Although I could have happily spent my entire month of Italian immersion inside the boundaries of Bologna, I agreed to a day excursion to Firenze with a French friend. After 45 minutes on the high-speed train, in and out of a myriad of tunnels through the Alpi Apuane Mountains, we emerged. Firenze, unlike Bologna, is horribly touristy. Don’t get me wrong, Florence is stunning and full of amazing museums, and parks, not to mention a pretty spectacular and imposing cathedral in the center of town, but the streets are overcrowded, English is rampant, and after a half day, I was ready to return to a more authentic Bologna. Here are a couple of shots from the day, in black in white, to match my mood.
I love the trains in Europe. Traveling from France to Italy meant over 12 hours reading, gazing out the window and contemplating life during four different train segments: Paris to Avignon, Avignon to Geneva, Geneva to Milan, Milan to Bologna. Unfortunately, a ticket mishap in France meant that I had to repurchase my ticket in Switzerland from Geneva to Milan for a ridiculously exorbitant price in Swiss Francs. Maybe it was the Swiss Francs that annoyed me, or the persistent jet-lag, but I arrived in Milan a bit grouchy. I still love trains though. That will never change.