June 10: Ferrara
Today is our last day in Italy. I think I am ready to come home... it will be nice to have clean clothing for one thing! (It's difficult to get those whites really bright by hand washing.)
We slept in until 8:30, and we lounged around the house. I labeled a lot of the pictures and did a little work on the web site, but that was about it.
We took a brief walk to find flowers for this afternoon's baptism and to get a cup of coffee. We were admonished not to eat, as we were going to Nonna's for lunch.
Luca picked us up at noon, and we went over to his grandmother's house. Luca's grandmother is a spry woman in her early 80s, who lives on her own and loves to cook but not to eat. Fortunately, we all enjoy eating! She lives in Ferrara in an apartment in a building she owns. Her apartment is small but tidy and filled with beautiful antique furniture. She cooked us a delicious lunch of pasta, veal, vegetables and of course, gelato. I was careful not to eat too much, as we had a baptism to go to later in the afternoon.
After lunch, we said our goodbyes and went back to Luca's house so Luca could change into his nice suit. We then went to a small church in the countryside, to attend the baptism of 3-month old Lucrezia, Luca's niece, where Luca was to be the godfather. It was a lovely ceremony (in Italian, of course), punctuated by occasional giddiness of the little children in attendance.
After the baptism, we all headed to the country house, where Barbara and Paolo (the proud parents) hosted a very nice party. We chatted a bit with various people whom we didn't know, and then left to get ready to leave.
We finished packing, and Kurt and Luca took the bike boxes to the train station in Luca's car (thank goodness!) while I stayed behind with Micol, reading to her from "Il piccolo principe." Micol was very good about correcting my pronunciation from time to time!
Luca returned (with Kurt guarding the boxes at the station), and the three of us left for the station with the rest of the luggage. Micol was very sad as we left for the station, but I'm not sure why. We all said our goodbyes, and I left to buy train tickets.
Our train was due to leave in about 7 minutes. One guy asked to get in front of me in line because his train was leaving, but I told him I was in the same boat. It turned out he was on the same train, and we both made it (just barely).
After getting our tickets, there was still the matter of carrying the luggage to the train which was waiting on the far track. I struggled with the luggage, knowing that if I went down the stairs to the sottopassagio, I would never make the train. A nice train official helped me across the track into the train. I went out the other side, picked up Kurt, and we put all our luggage on the train... we made it! The train left shortly thereafter.
We just got into the closest car we could, which turned out to be a second-class car and was thus packed, so we wound up hanging out near the door for the journey to Bologna, which was only 40 minutes. We had paid for 1st-class tickets (a whopping $7 for the both of us) but moving our luggage to a less crowded car just wasn't worth it. Besides, our luggage is quite comfortable to sit on!
We made it to Bologna by 8:10... and only had 2 and a half hours to wait for our overnight train to Munich. To be continued...