Thursday, April 5, 2012

Rome -> Florence

We started Thursday with a delicious Italian breakfast of cappuccino and fresh pastries (significantly different from a full Irish Breakfast), then the three of us stopped by a few last sights in Rome. Such as the Pantheon, Trevi fountain, Piazza Novena, and the Spanish Steps—with daylight, and then we tried to see the bone church with the capuchin crypt, but when we found it the 11:30-3:00 lunch hour foiled those plans. But hey, you have to leave something to see next time right?

After finding a store for lunch and snack foods, we took the metro to Termini to catch our train to Florence. The board listed platforms for all the other trains departed; all except our train, of course. That’s where the adventure comes in! Our train to Florence departed from not one, two, three, four, or thirteen, but from “ES2”. I asked the nice Tren-Italia-man what that meant and he said that ES1 and ES2 are the platforms all the way down past all the other platforms, and then to the right, and all the way down past trains at the very end. We had time to calmly stamp our ticket and board the train, if our train departed from a normal platform. Instead we got to briskly-but-not-quite-full-panic-ly walk from one corner of Termini to the farthest possible point of Termini, completely with a short more-like-panic-full-run at the end which got us boarding the train at exactly 3:13 for our departure of 3:14. It’s not nearly as romantic as all those movies make it seem to hop onboard right as the train pulls away, but that could just be because there was no rain, dramatic music, or beautiful boy waving goodbye to us as we left him behind.

We very much enjoyed resting on the train and then we arrived in Florence around 7pm. Star’s friend from Grove City met us at the station to show us back to their flat, which is up so many steps it makes one appreciate the “Mt Everest of stairs” up to Star and Monique’s room in Galway. We enjoyed the sunset from the roof with a sea of red terracotta roofs all around us, quite a wonderful spot to sit. For dinner we got heaping servings of amazing Italian anti-pastas and pastas galore. It was family-style loads of food for 15 euros, including really nice house wine too, so it was very much worth it. Plus there was a quick stop for gelato on the way home, of course. Although it is always sad to leave the Eternal City, Florence is great as well. 
One last Old Bridge Gelato before we left town

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