1. There was, apparently, a one day railway strike in Italy yesterday. We found out late in the day and it doesn't impact us. Still, our skepticism about the railway in Italy continues.
2. Did a daytrip tour of the Tuscan countryside yesterday. Very nice. The highlight was likely lunch at a winery, where they stuffed us full of pasta, bread, salomi, bruchetta, buscatti and three different kinds of wine. During the meal we could look across the Tuscan countryside at the fortified city of San Guermaro (sp). It was very, very good.
3. The anonymous guy who posted tips a couple of months back is two for two. Part of the trip included a one hour stop in Pisa. It was about 30 minutes too long at that. First time I lost my temper during the trip when a guy selling 10 euro watches wouldn't move out of the way of a picture I was trying to take. Gah.
4. The other thing he was right about was booking tickets in advance for the Uffizi museum. Always nice to skip that 2.5 hour long line and get your straight dose of massive culture shock. Dear god but that's a lot to absorb in a few hours. Stunning, though.
5. Best coversation overheard so far:
(young black woman, sounded like she was from New York): Yeah, we've only got two things in our bathroom. We've got a toilet and this other thing, I don't know what it is, a sink maybe...
(Older Aussie couple): Nah mate, that's a bidet.
Woman: A what?
6. Italians can also fight like no one's business. Best argument so far happened in Rome. A 30 minute knockdown, drag-out battle between a woman and, I hope, her boyfriend. Three times he tried to drive off on his scooter and she wouldn't let him. Once involved getting in front of it so he couldn't leave, the other involved punching him as he tried to leave and I think she actually grabbed him and stopped him from going. Plus she was point, jabbing and screaming at him quite a bit. All while wearing four inch heels and managing to flick her hair. You can't buy entertainment like that.
I think that's it for now. One more day in Florence. On Thursday, we're off to Venice. By the graces of the good lord and the whims of the Italian railway system.