I started the day by inserting a carbon fiber splinter into the end of my finger, and then failing to remove it before leaving the hostel.

At the train station I confusedly bought tickets, and then failed to decipher the correct platform. With two different trains leaving at the same time, I decided that a 50% chance was better than the 100% chance of missing my train if I dithered further. I selected one, and upon arrival confirmed it the correct one.

Changing trains in Prado (with only 12 minutes to do so) went surprisingly smoothly. I’d failed to validate my ticket before boarding, but I used the “clueless tourist” technique on the conductor, and he let it slide.

About halfway I noticed the river flowing the same direction as the train, and realized we’d crossed the divide. I thought about disembarking early for the downhill ride, but in the end decided against it.

Again in Bologna, the sky threatened rain until I realized the rain had just ended. From there I wandered out of the city, failing to follow a canal path. Still, I felt oddly calm. I don’t know if it was the knowledge that plains with many small roads lay ahead, or that I’m soon headed back to  wife and poodle, or just being off the train, but I felt awesome.

When I approached rain min-afternoon, even that failed to damage my calm. The rain, trapped in the valley, looked like it would last, but the day was warm, and I just plowed into it.

Along the way I found a castle deserving of urban exploration.

After setting up camp on the outskirts of town in a campground on a major cycle route, I cycled back into Ferrara. I’d had two separate people recommend the city to me. Ferrara exceeds expectations. And Old Town within an Older Town. Streets cobbled in a variety of methods. Twisty Italian streets flanked by buildings of character. Eat your heart out Florence – Ferrara is amazing.

Tomorrow I visit the castle and associated museum, but after that I might head on. I’m tempted to head to Verona. Verona was the southernmost point of my original tour, and the thought of connecting to that trip amuses me.