The Bolognese was great!

Trip Start Jun 12, 2007
Trip End Jul 23, 2007

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Siena was a little bit of a gem in the Tuscan countryside. Having arrived from Rome at about 1 o'clock, we trudged up the seemingly never-ending hill only to discover that the from the tourist office at the top, that the only hostel in town was a brief jaunt from the train station. We took this in our stride though, and carried on, getting the bus back into town. Techinically we were free-loading but then again everyone else was, and we had already done the walk. It really is the finest example of a medieval Tuscan wall town, complete with flag waving ceremony and paved piazza that I have ever been to. It was lovely though, especially having dinner as the sun went down over the hills, and lying on the gradually cooling stones of the Piazza, wondering just what Japanese tourists see in pigeons.
The next day we headed off to Florence, and booked ahead to a campsite with permanent tents where you can rent beds, and pretty much wasted the rest of the day there, except for a quick journey into town to pick up some cheap beer and food. The next day we were back to our usual culture-vulture selves and looking around the Duomo and Uffizi. Maybe we don't totally deserve that title, as we avoided all the paying parts of the church (It did add up to €24 altoghter though) and spent the majority of the Uffizi gallery moaning about its repetitiveness. The artwork falls into four categories there - amazing, astounding works of art that we had seen before, naked statues, pictures of Jesus and, finally, portraits of men in black hats. Oh and we complained about not being able to sit in the restaurant without buying a €3 espresso.
That evening we met up with Vicky and Katie from uni, and spent the rest of the evening chinwagging with them, Justin, our Canadian tent-mate, and three American girls. Much vino was consumed and much fun had. Next day came and we set off down the hill, to proudly show Vicky and Katie our extensive knowledge of Florence (i.e. where the best sandwiches are) and spent the rest of the day pleasantly wandering up hills, down hills, avoiding queues and perusing flea markets. After our immensely NICE day, we had a slap-up meal opf home made salad (was a lot better than I make it sound) and then went up the hill for a picturesque sunset, gelato and intense philosophical discussion. It turned out Justin was a Ba'hai, the first one I met outside India!
After a tearful goodbye from Florence, tears from both our goodbyes and the hideous way Vicky and Katie woke us up, we departed for Bologna. Bologna is a nice enough place, but its more of a living place, than a seeing place - not many attractions but intensely tasteful. Even the girls there we're the best looking we'd seen inItaly, which is saying something. We didn't regret our choice though as we had a Bolognese (well it's actually Ragu here, but who cares) and it beat Pisa (our other choice of day trip) with TWO leaning towers. Also it had the perviest fountain yet known to man.
We arrived in Venice, and after farting around a bit found a hostel, then tackled a hearty and surpising cheap meal at Brek (Thanks Vicky!) and an amazing ice cream.
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