Stefan Bachmann

Trains / Planes / Florentine Machines



Italy post! I hadn’t been to the more southern parts of Italy in a lonnnnng time.

I went as a kid, saw Pompeii, basically fell off the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast in a bus, visited every museum ever, wandered around the Vatican while my mom argued with a cardinal (true story; and probably a funny one, had ten-year-old me bothered paying attention . . . Since ten-year-old-me was dumb and didn’t, here’s the gist: we were visiting the Vatican, Mom was chatting with a cardinal who she had met due to a mutual acquaintance, and since we’re not catholic I’m assuming she disagreed with him about everything and let him know.)

This time Rome was very different and less enchanting, which I’m chalking up to me being dull and old and less enchant-able. I adored Rome the first time I went, and my memories of it are still some of my favourites, but this time I just kept noticing how crowded it was, how everything caters to tourists, and how some tourists treat the city like it was built to amuse them, giving the Pantheon star ratings and such. Hello, the Pantheon doesn’t care whether you think it’s a one-star visit or a four-star visit, Sally from Topeka.

Someone else called the Quirinal Palace “a less impressive version of the White House.”




It’s literally twenty times the size of the White House and centuries older. You flatter yourself, sir. . .

Anyway, Rome was not my favourite, and it’s probably not a good idea to return to places you have fond memories of, because it just won’t stack up. That said, I loved Florence – had never been before – and Venice I liked even more than last time. Italy is so hot in the summer, but Venice was cool and had a nice sea-breeze and was just being its usual dreamy self. We ate crab gnocchi, and gelato, and I wrote on the pier and it was great.

Here are a billion pictures!




Walking from the train station to our hotel.



P is for Purple Pantaloons.



And pasta.



And Poloppeums.



Are you, thoooooough?



Countrymen! I do not understand how the Swiss Guard survive in those costumes and don’t just squelch out of their stockings in heaps of melted flesh.



I love this shutter. I would want to own this shutter except it belongs to the pope.



Gelato from Giolitti, which is where we went so many times last time I was in Rome and which I was determined to find again. It’s very popular now with lines and a mark on Google maps and everything.



Flavour of the week.


Florence (aka, where we ate all the food)



Look how pretty! I loved Florence. I want to go back in the winter, when I will no doubt love it more.



Lobster linguini. It was kind of not very good, alas, but most of the food we had in Italy was scrumptious.



Healthy options.



Florentine Machine. We didn’t ride it. Unconscionable, I know.



Petal sorbet!



Little squids. I ATE one of these, and if you know me, you know that’s momentous, because I don’t normally eat things that look like Finding Nemo characters.


We found a little bakery around the corner from our hotel and it was the besssssst. And ridiculously cheap. And this little lemon tart was my favourite. It was not sour at all, just a really mellow, delicious custard. Would eat all day if this bakery were around the corner in Switzerland.



















Three Carabinieri. But also, is the person in the pink shirt dying?


These next pictures are all from the Uffizi, which if you go to Florence is so worth seeing. The lines are endless but goooooo. Once you’re in, you’ll be happy.



This part of Botticelli’s Primavera used to TERRIFY ME. Look at that creepy, dead-skinned person jumping out like a freak.



“Hey. Hey, look. I got a jar. Paint me ten-foot-tall portrait of me pointing at it with an air of mild ennui.”



In one draft of A Drop of Night, the butterfly man looked like this.



Sunsets and suspenders.




Cannaregio, which is the prettiest part if Venice and the best place to stay. I find. 🙂




Secret gardens.



Pier forests.



Accordionist. And a knee. See the knee peeking cautiously around the corner?



The happened right in front of the Bridge of Sighs, OH THE IRONY. In Venice, they cart things through the narrow streets on special wheeled contraptions that can go up stairs and across bridges, and sometimes the contraptions topple over, which is what happened here.



Blood-red, beetle-black.



Venice is the easiest place to take pretty pictures.




The pierrrrrrrr. Our hotel was right on the edge of the city facing Murano and the north, and its pier was pretty and quiet and perfect. I would just want to live on that pier. This picture does not do justice.




And that’s that! I just got back from a very short trip to London, but I’ve done so many London posts, I’m not sure I’ll do one this time. I’ll see if I got any good pictures. Hope everyone’s well! Bye! 🙂

5 Comments to “Trains / Planes / Florentine Machines”

  1. Basilisk says:

    You auter come with us to the Baltics next. That’d make for a great blog post – or three.

  2. Enjoyed the pictures. I would have had to see Percy Shelley’s grave in Rome, but Florence is the city I have always wanted to see. Happy to see that you got to visit! Looks like a lovely time. I hope you are writing something good! LOL

    • stefan says:

      Thanks, Melinda! 🙂 We did see Shelley’s house by the Spanish Steps, but not his grave, alas. Also, Florence is a amazinnnnng. Would highly recommend. I hope I’m writing something good, too, haha! We shall see.

  3. Carley Anne says:

    Thank you for the new word- “Ennui” Here’s a good one in exchange:

    “tatterdemalion”- ragged or disreputable in appearance, or
    being in a decayed state or condition : dilapidated

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