Recap Ninety-five Days In
On Monday August 8, we headed out early from our hotel near the Amsterdam airport to catch a 6:30am flight to Rome. We weren’t originally sure whether we would find time for Italy during our trip, but after hunting down an airfare for about 90 Euros per person, we decided we couldn’t pass up the chance.
Rome was absolutely beautiful. We didn’t have a huge amount of time, and there were certainly a large number of tourist attractions to see, but we managed to get to the Sistine Chapel, where photos weren’t allowed but my hand slipped and I ended up with one anyway, and passed by the Colosseum a few times on public transportation. (Side note: It’s weird to me that the English word “coliseum” isn’t spelled the same as the Roman Colosseum.) We even had time to meet for a drink with our longtime friend Sean, whom we’ve known since our days in Boston and was in Italy for research over the summer. (Consider purchasing his book, Printing a Mediterranean World, on Amazon.)
Italy was quite a whirlwind, and only three days later on Thursday August 11 we hopped aboard an early train to Milan. The Italian high speed rail network was really nice, and for only 45 Euros per person, we rode hundreds of miles north in only a few hours. We also didn’t have much time in Milan, but again we were able to meet with someone we knew, Dusty Francis, the associate conductor of our beloved New York City Master Chorale, who only a few months ago was directing us in our spring concert in Lincoln Center. We had a lovely lunch together, and had a few drinks together at a cute bar where Charley made an adorable furry new friend. We paced ourselves more casually in Milan, finding time for just a couple tourist attractions, including the Duomo (city cathedral) in the center of town, the third largest church in the world (at least according to Wikipedia).
After our few days each in Rome and Milan, we spent a quick night in Florence ahead of our flight out. Fun story: For our night in Florence, I booked a small independent hotel online, and apparently they don’t staff their front desk after 7:00PM on Sunday evenings. They left me a note on their doorbell to call them, and once I got ahold of them, they told me to pick up the key from the supermarket next door! If I hadn’t had a mobile plan that could dial Italian numbers easily, we might have been stranded on the street that night!
From Florence Peretola airport, we used British Airways Avios points, scoring ourselves a free flight to Stockholm on [airberlin], with a brief connection in Dusseldorf. More on that next time!