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Parma, to Milan, to Parma, to Florence...

Milan Travel Blog

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Fare thee well, Villa Ducale...

Perhaps later I'll feel like coming back here and writing more on this day; but for now, I'll just say that we got up at 5:00 am, dressed and packed, and took our bags down to the lobby to check out.  The hotel, as wonderful as always, agreed to watch our bags while we ran to Milan for my passport, so we wouldn't be slowed down by them.

We caught the 6:58 train, scheduled to arrive in Milan at 8:34am.  The goal was then to find the Consulate and be in line at 9:00am as it opened.

The train was packed and a bit smelly, as we were assigned sleeper cars with no opened windows.

Seriously??????
  Instead, we opted to sit in the little aisle way on tiny fold out seats. 

The scenery went by, one evil climbing santa after another.

We arrived in Milan, and after a brief confusion, made our way from the trains to the metro and found our stop.   We made it to the consulate, and about $110 dollars and 2.5 hours later, we left.

We caught the first train back to Parma that we could, and rushed from the train station back to the hotel, got our bags, let them photocopy my new passport, and got another taxi back to the train station; just in time to miss the train our original tickets were for by 10 minutes.   

We purchased new tickets, and played a waiting game until we could leave for Florence, or last full stop of the trip.

Seriously.
  The ride was lovely, and nearly perfect until we got off at the wrong train stop in Florence, forcing us to pay for a taxi into town; although our one and only female taxi driver of the trip was awesome.

Finally we made it to our hostel, called "Leonardo House" which was just steps from the Duomo.  It was an interesting place; you went in thru this ancient door to a very musty, dark, smelly hall with very old steps going up to a steep second floor; there was another door at the top of the steps, and once you went thru this one, you were in the hostel. 

It was my first and only hostel experience to date; and it was fine I guess.  The first night we got stuck in a room with one big bed instead of 2 twins, which is what we had wanted and reserved.  After the first night we were moved to a room with twin beds.  The space was really old and messy, like it was someone's room and they had just moved out for a night so we could stay there; old picture frames of people, an old TV on a little wooden stand, an old walnut dresser in the closet.

Finally, Florence.
.. just odd.

We napped for a couple hours, and then went out to meet some friends for a bit.  We met them on the steps of the Duomo, which was very cool, at 10:00pm.  From there we walked to a small unmarked bar some distance away, and the walk itself was lovely; the streets were nearly empty, and covered with Christmas lights.  It was very pretty.

I loved the first bar; it was small, dark, with Christmas lights hanging everywhere.  We finally left that place to go to a private club called Lochness.  I didn't enjoy this second stop nearly as much, but Michelle and I had a good laugh and then finally headed back home to get some much needed sleep, so we could be ready for our first day of exploring Florence in the morning!

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Fare thee well, Villa Ducale...
Fare thee well, Villa Ducale...
Seriously??????
Seriously??????
Seriously.
Seriously.
Finally, Florence.
Finally, Florence.
Milan
photo by: williamsworld