This afternoon, I popped into Rome's Termini train station, to buy myself a train ticket down to Sicily. Since I've just bought my new bike, I'm going to have to take that with me on the train — but I'd heard that trains in Italy were particularly bike-friendly, and that you can take your bike on most inter-city trains; so I wasn't expecting this to be a problem. Turns out that this isn't quite true: you basically can't take a bike on any of the "express" or "long-distance" trains; you can only take them on "local" trains, which stop at every little village along the way, and which only travel within regional boundaries. Eek! It's going to be an interesting trip down to Sicily.
After much arguing, much question-asking, and much pestering, I finally managed to work out how I can get down all the way to Sicily, on the trains, and with my bike with me the whole time. I have to get three local trains, down to the tip of the Italian peninsula; and then I have to get a ferry, across to Sicily itself. And if I want to do all that, I have to leave Rome at 5:50am tomorrow morning, and travel all day; instead of doing what I had in mind, which was to just take a single overnight express train on Saturday night, and to arrive in Sicily on Sunday morning.
Since I'm leaving a lot earlier than I anticipated, this gave me — well, about an hour — to get absolutely everything ready this evening, and to pack my bags and to have my bike ready to wheel out the door, very early tomorrow. Anyway, it was very frantic, and very stressful — but I managed it. Within a very short space of time this evening, I sorted through all my belongings; I packed everything that I'll need for Sicily in my new saddlebags; and everything else, I put back into my big backpack, which I'm leaving here in Rome (at Gulliver's House) until the bike trip is finished. Now all I have to do is somehow wake up on time tomorrow.