We departed from Seattle Friday night. Nine hours later we landed
at London's Heathrow airport on Saturday morning. This fellow caught some sleep in
the lounge and his friend charitably placed a collection of empty liquor bottles around
his head so he could take that special vacation picture of his buddy.
We get to Rome in
the evening - check in, taxi over to the Campo del Fiori for dinner, walk to the Piazza
Navona and then head to bed.
We have just a few hours before we have to catch our train to Florence.
It's Easter morning; we had thought we'd go to St. Peter's to see the crowds, if
not the Pope. But we now don't think we'll have time to get over and return in time
for our train - especially if we have problems catching a taxi with so many people there.
spend a couple of hours at the Coliseum and Roman Forum.
Every few niches, a Roman soldier (in plastic armor) stands by ready to
pose for pictures for a few Lire.
We took the Pendolino - fast train - to Florence around noon.
I love this train. Very comfortable (1st class seats), great dining car, and
Lunch was timed so we were finishing our dessert as the train began to
slow down coming into Florence.
Outside the train station, we saw a line of 50 people waiting for taxis -
but only 1 taxi arriving every couple of minutes. A quick look at our map and we
decide we're not that far from the hotel - we set out on foot through the streets of
It turned out to be less than 1 mile from the train station. Our
hotel is on the Arno river just one block from the Ponte Vechio bridge. This is a
great location - most everything within easy walking distance.
Our room does not face the river, but Chris has a separate bedroom and
bath and our windows face out on an internal courtyard. This bell tower can be seen
from our window - it rings each hour (after 7am); you can see the four bells swinging in