Sept. 17; Across Italy to Pesaro

We had our hearts set on traveling to Triglav National Park in Slovenia, but a check of the weather forecast at an internet cafe put the kibosh on that. Instead we checked train schedules to see what interesting place we could get to in a few hours and chose Pesaro on the Adriatic Coast almost directly east of Pisa. We caught the train to Firenze (Florence) then north to Bologna, then east and south along the Adriatic coast. On disembarking we discovered that the high tourist season was over, the Information center near the station was closed and no one spoke english! Eventually through hand gestures and lots of smiles we got directions through town to the main Information center. When they opened after the noon siesta we discovered a trove of information and the most helpful staff of our entire trip! Not only did they find a hotel for us (many were already closed for the season) but they called and negotiated a good rate for us!

On our walk from the train station across town to the Information center we passed this church turned post office.

We crossed the Piazza del Popolo and caught a glimpse into the 'Palace of Government'.

We finally made it to the Piazzale della Liberta fronting the sandy beach of the Adriatic Sea.

While we waited for the Info center to open we explored the Piazzale della Liberta or Freedom Square. An interesting Art Nouveau private villa, the Villino Ruggeri is on the square, as well as the boardwalk that follows the beach.

The Ruggeri Villa with its Art Nouveau decoration.

The Sfera Grande, focal point of Freedom Square.

A few blocks walk and we found our hotel on a quiet residential street across from a park.

Our 'private' balcony on the top floor of the hotel.

We settled into our room at Hotel Athena, a spacious room, a marble bathroom with a bidet and the biggest shower yet (still small compared to American standards), and a wall of windows looking over buildings towards Mount Ardizio and a peek-a-boo view of the Adriatic. This turned out to be the nicest and most economical place we stayed on our travels. We headed out to find an internet cafe and a restaurant.

'Osteria di Pinocchio' was recommended as a good restaurant so we tried it out. Of course the decor was all Pinocchio!

After an appetizer of clams Robert ordered the sea bass with grilled vegetables.

At the recommendation of our waiter I ordered something in Italian that he could translate only as 'frogfish'. It was definitely a fish, but not fishy tasting at all, very sweet, succulent and delicious!

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