February 2nd, 2006

ice cream

Yesterday Varese, now Firenza (Florence)

Well, later today Caleb and I will be off to Florence.

For now Caleb is getting ready to get his haircut at a barbershop around the corner, recommended by Dagmar. We just had a nice breakfast -- as usual.

Yesterday we all took the train into Varese. Not the most exciting place ever, but not the most boring either. The architecture was cool, tons and tons of colonnades and wonderful cobblestone streets that seemed to be laid into complex geometric patterns, like concentric circles and stuff. There were also lots of inlaid floors, like solid marble, in stores, sidewalks, etc. We couldn't find a pizzaria -- um, yeah, bizarre -- so we finally ate lunch at this sort of McDonalds of Pizza type place. It was OK. Afterward we went around shopping various places, walked to an old estate/palace garden, had a wonderful coffee/brioche snack, went to a pet shop with cute puppies, rabbits and guinea pigs. Dagmar took us in to a travel agent, who set us up with RT train tickets for Florence. Yay! The train trip back home was made extremely annoying by the presence of a half dozen very obnoxious Gypsy women, who were not only loud but were evading the fare so getting into fights with the ticket collector. As Dagmar said, I'm not racist, but boy do thieving, scheming obnoxious Gypsys piss me off. For dinner Dagmar made a delicious pasta dish. We sat around all night, reading, doing Internet, packing, etc.

We're leaving sometime this afternoon. First we take the train to Milan, then take the subway to the Stazione Centrale (the scary, fascist-Deco train station) for a reserved spot on a train to Florence. We'll arrive when it's already getting dark I guess. We have a hotel already set up. Tomorrow we have the whole day there and Saturday our train doesn't leave 'til like 4 or something, so we have a lot of hours then too. I'm sure there will be LOTS of things to see there!