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Italy 2009

Arrival in Florence

March 18th, 2009 by alephnaught

Arrival in Florence

Our flight from LAX to Paris was delayed an hour. When we got on the plane, we realized that they didn’t seat Aviva and I in aisle seats across from each other. We were across the plane from each other, and worse, we were in the last row, which meant we had less legroom, less […]

Florence

March 20th, 2009 by alephnaught

Florence

We woke up much too early and ran ragged all day. After breakfast, we walked by a painted facade and decided to shop at the open market near Piazza Republica. It was really cold (it only got into the 50sF and was really windy) so Aviva bought some purple globes and I bought some half […]

Florence

March 20th, 2009 by alephnaught

Florence

We both took sleeping pills; this is one of our tricks to switch timezones, stay up as late as you can and then take a sleeping pill to help you sleep through the night. We got up and had breakfast; the hotel has a great buffet breakfast including fresh eggs and bacon. That little girl […]

Prato and Florence

March 21st, 2009 by alephnaught

Prato and Florence

We got up pretty early, got cleaned up and are ready to take the train to a couple towns outside of Florence. Its another cold day but at least today it looks mostly sunny. We took a train from Santa Maria Novella to Prato. Prato is the home of biscotti, the famous hard, twice-baked cookie […]

Florence

March 22nd, 2009 by alephnaught

Florence

We got up a little later and haven’t rushed around this morning; its Sunday and so most things open later today. Walked by a funny window for lingerie (apparently a big seller in Florence given how many shops sell it here). There were some kids using pastels to draw copies of famous art works on […]

Leave Florence, arrive in Siena

March 23rd, 2009 by alephnaught

Leave Florence, arrive in Siena

We got up early, showered, had breakfast, and went to the train station. We got the 10:40A train to Siena. We arrived and found our hotel, Hotel Duomo. Its inexpensive, the rooms are reasonable size with a reasonable, workable bathroom, but no internet access; it turns out wireless doesn’t work well through thick stone walls, […]

Siena

March 24th, 2009 by alephnaught

Siena

We got up a bit late because we were up a little late last night. We’re both a bit sore and tired (an Italian vacation done Americn-style will do that to you). Breakfast was definitely continental, and very European, featuring cheese and a couple varieties of sliced meat, along with cerial and bread. We wanted […]

Siena

March 25th, 2009 by alephnaught

Siena

This is our last day in Siena, and I haven’t mentioned the Palio yet. To understand the Palio, you need to know some things, most importantly that Siena is a city of neighborhoods, called Contrade. Families stay in their Contrade typically their whole lives, and children often marry other members of their Contrade; each Contrade […]

Leave Siena, arrive in Bologna

March 26th, 2009 by alephnaught

Leave Siena, arrive in Bologna

We got up, ate breakfast, cleaned up, finished packing, and made the train, first to Florence, then changing trains there for Bologna (we got to go first class from Florence to Bologna, which was nice, as there is a basic drink and snack service). By the time we hit Bologna, we were already a bit […]

March 28th, 2009 by alephnaught

Heading home

What seems like a theme to this trip, we both had trouble sleeping. But, we got up, had breakfast and headed to the airport. We got there early but they don’t open checkin until 2 hours before the flight. So, we walked over to ticketing and cajoled the guy to give us seats – aisles […]

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