Subject: Back from Italy
Hello fellow Ziners !

I am back from 10 fine days in Italy (if we donīt take into account the high fever of my sister and the stomach cramps of my mum :)) ).

Weather has been fine along our holidays. Some rain on the first Sunday, but we had got tickets for the Archeobus ( ) and although we couldnīt walk in the Via Appia, we enjoyed it.

Our plans were to be a couple of days in Rome, then Florence, then Padua in order to visit Venice and return to Rome last Saturday. The Padua stay was cancelled last Thursdasy morning. My sister woke up with very high fever, and my mum had pains in her stomach. I asked in the hotel if we could stay for the next two nights. They didnīt have a room with bathroom for the Friday night, but as everything was so cleaned, we decided to take the room without bathroom. So, we ended up staying from Monday to Saturday in Florence, and despite the illnesses, we have decided that we like the city. We were quite happy at the hotel in Florence. It was a simple one star, with big rooms, good showers and very clean. It was located in the last two floors of a building on Via Cerretani, near the Duomo. It works better if you can get a room in the back, because Via Cerretani can be noisy. The breakfast was good (plenty of coffee, juice, cereals, pastries, bread, butter and jam). Lots of guide books and magazines at the breakfast room, and a possibility of using a PC with Internet connection (I donīt have the prices with me, but it came handy last Thursday). The name is Hotel Perseo, and here itīs the website : We stayed at the beginning at the room 20 (noisy, but fine shower), 32 (quieter, it was much better for my sick companions) and 16 (big and quiet). The staff was great. They booked for us the tickets for the Accademia and the Uffizi. No extra charge, just the price for prebooked tickets. It was great because I kept forgetting to call the phone number for the bookings (and I live in the same time meridian as Italy...).

Well, and after this long description, Iīll go with the up-and-downs of our time there :

DOWNS - The illnesses. I am pretty sure we had travelled with that virus inside ourselves. - The place for the first weekend in Rome. We decided to change to another place for the last weekend. It hadnīt been my first election, and I should have known something wasnīt working when the owner of the B&B didnīt answer my emails. - The young lad working at the Hertz garage who got upset when we were given an Alpha 147 (I am pretty sure that my sister is much better driver than him, and probably faster). - Looking for a petrol station at 10 oīclock in the night in Florence in order to give back the car, with a feverish driver, and thinking that we were going to get completely lost.

UPS - The staff, management and rooms at the hotel Perseo in Florence. - The ice-cream at Vivoli. - The meal last Sunday in Tivoli. - The golden dome at SantīAndrea del Valle (I had forgotten that this is my favourite WOW). - The face of my sister when we arrived to Venice ( we finally did it, she might be sick, but when she wants to do something ... daytrip from Florence, better that I had thought ). - The weather and how green was everything (our memories were from July and August, and the fields are not so green during those months).

I have more ups, but I still have to write down a travelogue, and to go through the pictures and do a bit of censorship. We have taken with us two very small digital cameras (a Pentax EI-100, with 1.3 megapixels, and a Fuji with 1.5. Both good enough for our purposes). I was also bringing my faithful Pentax Espio (9 years old and doing beautiful pictures) and a Pentax Efina (APS) for my mum (mostly because it is fairly small). The digital ones have taken lots and lots of pictures, and the censorship work is going to be hard.

Ah, and we ended up finding our spaghettimetros at Braschi in Florence, and lots of other small things. We loved that shop, lots of tiny gadgets for the house. We also found a basement shop behing the sinagogue in Rome with lots and lots of glass and dishes. Everything too beautiful and tempting.

Thatīs all for the moment. Thanks for reading my long story. Kind regards from Covadonga in Bilbao (Spain)