The Hotel

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The cooking school company sent a driver to Relais Torre Guelfa to pick up Cindy and Bill and drop them off at their hotel in Florence.  As they were driving into the city Bill kept noticing signs pointing to something called "ospiti" which he assumed meant "hospital" in Italian.  But why the soccer ball?  The driver explained that the word actually meant "hospitality," and was used to direct soccer fans visiting Florence from out of town to a hospitality center.  Why, you may ask, do visiting fans need a hospitality center?  Because Italian soccer fans can get a bit violent.  A hospitality center is a place where visiting fans go to keep from getting their noses punched by the locals.


Bill and Cindy's driver dropped them off almost in front of the Hotel Cosimo de Medici.  He couldn't quite get to where he wanted to go because of the heavy traffic.  In fact he'd been driving for 30 minutes around downtown trying to find a road to the hotel that hadn't been blocked by the polizia.  The awful part is that when we finally made it there and the driver let us out, as we were grabbing our bags from the trunk one of the local carabinieri began yelling and gesticulating at our driver.  I think he gave the driver a ticket.  Hope he didn't arrest him.  We'll never know exactly what happened because Cindy and Bill grabbed their bags and made a hasty retreat down the sidewalk looking for the hotel  About then, guess what?  They ran into Patty right there on the street.  After that, finding the hotel was a cinch.


Here's one of the rooms in the hotel.


And here's a picture of breakfast.  Ah, breakfast.  The Italians may not eat much breakfast, but they sure know how to put on a free spread for the tourists.


Ham and cheese and cereal and yogurt for breakfast.   Yum.


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