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September 15 -- Bologna and Firenze

First class tix to Firenze by train. A harrowing ride to the train station -- like something out of the Italian Job! Before boarding the train, I left one bag at the train station so I wouldn't have to schlep it with me through Italy.

The train trip was pleasant and short. Patti and I walked our bags to the hotel, which was a bit more of a walk than I had anticipated.

This may have been the day we went shopping. If it was, we certainly hit the stores. (I figured if I was going to go to Firenze again, which is not really my favorite city, then we'd have to do some shopping for compensation!)

Prices since the Euro took hold are really not that much better than in the US. However, it's still fun to remember your trip by the clothing you bought. We stopped by the Tod's store, where I bought two lovely pair of shoes (one can never have too many shoes!), and at MaxMara, where Patti and I both bought the same jacket. Patti also bought a very nice wool suit. At Furla, we bought a few bags and I bought a few other tidbits to go along with that. Patti went to D&G to buy Lauren a beautiful purse. A very productive afternoon of shopping indeed! The shopkeepers were nice enough to endure my poor Italian and humored me by speaking in Italian back.

We asked the proprietor of the hotel to recommend a nice restaurant frequented by the locals. It's really pretty silly to think that we would have received a decent recommendation, as immersed in tourism as Firenze is. We went to the recommended restaurant, where they seated us in a large room in the back of the restaurant. At our left, was a very loud party of Americans. At our right, was a young American couple. Not very Italian, I must say! But the couple to our right were very nice, and we chatted over dinner. They told us about the outlet mall near Florence, something I never knew about. Next trip to Italy: outlet shopping for sure!!

The dinner wasn't very memorable, and after dinner we went out for our soon-to-be-nightly ritual of gelato.




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