Thursday, Oct 6
Friday, Oct 7
Saturday, Oct 8
Sunday, Oct 9

Monday, Oct 10
Tuesday, Oct 11

Wednesday, Oct 12
Thursday, Oct 13
Friday, Oct 14
Saturday, Oct 15
Sunday, Oct 16

Monday, Oct 17
Tuesday, Oct 18
Wednesday, Oct 19
Thursday, Oct. 20

Wednesday, Oct 12 - The train to Verona

Had breakfast at the hotel, then packed. At about 10:00 am, we suddenly heard lots of noise and singing outside the hotel. A huge parade of youth was demonstrating down Corso Italiano, the main street of Sorrento. They were complaining about the new school government, saying school was too strict! They carried signs and were very orderly, chanting and singing. We think maybe the youth we’d seen a few days earlier were part of the planning crew for this demonstration. Italians love to sing. They sing openly when they’re walking along, working, traveling, shopping.

Once packed, we had a long walk with all our baggage over cobbled streets and up the hill to the train station! Getting on the train in Sorrento, we had to put our tickets through a validation machine, which then opened the gate for us to enter the platform area. However, the gate would only remain open long enough for a person to pass through quickly, and it closed on Pat’s arm and his luggage. So we had to pry it out of the gate and then hoist it all over the top, above our heads. Then we did the same with mine before I ran my ticket through. It’s a good thing we didn’t pack any heavier!

At one stop on the way back to Naples, a couple got on with huge luggage and plopped it in several seats. This enraged another passenger, who proceeded to express his opinion very loudly in eloquent Italian for several stops. This provided entertainment for a group of young people, who crowded at the doors at either end of our car to watch.

We sat across from a couple we’d met at the laundromat. They were from New Jersey. We traded stories and observations about the apparent chaos that is Italy. The Italians revel in it. They hate rules, which is most evident in traffic. We told them about the Terredora wines.

In Naples, we boarded a bullet train for Bologna. The route took us through Tuscany and Firenze (Florence), where we had visited last year. Ate lunch on the train (bread, cheese, apples and bottled water). The train went so fast that, when we went through tunnels, my ears popped. Tuscany was hilly and beautiful, with farms and vineyards everywhere. Mountains to the east and west.

Made an awfully quick and stressful train change in Bologna, then went on to Verona. We took a cab to the Hotel Leon d’Oro (“Golden Lion”). Ate dinner very late at our hotel restaurant in Verona, and they gave me a menu without prices. I guess only the gentleman gets to see how much the meals are! Forget the fact that I bring in a good portion of our income! We drank a fantastic Barbera wine from the region near Turin (northwestern Italy). Talked to a couple from Minnesota at the next table.

Next day