DAY 1

Jan 25 2019

London

United KingdomGB

Bologna

ItalyIT

Ravenna

ItalyIT

For Christmas I received a trip to Ravenna to see the Byzantine mosaics. The trip stemmed from a TV programme we saw in November on Byzantine art and the highlight of the programme was the churches in Ravenna which contained rare and priceless mosaics. Presto, we're now on our way.

Unfortunately it has started with a wimper. Zeynep has barely made it to the airport because her train suddenly changed destinations. Our BA flight turns out to be an hour late; which has huge repercussions. By the time we land, we are far from relaxed. We have to run to the car rental booth with only a minutes to spare. I get a manual Peugeot 2008. My initial reaction is that I can't believe they rent cars that old!

Eventually we get underway on the dark, lightless highways of Italy whilst being passed by cars attempting to break the sound barrier. A slightly nerve-wracking experience. Happily we arrive at our rather luxurious hotel without incident. Even better, its in the centre of town and there is parking spot in front of the entrance; I couldn't ask for more! It's nearly 2 am and we are exhausted, but starving too. Dinner is wafers and water, the diet of emperors.

DAY 2

Jan 26 2019

I insist that we are up 'early' and, as exhausted as we are, we get up at 8:30. Breakfast is delicious, and I love that cake is part of the 'traditional' breakfast. I'm strong and resist, but I cave in to an espresso (or two). As it is the off-season the sites open at 10, and we are ready to go.

It's cold, but the weather is amazing and the sun is out. I should have brought sunglasses.

Sightseeing is hard work, and after seeing Dante's tomb and a few churches (and bag shopping for Zeynep) we need a rest. Coffee and biscuits hits the spot.

Before dinner we go for aperitifs in a local bar. A few drinks later we are ready for dinner. We head to a trattoria and get squeezed in. Who knew that a town so quiet during the day would have restaurants so busy at night.

DAY 3

Jan 27 2019

Ravenna

ItalyIT

San Marino

San MarinoSM

Bologna

ItalyIT

London

United KingdomGB

Time to get going; we are heading to San Marino today. I think we may have drunk too much last night as we both slept very poorly. Little sleep two nights in a row, not the best for the day ahead.

We drive cross country the countryside is flat and relatively sparse. No major towns or big cities, just small agricultural communities and small plots of farmed land.

San Marino is a lovely place and is a magical atmosphere.

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