Friday, April 15, 2016

We run to Ferrara

Sun-Ling writes:

Arriving in Bologna on a Saturday, we were prepared to pay for a overpriced and subpar room. However, we were not prepared when there was zero hot water the second evening. When we reported the problem, the proprietor said he wasn't there and couldn't do anything and hung up on us! First thing Monday morning, we ran from Bologna to Ferrara!

The first place we came to in Ferrara was full and the helpful man at reception told us to try the nearby Hotel San Ramon. There was an Alfred Hitchcock looking man at the front desk at Hotel San Ramon. He had as much English as we Italian. He told us they were full, try the first place.

"They are also full," we said.

"No worry, here is the phone number of another place."

"We have no phone."

"I'll call for you."

The number was busy. The 3rd or 4th time he finally got through.

"These poor people have no phone or Italiano..." "Yes, tonight..." "They are standing right in front of me...." "Yes, for two nights...."

We waited in suspense -- "Yes, there is a room. Someone will meet you in five minutes."

He sent us off with directions and a map.

In the end we ended up with our nicest and largest apartment in Italy, and our landlady with extra cash in her wallet. When we later passed by Hotel San Ramon and popped in to thank Sr. Hitchcock for our very nice room, he immediately waved us to come with him for coffee. We went to their breakfast room and ended up having coffee and pastry with him. We told him about our travels and he told about us about his children and grandchildren, all without a common language. Hotel San Ramon is his daughter's place (Liz, there will be a Tripadvisor rating from us). What a lesson of kindness and hospitality for me!

Ferrara itself was hugely likable for us. It seemed the WHOLE town peddles around on bicycles, young and old, big and small. I was so tempted to get myself some wheels and join the peloton.

John was ready to stay in our apartment until June we have to train directly to Riga for our return flight.

Having recently seen Ferrara in "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis," the city seemed extra familiar.

The typical Ferrara scene in front of our apartment.
Ferrara,  Emilia-Romagna, Italy

3 minutes from our front door we see this.
Ferrara,  Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Turn the corner to see the castle.
Ferrara,  Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Market stalls have abutted the south side of the Cathedral for hundreds of years.
Ferrara,  Emilia-Romagna, Italy

These days the market is 10 minutes to the south and mobile. Vendors pull in with their vans and small trucks, unfold their huge canopies and set up shop.
Ferrara,  Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Ferrara,  Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Ferrara,  Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Back streets.
Ferrara,  Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Ferrara,  Emilia-Romagna, Italy

The castle again from another angle.
Ferrara,  Emilia-Romagna, Italy

The park, where in May, Ferrara has its Palio.
Ferrara,  Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Later that night, by chance we get to watch one group practicing its "flag throwing" routines for the upcoming Palio. The light was bad for taking pics but you get the idea.
Ferrara,  Emilia-Romagna, Italy

The cathedral facade at night.
Ferrara,  Emilia-Romagna, Italy

4 comments:

Kathy said...

What a pain about the hot water! But glad you got to Ferrara.

Crash Eddy said...

i don't know what the palio is.

john said...

Ed, I'm guessing you missed the link I put in the photo caption, so here it is: http://www.ferraraterraeacqua.it/en/ferrara/events/events-and-initiatives/folklore-and-festivals/palio-of-ferrara-2016

Liz said...

So pleased you posted a review on trip advisor. (Btw-I received an email today stating that I am in the top 2percent of reviewers in Raleigh. I find these reviews so helpful.)