|So, I ended my time in Siena by wandering around until I finally got lost. I was going to attempt a daring crossing way down and then way back up to what looked like the cathedral near my hotel. Thank goodness I didn't because that wasn't the right one! I turned around and followed signs and it turned out I was only a few blocks from the main piazza. It seems that all roads lead there. Had to waste time until 7:30 when the restaurants open so I ended up unwittingly attending mass in an ancient cathedral for about 10 minutes. I felt so guilty walking out! But I got over it.
I ordered spaghetti with seafood - mussels, clams, shrimp and prawns. The bowl was overflowing with shells and beady eyes staring at me. The prawns had claws and eyes. I finally had to bury the prawns below mounds of shells. I was somehow able to take the heads off of the shrimp but it was also scary. The rest was wonderful!
The next morning I said goodbye to the best view I've ever had in a room and grabbed the bus back to Florence. Easy enough to buy a ticket at the machine (why does everyone stand in line for hours?). Pulled in to Bologna at 11:45. Found the hotel but had been bumped to YEAH a better hotel but back at the train station. They insisted on paying for a taxi so that was nice. Check out this room! I even had a robe this time that I danced in after dinner.
So...Bologna. It is quite unique. Not touristy at all. The main walk ways, and I'm talking miles and miles of them are terrazzo or marble with beautiful porticoes covering the walks. I walked in one direction for 1 hour just to try to find the end of the portico but I wore out before the portico did. It was great because there was a little bit of rain but I never got wet other than a few drops crossing the street. Back to lunch. I found a restaurant open that was definitely touristy but it was late so can't be choosy. I had tortellini with bolognese sauce. Wow! This was great and just the perfect size. Since I'm not much of a shopper and couldn't take another museum I just walked for the rest of the afternoon. Grabbed a bottle of wine for the room and watched CNN and BBC for a few hours (internet was 10 euros so I turned them down). Now, for dinner. I had a list of places and found 2 of them on the crazy map (Lori - can't read that tiny writing with my contacts but for the most part the contacts are the best prescription I could imagine). So, off I went in the drizzle. And, once again, couldn't find the restaurant but saw another one. They sat me downstairs next to the entrance to the dining room so I was a bit on display but was in such a great mood, I didn't care. Finally...bologne in Bologna. I ordered an antipasti of mortedella. And yes, it tastes just like Oscar Mayer except lighter tasting and a little more fat. I'm sure most of you have had it before. Then I decided on beef with mashed potatoes. I asked for medium rare, but in Europe this means rare! Thankfully the beef was such a perfect cut that it was easy to cut, perfectly seasoned and so flavorful. This was accompanied by mashed potatoes. I decided I was still hungry so I ordered a capuccino and what I think was a creamy ice cream rolled in unsweetened cocoa powder. And yes, I moaned with each bite. I was so happy, I skipped back to the hotel!
I treated myself and slept in until 7:15!! For once, no bells ringing and the drapes kept things dark. I couldn't believe I slept so late (yes, that's for you Lori who would just be getting in the door at that time!!! Just joking) But I did hang out in my robe, read a bit and watched TV before getting ready.
So, now it's my last day. I've been to Milan numerous times mainly because it's the easiest airport to get in and out. My hotel is another hoity-toity Best Western which I was upgraded to by Hotels.com (I highly recommend that service). It's in an area I've never been so at least it's new. I picked what I thought would be the way to the center of town and for once, was correct. It took me about 45 minutes walking to reach the Duomo, which is quite beautiful. When it really started raining I sat down at a covered cafe and ordered my final pizza. I feel like a traitor saying this but the pizza in southern France kicks Italy's butt.
This is my last journal entry. It will be a quiet night. I bought some meat, cheese, and a bottle of wine at the market since I need to get up very early tomorrow morning to get to the airport. I was really happy to have the internet because I forgot to write down the time of my flight! It's earlier than I thought, which sucks but that's life. I hope you enjoyed my first attempt at a trip journal. It is much easier to type than to write although I did keep up my written journal at the same time but that's just for me.
Arrividerci and yes, I'm horribly sad to be leaving. Hopefully, my new renovated bathroom will be mostly complete so that is something to look forward to. And I miss my kitty! I hope he doesn't scratch my eyes out after what I've put him through.
See you stateside!