Finally made it to Firenze

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Finally made it to Firenze

We set off on Sunday Sep. 10 – and made it as far as LAX. Alitalia moved our flight to the next day. And they did it very badly – we spent all day at the airport to learn that we should have just gone home and returned. They had no staff that knew anything and nobody managing the (very long as you can imagine) lines that resulted. It was chaotic to say the least.

They told us to return at 11:15A as that’s when they’d start the desk up. Well, there was a long line, and desk wasn’t open. We waited and waited. Finally they opened 5 desks. It took over an hour from when the desks opened to getting us boarding passes. We ended up with the same seats as we had on the original flight.

We landed in Rome. And found our connecting flight to Florence. Again, no one was there to direct and there were two flights leaving from the same gate. We took off and the captain announced that there were high winds in Florence and that we might have to land in Pisa and bus to Florence. By the time we got close to Florence, both Pisa and Bologna airports were too busy with redirected flights, so we had to fly back to Rome.

They told us the bus would take 2 hours to go to Florence. It took a few hours for the buses to arrive at the Rome airport. The trip actually took 3.5 hours. We sat in the back of the bus.

We picked a hotel, the Athenaeum. Friendly staff, nice clean modern hotel.

Next day we headed for the apartment. And we waited – the guy was supposed to be there in half an hour and then in a few minutes. In Italy it seems one half hour is really one hour and a half, and a few minutes is half an hour.

He arrived and we got the once over – lots of little things that make it interesting (don’t run the AC with the microwave or clothes washer), the second bedroom AC didn’t work (they fixed it – we found batteries for the second remote…). And the knob came off the apartment entry door.

At least its well located – two shops down from the Basilica San Lorenzo and about 100 yards from the Duomo.

We decided to take a walk to the Apartments Florence office to pick up our personal wi-fi devices (we had great success with that in Japan so decided to do it again this trip). We walked around and saw some interesting things like the Duomo, the Bapistry, and a Moleskine shop (yes, a store that specializes in selling Moleskine paraphernalia, very cool). On the way back to the apartment we stopped at a grocery – there’s one about 30 meters from our place. We got some things (like biscotti) and tramped back to the room.

To top it off, there was a party downstairs last night, so I didn’t get to sleep until about 12:30A.

Welcome to Florence!

Location:Piazza di San Lorenzo,Florence,Italy

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