Monday, September 7, 2009

Tigre contro tigre

What can I say about Rimini?
The streets of Rimini are lined with many medium-sized sycamore trees--some of the loveliest trees I have yet seen in urban northern Italy. Watch out for the storm drains, though, because from them emanates a smell more unpleasant and pungent than any city drain I have ever encountered. There is a vast swath of dark tan sand at the water's edge, covered from the pavement to the surf with umbrellas and beach chairs. The waiters at the Gatto Nero were AC Milan fans and set up a chant of "Mi-Lan, Mi-lan!" when I told them I knew the team. And I did have a nice dinner (pasta with the tiniest clams), a decent bottle of Sangiovese, together with a group of good friends I made on the leadership course in the Dolomites.
Breakfast has been included with the hotel, and always seems to consist of a tray of ham and cheese, an array of sweet pastries, and a baffling coffee machine.
Now I have arrived in the small Tuscan town of Sansepolcro. Some of us nearly missed the train from Rimini to Bologna, and having flung ourselves on board discovered that we had taken some other peoples' assigned seats. We fought our way out of that car and across several other cars to find we were seated with the very people who had ditched us at the station. Another train from Bologna to Firenze (where there were no seats so we had to stand for the hour), and a third from Firenze to Arezzo. Finally, in Arezzo there was a bus ride to here.

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