Hello! Right we are in Florence at the moment in a very nice hostel if i do say so myself. I can't really remember were we felt off on our little journey! Ok so we went to Milan by train from Prague that was interesting. We went to Munich first and stayed there for like 10 hours..but it rained a lot so we didn't see much but we sat outside ( when it was not raining) and listened to street performers..playing beautiful classical music. it was so cold we had to be at the station for our train at 11.40 pm so very late..We ended up in a starbucks trying to keep warm! We then went on our train and we had booked a sleeper ...which cost a silly amount of money 40 euros for the both of us. It bascially was just some sofas that looked like bunks...and you could just about fit one person and a bag! But we got sorted and then it was cosy and you get rocked to sleep by the train. This was going to Verona btw. During the train journey we had our train man who looked after our carriage and he had to come around taking our passports because we were going through two countries...Austria and Italy.. quite cool..as i never travelled so far in my sleep! i was really worried when he took them because that evening before we were talking about how we have watch out about being conned and how some people do it...pretending to be police or train guy! We did get them back so Ed and i are not passportless! We arrived in Verona at 5 in the morning..we were woken by our train guy who was lovely and kept telling Ed that if someone knocked he had to check through the window before letting them in! We felt safe! Anyway so we arrived and it was completely empty. All the streets so it was just me and ed walking around the streets..very starving ! But none of the places where open but we looked around and it was so beautiful and it had no other TOUrists! Not even Americans! We slate them so bad its harsh..we have met some lovely ones! Anyway at 7 in the morning a little italian place opened and we had fresh warm crossiant (literally came out the oven as we arrived! ) best breakfast we have had! Another important issues was the warm weather ! Anyway then we went to the Arena very close to going to see an opera! Ed taking over now... yeah, we were really close to seeing it, we were sitting in the opera (or is it out? - it was open air - watching the stage being built for that nights performance (i think it was aida), and we thought, we have simply got to see it! but to cut a long story short, the budget just wouldnt stretch. soo we went on our way around verona. there are only really two things to do in verona - the opera, and juliets balcony (as in romeo and juliet). the balcony was v. cool, and there was a bronze statue of juliet which was nice (theres a legend that if you touch her breast, you get good luck. needless to say, i didnt feel like i could test this legend out, so lets hope my luck doesnt turn bad!) theres also loads of graffiti and stickers with messages of lurrve written by "star-crossed lovers" from all over the world, which is at the same time sweet, but also really ugly-looking. also the river in verona is beautiful, theres a view of a house in the midst of trees down the river, and you can almost imagine yourself in medieval verona. next stop: milano. which was a bit of a struggle from the start - our hostel turned out to be a trek from the station, made worse by the fact that the bus turned on to our street, and started going the wrong way, so that when we finally got off, we had about 10 minutes of walking in stagnant heat of an italian city with heavy bags. we got there, and our hearts sank. there was a sign on the street for our hostel (the hostel el diablo), but no sign of how we were to get there. finally, we saw a shabby sort of door with lots of buzzers, and against one was written just "diablo". we pushed it, heard a loud and boisterous "ciao!" and mumbled, and got an open door in reply. the door opened into a courtyard, where housewives were beating towels and clothes out of windows, but no sign of a hotel. a man directed us to the opposite corner, and we were finally in. it was actually really quite nice - we had a double room to ourselves, the man at the desk was really charming - but the journey had really got to us and we just saw the shabbiness of the place and saw the mans charm as guile. our time in milan was really productive tho - we washed a lot of clothes, yes handwashed and yes, ed did do his share, and found a hitherto undiscovered knack for rinsing the clothes out. lucy said all the time that ed was amazing, so no change there. anyway, milan was OK, in a cityish sort of way. the centre was nice, with the shopping gallery, the very ornamental church (which lucy wasnt allowed in because of her short(ish) shorts. the park was also really nice, except that as soon as we sat down to sunbathe, three games of football started up around us. ed was hit in the back, lucy just escaped one in the face and another in the leg before we gave up and went home. also the castello is really nice. also by the castello is a bar where they have properly european toilets (i.e. hole in the ground), and while ed was fine with this, lucy seemed to have some difficulty eg. the light turned off when it wanted to, she didnt know how to..."arrange" herself, and couldnt see the pedal for turning on the tap, so she apparently tried to shake the tap, whcih made a trickle of water. nevertheless, i didnt go anywhere near her hands until she washed them at another loo. oh dear. anyway, to add to her list of problems, the mosquitos found lucy very very tasty in the night and she ended up with about 10 bites all over her legs and arms...which ed thought was quite funny, but which apparently is not at all. we had a nice dinner at a recommended pasticcio (after lasting for the whole day on 2 pain au chocolats and a yoghurt (or fruit, in lucys case)), which was divine. we had the biggest pizzas, which were real pizza, and a litre of wine for 8 euros! we also got 10% off cos our hotel guy (who by now we really liked) knows the owners. then the next day (this i s a long catch up blog) which is actually today, we set off for bologna, for a real pasta bolognaise (they prefer ragu) for lunch. before that however, we were really annoyed because on the eurostar italia trains apparently you have to pay a supplement (what the hell is a global pass that guarantees free travel for anyway), which was an extortionate 23 euros each, tho because of lucys blondness, we only had to pay for one of us. we got to bologna, had lunch straight away, which although it kinda used up our budget for the day, was really nice - i got a peroni 66cl for 3 euros, and we had tortelloni ragu (pasta filled with ricotta and spinach, with a bolognaise sauce), then we did the sights - the church, where you werent allowed to take any sort of bag in (and we had our rucksacks), so we had to take it in turns, the leaning towers and a an art collection whcih was kinda nice, but I dont think we found the whole thing - we only found a room full of modern photos. then we rushed to get a train to firenze, which we made sure we didnt have to pay extra for - and here we are. in a gem of a hostel, with free internet, cheap beer, a lovely garden, a great shower (so important to us travellers) and really close to the station (so no repeat of the Milan hell).