By the time we left Florence, we had figured out Italian trains. Mostly. Our next obstacle was Italian pay phones.
We were headed up into the Italian Alps to the little town of Aosta. Aosta is known for its mountains and Roman ruins. I had never heard of it. We had reservations at another agritourisma, a vineyard that my mom assured me was walking distance from the train station. With my cough still going strong, 20 feet felt like too far to walk.
So while we had a 45 minute layover, we tried to call our hosts to ask for a ride. And we could't figure it out. There was no slot for coins, the card reader was too small and everything was in Italian. One of them was out of order for coins (which we couldn't figure out how to insert anyways) and the other one seemed to be in working order, except that it wouldn't work!
We gave up and got on the train, arriving in Aosta with no idea if our ride would be there (and no idea how to walk to the vineyard either.) Fortunately there were taxis, and within minutes we were driving up a really long, really steep hill that I definitely couldn't have carried my pack up.
The agritourisma we arrived at was gorgeous. They welcomed us with tea and cookies, showed us the solar powered hot tub and pool and the wood stove heated sauna and told me the wifi password. It was lovely.
Our room was very nice, and felt even nicer in comparison to the hotel we had just left in Florence. Everything was sturdy and solid and new, and we spent the evening relaxing and getting clean.
When you're in a beautiful place, filled with stunning views and fabulous ruins, you sort of feel obligated to go see it all. We were really tired and so the thick cloud cover we woke up to came as a great relief. Since we can't see the mountains anyways, we might as well just stay at the vineyard, get clean and relax for the day!
My mom did our laundry, we went in the sauna and I tried my best to stop being sick. But no amount of cough drops and sauna time would make my cough go away!
Because even relaxed people need food, my mom braved the walk down into town. It took her about three hours, but she finally returned with pasta and veggies which she cooked up in the amazing kitchen available to us.
We got wifi, sauna, kitchen and a delicious local breakfast for less than the price of a hostel. I would highly recommend this place to anyone visiting Italy!
We almost had to walk down into town in order to catch our bus to Switzerland, but one of the owners offered to drive us. Thank goodness, because walking a few feet felt like a hard hike with my stuffed up lungs.
Our restful day in Aosta was much needed, and I even saw a few Roman ruins and mountains from the car!