The last days in Italy
7.21.14 - 7.24.14 85 °F
July 24, 2014
On a train somewhere between Milan, Italy and Brig, Switzerland
Eight days, five cities, 100 miles walked (or at least it feels like it). It was definitely a country worth visiting, from the canals in Venice to the top of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.
Since my last update I spent one night in Venice in a pretty nice hostel only a few minutes walk from St. Marks Square, but a half hour walk from the train station. This is important because with my complete lack of a sense of direction or even a map, I was sure that would mean trouble. I had a list of directions but streets/alleys/canals aren't always clearly marked (or aren't marked at all). Somehow though, I made it to my hostel with almost no trouble at all. I spent the rest of the day wandering the city, visiting St. Marks Square and Rialto Bridge. I also walked along the ocean (I think?) and enjoyed some much cooler and refreshing weather. That night, I had some pizza with a Japanese guy from the hostel named Shu. He had just finished law school near Tokyo and was taking some time off before starting his new job in the fall. Also that night, I watched (and photographed) a lightning storm pass the city from the boardwalk. It was pretty awesome.
The next day, overconfident from the previous day's natigational success, I tried to walk back to the train station a different way. I didn't do quite as well and my 30 minute walk turned into about an hour walk. Thankfully, I made it and was on my way to meet John, Karen and Sean in Bologna.
I arrived in Bologna in the mid afternoon and decided that day would be a rest day. That night I met John, Karen and Sean for dinner. We went to a secluded restaurant in a courtyard off the main street that I would not have tried if I was not with them.
The next day I joined John and Sean when they went to Visit two pizza factories for John's business outside of Bologna. We went on a tour of both and it was really interesting to see how the pizzas were made (it felt like one of those episodes of How It's Made). The image that stands out in my head was the wood fire oven in one of the places. When they opened the oven door, the flames were so large they were actually coming out of the oven. They said it was 450 C (haven't converted that to F yet, but that's really hot either way). At both places, we tasted pizza that they had been working in for John. All of the varieties were new to me, and even though they were all really good, I'm still sticking with pepperoni as my favorite. We went to another small restaurant down an alley that night and the food was just as good.
Up next: I'm on my way to Interlaken, Switzerland for the next three nights. I figure it might be good to take a break from the big cities. There are a few things I plan on seeing, including the highest train station in Europe (the view is supposed to be amazing) and an underground waterfall.