June always means kicking off the summer and with the heat wave that came along with it, we knew it was time to be kicking off our heels and soaking our feet (and paws) in the fountains. This month, I spent a week immersed in what Italy does best: the indescribable scenery, the gastronomic specialties, the special events, the overwhelming hospitality, and of course, the people (and dogs, like Giotto at the cafè inside Florence's Palazzo Strozzi). Extra bonus was watching Italy arrive in the finals of European cup.
I'll be posting our day-by-day visiting Italy on my Burnt facebook page.
In June, after navigating the treacherous waters of Roman bureaucracy, because bringing jobs, great food, and new life to a degraded part of the city, wasn't in their mandate, the City of Rome finally realized they were getting an awful lot of bad press and allowed Eataly to open in Rome. Eataly will also be the caterer on Italo trains, so, for a lot of us, not to mention owner Oscar Farinetti, life is buono.
Located right near Rome's Ostiense Train Station, so, you could always skip the non-stop train to Rome's Termini Station, and hop a ride on this one and enjoy a welcome drink in their food hall. Click here for an article on the deliziosi treats on offer.
In Genova, I discovered a pretty nice deal of Bus Tour - Lunch - and a temporary exhibition at the Palazzo Ducale. It might night be Eataly, but in Genova it's hard to go wrong on the food front.
In Florence, Palazzo Strozzi was hosting an outstanding exhibition of Sargent and the Americans in Florence, but the works of some of the Italian artists who painted in that same genre, most remarkably Segantini were a real treasure to behold. While in Milano, air-conditioned trams and subways ruled the roads, providing all of us with great relief and a breath of freshly recycled air.
On the way back to Rome, I discovered they finally took down the joke of a speed limit from the Highway Toll Booth and into the ring road (GRA) circling the city. Without any exits, and now an enlarged three lanes, the limit was 110. It's now up to the standard limit on highways which you usually need to divine by communing with the spirits of 130.
I lost a bet over the speed limit on the GRA. With often only two lanes, traffic merging, right, left & center, exits, shopping malls and truckers, the speed limit is, like a highway 130. I bet a great sushi dinner it was 110. Since it's not posted anywhere, and there was not one official website mentioning the slight detail, how could I have been so foolish as to apply any logic to the speed limit system in Italy? All other ring roads in the country are 110. It's no wonder that the GRA is listed as one of the most dangerous roads in Europe.