DATE: Monday 17 July, 1995

PLACE: Florence

WEATHER: Hot - I'm getting tired of this!

T y

REMARKS: Today is 'departure day', so it's all go to get dressed, fed, etc. I had a restless night and am first up, before 0700. I have to get to the Amex office to collect the new card(s) & cash travelers cheques so we can pay the bill.

So the first order of business is to leave Desiree to pack, and set off on foot. I find the Duomo without problem, but the maze of alleyways, lanes, and piazzas soon defeat me. It takes about 20 minutes before the office is found.

Evidently a busy weekend for pick-pockets.

There is quite a queue. And then: my card would have been OK -only Desiree's needed stopping; however, the stop has actually been put on the other way around; and my replacement details are there, but Desiree's not!

After sorting that out, and getting instructions from Rome to replace Desiree's card, and getting cash, it is well after 1000 before I get away. Again I have difficulty retracing my steps, and get lost. It is 1100 by the time I get hack to the Hotel Patrizia. We visit a men's clothing shop just around the corner, only to be taken to a storeroom just across from the hotel where a linen suit and cotton shirt are bought in no time at all. 282 000 lire for the suit (probably last season's but light weight linen).

Next job: Santa Crocce to buy leather. We find the chosen shop, then it's handbags, wallets, etc. left, right and centre. Once selections are made we need the shop-owner to complete tax-free shopping forms, but he's at the bank. We hang about for about 40 minutes (during which our selections are returned to the shelves! but we get them back!) until he gets back. Formalities completed we're on our way - at last!!

The autostrada is different this time - narrower, through hilly terrain, with lots of tunnels and bridges. Rain adds to the difficulties.

Driving actually feels very safe and predictable, just fast. It's an odd feeling to zip past BMWs and Alpha Romeo's at 150+ kph.

We are heading for Jesolo (after a deal of confusion over how to spell & pronounce the name) which is a beach resort north of Venice.

We eventually find one room in a nice hotel, unload (partially) and head for the beach (at about 1800).

The kids are delighted. The beach is horrible, but the kids happy.

Dinner alfresco, then a promenade through a town devoted to relieving wealthy holidaymakers, especially Germans, of their currency. Everyone, it seems, spends the evenings dining, strolling and shopping.






Santa Crocce



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Santa Crocce



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