We left Venice this morning taking one last ride on the vaporetto back to the train station. As I thought might happen, last night’s caffè doble kept me awake, the super concentrated caffeine made my heart pound long into the night. I won’t be doing that again any time soon.
Venice has no motorized land vehicles so the streets are quiet and there is a calm about it despite the hordes of tourists. We will miss Venice. We boarded a train to Bologna which was packed with tourists on their way to Florence. We were happy to exit the crowded train, even with its complimentary white wine and peanuts, to board the much emptier train to Parma.
Our guide books describe Parma as quite lovely but did not alert us to the complete remodeling of the train station which made exiting the train treacherous. We followed a very elderly man to the exit; he took so long to get down the aisle that by the time he reached the exit and opened the door, the train started to depart for Milano. The door was heavy and closed automatically and started to close on the old man halfway down the steps. I tried to keep the door open but was overpowered by the automatic system. I kept opening it and it kept snapping shut as I kept fighting it shouting that we needed help. An Italian woman on the train started shouting to someone outside who finally came to our aid, stopped the train and got the old man, and us, off at the Parma stop. Just a little excitement in an otherwise nondescript day of travel.
When we finally got to our hotel, we were unhappy that we couldn’t get the A/C to come on plus the room was small and overlooked an ugly flat asphalt roof. We complained and were moved to another room overlooking the main street. Parma seems large but the traffic is not as frenzied as other places we have visited and many people ride bicycles instead of scooters so it’s much quieter. We hadn’t eaten anything yet today so while we awaited our new room, we walked downtown to Salumeria Garibaldi, an Italan deli, where Nìcola, the cute young deli man, served us meatballs, lasagna, gnocchi and vegetable flan with red wine to ease the hunger pangs. He was thrilled when I told him my name was Carlotta because that is his girl friend’s name. He recommended several places for dinner but now that we have already eaten and drunk so much, I’m not sure when we’ll go to dinner.
Today was an uninspiring day for photos but here are a few of the deli.