We came up from Rome this afternoon on the train and the journey was Just under 2 hours. I made reservations online beforehand and paid $80 for 2 seats in premium class. Great value and much less stress than airports & planes.

We’re staying in the centre of Florence close to the station. The hotel is part of an old building; reception is a small office: walk  into an alley, on through 2 large wrought iron gates and into a small dark courtyard. Our hotel occupies, I think, 3 floors with another hotel above us and apartments above that on the top floors. 

There are 2 lifts; the modern one goes up one floor and is only for the hotel. We’re on 2nd floor, serviced by an old lift that goes to all floors. It has metal cage doors that you slide apart by hand when you reach your floor. Unless, like us, you can’t work out how they open so you go up and down a couple of times until you figure it out. 

Mind you, at least we were under cover.  It’s hot here, 37C, so we’re busy looking for tours that don’t involve much walking outdoors. 

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