small cafe on the corner for breakfast. We had a small coupon from our hotel. We could have our choice of drinks (coffees, tea) and a cornetto (croissant). I had one filled with peach, which was delicious. Not quite the buffet we have been having!
After breakfast we headed back in the direction of the station to find a post office. [We had to mail keys back to the Florence hotel.] They didn’t have mailing materials, so we crossed the canal and walked a bit further to the main post office. It took a while, but eventually Dan came out, successfully completing his mission. From there, we began walking toward St. Mark’s Square, checking our map and following the posted arrows for San Marco. There are only a few bridges across the Grand Canal, so we headed for the Accademia one — Rialto was a lot out of our way. Eventually we did make it to the square. We looked around a bit and headed past it to the vaporetto (water bus) stop. We deliberately took the slow boat that stopped at every possible location on the Grand Canal. There is another one that stops only at the major places. We got off one stop before the train station and came back the same way we had walked the previous evening.
There are so many wonderful buildings along the canal that it is impossible to photograph them all, but I took lots anyway. We got back to the hotel about noon, tired and ready for a rest before lunch.
|San Marco Square|
PS -- I posted this at the restaurant where we had lunch, as they have good and fast wifi.