Firenze and Bologna

We dropped off a bag of clothes for laundering by Hotel Casci. The price is reasonable and it’s convenient and that way you don’t need to bring as many clothes. We had our usual breakfast and after breakfast we asked Paulo (the hotel concierge and a member of the very nice family that runs this hotel) if his computer had USB – it did not (I was hoping to use it to charge my Treo since my charger had exploded).

I checked email on Hotel Casci’s computer (free Internet in the lobby) – Santiago had emailed on the 25th or 26th to say that he and Jon were renting a car and touring around Tuscany – this was late of course but I emailed back to ask if they could pick us up at the SITA bus station in Greve.

We walked to the SMN train station and took a train to Bologna. At the Bologna train station, all the bus ticket machines were broken. Eventually we decided to instead take a taxi to Piazza Maggiore and it was only 5 euro, split 4 ways. Wow, no real point taking the bus.


We had a great lunch at Tamburini – tortellini, veal, lasagna, and a caprese with the freshest-tasting cherry tomatoes I’ve ever had.

Walking around

Then we did lots of walking around Bologna. We went to a bunch of churches and explored the university area, which we hadn’t really done last time.
Rich looked in all the bakery shops for cannoli and never found it. I looked in all of the cell phone and camera stores for a replacement Boxwave VersaCharger and never found one. Towards the end of the day we wandered into a Vodafone store which did not have the VersaCharger but they offered to take a Treo 650 charger out of the box and sell it to me for 29 euro and also suggested I look for the VersaCharger at a Computer Discount store 20 minutes down the road. We went to this store and it was the first real computer store that I saw, with motherboards, cables, software, etc… But they did not have the VersaCharger so we walked back with tired feet to the Vodafone store and I bought the Treo charger for 29 euro – pleasantly surprised to get all of the interational plug adapters with it, which means that I can use it back in the U.S. Cool!

Then we walked with aching feet back to Piazza Maggiore and with luck got there just in time to catch the #25 bus to the train station. A nice lady showed me where to put my coins to buy a ticket on the bus and a nice old man asked “A stazione?” and pointed out our stop. I guess we look like peole who’d be going to the train station 🙂

We changed to an earlier train (19:46) but then it was about 20 minutes late (late trains are a regular occurrence in Italy).

On the train back to Firenze, I charged my Treo 650 using the charger I bought at the Vodafone store for 29 euro, plugged into an outlet on the train. I got a weird prompt on my treo asking me to enter a passphrase for a Bluetooth connection. Perhaps somebody on the train would like to connect their phone to me and use my Internet bandwidth? Fat chance.


We got back to Hotel Casci at 9:30 pm and freshened up a bit before heading out to dinner at some touristy place in Piazza del Mercato Centrale which wasn’t terribly good (note it wasn’t “Trattoria Za-Za”, which is shown in my pictures, but it was adjacent to it). Going there was an accident actually, because the Hotel recommended a different restaurant in that vicinity but there were a ton of different outdoor restaurants and Florence’s system of red and black addresses confused us and we ended up at the wrong one. Nicole’s dad asked for a Caesar salad and the waiter misheard him and brought a seafood salad.

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