21.6 Nice-PerugiaUp at 6.30, walk to station, expensive platform breakfast with delicious fresh OJ. The train is on time and we are on our way to Milan. Fabulous! We have facing window seats and plenty of room to spread out for picnicking, as the train meanders along the coast via Monaco to Savona. But ... A plump Italian mama claims the seat next to Chris (not understanding that she could, for now, occupy any of several other vacant seats) and proceeds to chat loudly and non-stop to the couple across the aisle. Chris is growling. Less than an hour later another Italian mama claims the seat next to me, and joins the conversation, even more loudly and vociferously! Announcements ask those on mobile phones to be considerate, but ... They are talking so loud they don't hear the announcements. We give up the idea of a picnic and enjoy the view - the line hugs the coast all the way from Nice to Genoa (which seems to be a vast container terminal), then inland to Milan.
|On the train ...|
|On the train from Nice to Genoa - through a dirty train window|
|On the train 2 ...|
|Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan|
A late night taxi ride to the Hotel Iris - it is beautiful! Large room, large window, great view with full moon! But tomorrow we will move.
|Midnight in Perugia - from Hotel Iris|
|Morning in Perugia - from Piazza Italia|
22.6-23.6 PerugiaThe Hotel Morlacchi is very different - a cosy guest house with small rooms and an indifferent view, but it is in a great part of the old town, close to everything but in a student rather than a tourist area. Where to start? Museum, Church, Piazza?
|Italia classica - Piazza Italia|
|Dubious Mum and dodgy baby|
Not so dodgy … lovely sculpture by Duccio, who also decorated the cathedral
|Cattedrale San Lorenzo|
The cathedral is majestic and atmospheric, and not too OTT, but seems photography not allowed … so I manage just one quick snap …
A trek to San Severo to see the last remaining work by Raphael in Perugia, a fresco at San Severo chapel, which is tiny! Then there’s the ancient Arco Etrusco originally build in the 3rd C BC, then ‘adapted and improved’ by the Romans.
|On the steps - of Palazzo Dei Priori|
|Raphael fresco - detail|
|WW1 display at Civic Museum, Palazzo della Penna|
We have no kitchen so it's back to picnicking and restaurants. I buy ingredients for Caprese salad and make it up in our room. We have design-your-own salad at Café Morlacchi, our local. We try Pizza Mediterranea (a Lonely Planet recommended pizza place) and take the leftovers home for lunch. We eat salad and drink wine at Piazza Italia (Giardini Carducci) where the view is almost unreal. I try and fail to find my friend Ruth's recommended gelataria, but have a fine nocciola and cioccolato gelato at our local artisan gelataria.
|Cheese man - at the little co-op supermarket|
|Delicatessen - at the co-op - should show this to our local IGA|
|Lunch at Caffe Morlacchi - new hat from Provence|
|Giardini Carducci - our picnic bench|
24.6 Perugia (Locanda della Posta)
Today to Montefalco – and I can’t wait to have an apartment again. We drag our luggage to the station (it’s going to be a hot one!), but when we try to by tickets, we are told with a shrug “Sopresso!” – there’s a strike and the trains aren’t running. A hazard of Italian life, and we have been lucky so far, but not this time. I get online, book a hotel (two previous already booked out), the third in four days – Locanda Della Posta. It’s a slightly shabby 4-star in the middle of tourist territory, and the room, while bland, is large and comfortable. And there is a bath! It’s now very hot, and I’m coming down with a cold, so hibernate all afternoon, emerging for aperitivo at Kundera enoteca. It’s a nice cool spot, and we’d like to stay for dinner, but they only have aperitivi, at least for now, so we fill up on them – lovely arancini, grilled veg, tiny cups of pasta and couscous, frittata …