After not sleeping much during the night, with a swollen leg and pain levels still high, early morning I decide it’s indeed time to go to the hospital.

Felice takes me there and we enter the typical chaos of an Italian hospital.

I cannot imagine how someone could get any treatment at all here without being able to speak Italian. Some of the nurses and doctors even go as far as complimenting my Italian and say that they wouldn’t have known how to communicate with me if we would have had to get by in English. That morning, none of the active staff would have been able to properly complete an anamnesis with me in any other language than Italian.

But, as everywhere, first, I get stuck in administration.

Administration ... required anywhere
Administration … required anywhere

Someone with a UK passport, born in Canada, resident in Switzerland with a local contact address which is not a hotel seems to stretch the capabilities of their CMS.

Has TDIN2016 has come to an end?
Has TDIN2016 has come to an end?

I’m then admitted to the ward and asked how bad the pain is – with a helpful chart to give precise answers. 🙂

Trying to step on my foot is a 9
Trying to step on my foot is a 9

A doctor sees me and decides that I need an X-ray taken of my knee, since this is where it currently hurts most.

Then back to the waiting room for an hour, just to be dumped into another room for what seems an eternity. Whilst I was lying there I thought to myself: Wow, another item off my bucket list of places I’ve always wanted to visit 🙂

Another item ticked on my bucket list: Visit Brescia's Pronto Soccorso
Another item ticked on my bucket list: Visit Brescia’s Pronto Soccorso

At the end of the process, it is clear that TDIN2016 has come to an end: The doctors suspect a detached tendon and want to send me to have a MRI. The next available slot for a MRI scan in Brescia is in 4 days.

I don’t want to stay here this long and call my insurance to begin the process of getting me and TW560 back home.

It’s a sad moment – sure, I’m not happy that I won’t get to see Venice and Ljubljana again.

BUT: I feel even more sorry for my daughter who’s been researching places she wanted to see in both cities and for her not to get the 1-1 time she’s been looking forward to for the last 6+ months.

As we get back to Felice’s, I have a long chat with my daughter and we decide to not let this get in our way of exploring Brescia this afternoon!

After lunch, I grab my crutches and we leave with Felice to visit the old city centre of Brescia.

Felice telling me about Bescia's leftover fascist architecture
Felice telling me about Brescia’s leftover fascist architecture

We start at one of the larger squares of Brescia with an interesting mix of very old and fascist architecture. I cannot quite put the finger on what exactly attracts me to such buildings – maybe it’s because they somehow manifest a long-gone aspiration of a country, system and – ultimately – population, which I still don’t understand how it could have gone as far as it did.

Just a few hundred metres later, we arrive at another square with Brescia’s cathedral and one of the older churches of Italy just beside it. The view is impressive and typically Italian.

Pure Italy: Three centuries within 100m
Pure Italy: Three centuries within 100m

Felice knows his town well and delivers a constant stream of interesting facts about the city whilst adding a generous amount of funny anecdotes to keep things light.

Felice - always fun chatting with him
Felice – always fun chatting with him

On our way to the last larger square in Brescia, we stop at a gelateria and get some artisan hand-crafted ice cream. If you have had this kind of ice cream, it will always be the benchmark and baseline for any other ice cream anywhere!

No visit to Italy without a visit to an Italian gelateria!
No visit to Italy without a visit to an Italian gelateria!

The last square holds a special surprise: A medieval jousting tournament, complete with flag waving and throwing, dressed-up royalty and drummers.

Brescia - medieval jousting tournament
Brescia – medieval jousting tournament

It’s a very impressive event with contestants coming from afar.
Yes! She got the ring!
Yes! She got the ring!

The winner was a young woman from Brescia, which led to everyone on the square being very happy and proud!

Happy winner of the tournament!
Happy winner of the tournament!

By the end of the afternoon, my leg was throbbing again and we headed back home for some tasty home-made food.

During my visit to the city, my insurance had called me to let me know about the plans for my return to Switzerland the day after. Everything was already in place. Coming from Switzerland – I somewhat expected Swiss efficiency, but with Italy as a contrast, I allowed myself to be pleasantly surprised 🙂

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