Florence Italian Charm
Ok we got to Rome train station early bought our tickets easily at the ticket machine and confidently got on the train. We sat near a group of Japanese students and a middle aged Italian couple. About 5 minutes later a conductor came by to tell us that we were on platform 2 not platform 2 est. Hurry hurry he said, so we ran for the other train none of us made it. Information said we could exchange it, but the line was 4 deep and a hundred people long...the Italian man told Dale to come with him and he would use his "Italian Charm" to talk the information booth lady into cutting through the line and getting our tickets changed for us. Well,Italian Charm. Must work, because in another 10 minutes we had our tickets in hand. We did get a lot of dirty looks from. The people in line who did not have a handsome Italian to charm his way to fast tickets.
We now had 3 hrs to wait for the next train and made it on board without incident. I think I will write Rick Steve's and tell him hat h has been too long in Europe and doesn't know how to give directions to a newcomer. He gets you to a place, but doesn't tell you where the entrance is...which could be 1/2 a mile away.
Maybe I will write a book for newcomers .
We also had no phone (thanks Rick)..and wifi is scarce so we had no way to contact the lady where we rented the apartment. Couldn't figure out how to get the phones to work in the train station. We met some other people with the same problem. We went into a phone store. The said no wifi and we could buy a is card, but since had not brought our phones per Rick Steves advice...that would not help.
I happened to remember there was a McDonalds outside the station and voila free wifi! So I emailed the lady with the Apartment and told her we would arrive about 5:30 pm.
We relaxed then, found our train, had a nice trip, although it just felt like traveling through the Willamette Valley with different architecture.
We grabbed a taxi to our apartment. We were only 1 block to the ponte vecchio bridge ! We arrive 12 hr early so we sat on the step to wait. She didn't arrive. We decided she had not received our email,but what to do now? No less than 30 people passed us going in and out of hoe apts and not one of them stopped, smiled or even looked at us. In. Desperation I decided to go out and find help. I stood on the street cornr until I heard someone speaking English nod stopped them and asked for help. The man was from California and he said to go into any store and ask a clerk ther to make the call for me. I followed his instructions and we were able to get hold of our landlady and she showed up a hour later .
The apartment was exceptional and through hand gestures and a translation app we paid for the place and got the key.
She left us a bottle of wine, so we popped the cork and relaxed. Plenty of time before a beautiful dinner on the piazza.
Someone should bottle that Italian Charm ... It's priceless.