Friday, 20 September 2013

On the train

This lovely smooth train, the Freccia argento is taking me toFlorence, and it just went through a tunnel, so my ears blocked. Thecountryside is lovely to see.the route goes through fiumicino , the airport site and until then the train goes past innumerable blocks of apartments, about 8 stories high. There seems to be a link to the insulae of ancient Rome, in which the ordinary people lived.
Before long we will pass Orvieto, which sits high on a hill of tufa - a stunning sight, and a beautiful city. It would be pleasant to visit it again, but impossible to fulfill all one's wishes.
I am feeling under par. A cold and I are struggling and neither of us is winning. And last night, I felt faint, sat down and then fainted anf fell, hitting my head. It bled a lot. Head wounds do. And the frames of my glasses were badlybent, so  I had to go Termini to get them straightened as much as possible, but they are uncomfortable and will have  to be replaced when I get home.

Yesterday afternoon I went to a TIM shop to buy a sim card for the iPad, and the man who served me did not explain that to access the  internet, a PIN had to be used. Nor did he give me the card containing the PIN, so that once closed, the internet stayed closed, and the entire iPad was frozen. To rectify this I had to go to another TIM shop, but because (they said) all the shops are separate, they would not rectify it and thus I have had to buy it all over again. Grrr.

Thus I need to pull myself together.

The first part of the day went well, with a visit to Villa Torlonia, where Mussolini and family used to live. Having checked the route i caught two buses, and asked various  people where the bus stops were, etc, it turned out there was a simpler route, but had I taken it I would not have met this nice  grandmother pushing her little grandaugher along. She was actally Polish, and left during the struggles for democracy, married an Italian and stayed here. These casual conversations are most enjoyable.

The area of Villa Torlonia is lovely. Obviously prosperous, with large houses and gardens and lovely tall trees. I heard one guide explain to her group that despite Rome's size and industry, etc, it remains remarkably unpolluted, because there is so much greenery, parks, gardens, etc. In the same large park, close to the Villa Torlonia, is the Casa delle Civette,a smallish house with much decorative stained glass.  And nearby there was an annexe with an exhibition of violins, all painted and decorated.

The last building, la Casa del Principe, had a sculpture exhibition, mainly of animals, glazed and fired in highly decorative colours.  I think his name was Biagini.

I arrived safely in Florence, and two men helped get my suitcase off the train. I took a taxi to the hotel, and the room, although they told me it was their smallest, is larger than the room in Rome. After siting about recovering from the train (!) I  went out. My son happened to suggest Face Time, so we had a lovely long chat, although he agreed with my lack of a sense of direction, and seemed perplexed that I could not work out Florence' s orienation, but  I will try and have it worked out by tomorrow. I then sent out and explored how to get anywhere, and managed to go to wherever and back without problems. I have been here before but not in this neck of the woods.

The city is packed and you  hear a lot of American accents. There also seem to me to be many more Asians, and I noticed this in Rome too, and Italy is like many other countries changing a lot. Italy gets huge numbers of refugees.

After all this excitement  I kwill relax tonight, and think about shat to do tomorrow. A domani.


ChrisB said...

Thank you so much for your interesting travelogue! I am thoroughly enjoying it . I am full of admiration and envy!!
Look forward to reading lots more and to the photos when you get back home. X

Elephant's Child said...

Thank you. And take care - I don't like the sound of that faint.
I do like to hear of your travels though. A lot.

Jayview said...

We always instinctively turn the wrong way in the northern hemisphere because we're guided by the sun which should be in the north but isn't! It seems very hard to shift that felt sense of direction. Hope you can do it! Jean