Friday, September 4, 2009

Five Star Follies

It's been a long time since I've posted about my trip to Italy. As I recall, I left off just as we were getting to Florence.

We arrived at the edge of the old city amid a cloud of scooters. In our search for the hotel, we went in circles, down streets lined with more scooters, like this:

Why did we go in circles? Because the solid stone of the old buildings lining the narrow streets confused TomTom the faithful GPS that had gotten us all over Tuscany and Umbria. TomTom was released from his position shortly after the sidewalk driving incident, in which I was afraid I would need the number of the American Embassy. But I digress.

We finally found our hotel, the Hotel de la Ville. It's the only 5 star I believe I've stayed in, stateside or outside the states.

We checked in quickly because the time it took to locate Eurocar to turn in the car went a bit long. Did I mention driving across the sidewalk? Yes.

Well, we got back to the hotel and met our delightful guide (Pam found her recommended in a Rick Steve's book, and she was worth every euro and then some). That's a different story because of the incident in the cathedral - the one with the relic. Sacred relic.

We decided to refresh and then go have cocktails in the lounge. We went to the room - it was a 2 story like the one below - and by then it was getting dark outside. We tried to turn on the lights. We tried in every way imaginable. We tried the bedside lamps. We tried the bathroom light. We tried the upstairs lamps. We opened the door to the hall.

We admitted defeat and called the front desk.

But of course, you silly Americans - put the room key in the slot by the door.

Why didn't we think of that?

Finally we were ensconced in these very chairs with a glass of wine and some simple snacks.

It had been a good day.

The next day we started in the dining room having breakfast. With yummy Italian coffee. I don't know why, but I learned to love breakfast in Italy. Chocolate granola, maybe? The coffee? Oh, it must have been sunnier yolks in the boiled eggs. Or the shaved ham and salami. Anyway, for the first time ever, I heeded the "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" admonition.


  1. It sounds like a beautiful experience in spite of driving on the sidewalk.

  2. LOVE the description of your arrival and the stunning and elegant hotel...that breakfast...OMG, what would I give to sit with you over breakfast in Italy.

  3. It sounds fabulous. Was the motorcycle traffic noisier than cars or have they quieted them down? The hotel looks wonderful and the food sounds the same.

  4. ooh la la.

    Sounds like a great adventure. When do we get to hear about the sacred relics?

  5. Aaaahhhhhh......

    Yitong wants to go Italy very bad. I hope she gets there someday.




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