Wednesday, October 19, 2005: Venezia to Firenze
After breakfasting on what was left of the strawberries and formaggio, we decided to take one last walk around our neighborhood, soak in precious last views, and pick up a few souveniers.
Our rental agent, Barbara, met us in the apartment promptly at 11am to get us checked out. We were absolutely thrilled with everything about the apartment and I told her I would write a positive review on it. Best of all, it was an incredible value – about $140 US per night for a very well-located and comfortable apartment.
Bought two first class tickets on the Eurostar and boarded about an hour later after a quick snack. First class on the Eurostar was more affordable than we thought, and we got a private “couchette” to ourselves for the first half of the journey, and an Italian businessman joined us about halfway to Florence.
Although he didn’t speak much English, somehow the conversation turned to politics and let’s just say that he wholeheartedly agreed with our opinions of the Bush adminstration. 🙂
Rain greeted us as we stepped out of Santa Maria Novella train station, and even though we knew our apartment was very close we didn’t want to fight our way through the crowds with our roller bags in the rain not knowing exactly where we were going. The few euros spent for the cab were well worth it, and we arrived at our apartment where we were greeted warmly by Gabriella, the caretaker. She showed us around our beautiful little apartment and gave us what turned out to be an excellent recommendation for the restaurant downstairs.
It was not yet 5pm, but we had hardly eaten all day and so we immediately went downstairs for dinner. Michael had tagliatelli with pesto and I had a spinach and ricotta stuffed ravioli in a light white wine sauce for our primi. For secondi, I had chicken and vegetables which were fried in a very light and tasty batter that reminded me of tempura. Michael had pork loin and the best pan-roasted potatoes I’ve ever tasted. I had a 1/4 litre of the house white, and M had a bierra.
M also had his first glass of limoncello for dessert, which tastes just like an alcoholic lemon drop candy. With a generous tip, the bill came to about 50 Euro. The server spoke English very well and delighted in teasing Michael about his Italian pronunciation. 😉
Again, WAY more than we ever spend for dinner at home, but when in Italy …
After we ate, we walked around a bit but the constant rain was getting us both down. We also had to find a grocery store and internet cafe and fortunately, we have now found both just a few blocks from our apartment. Soon we will wrap up here and get settled into our new little home, resting up for our first day of Florence tomorrow.