Just keep on pinching, Steve!

Trip Start Aug 24, 2010
Trip End Sep 27, 2010

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Wednesday, September 1, 2010

From Steve:  This morning we went up the Pisa tower.  It's a strange staircase, you almost feel like your walking downwards while going up when your on one side.  Drove to Florence along a highway for speed and checked into another old hotel building.  The ceiling is at least 15 foot high with nice plaster work.  Alison took a picture of the floor.  Walked to the Duomo and Baptistry in the afternoon and spent some looking at the embroideries in the museum. 

We had a restaurant voucher which we decided to use after wandering the streets for somewhere for dinner.  I plugged the address into the GPS to find we were six steps away from the door.  Pretty funny considering we couldn't find anywhere up to then.  

Steve's Word of the Day:  Leaning

From Alison:  Wow!  What a day!  This was another of those pinch yourself days.  We started with a walk up the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  It was a weird feeling walking around a spiral staircase on an angle on really worn marble steps.  The view from the top was spectacular.  We are very proud of Sam - who made it up to the third last level despite his fear of heights!  Well done darling!

We then drove onto Florence (Firenze) and checked into our hotel.  This is probably the dud of them so far - it is beautiful, but there is a lot of street noise and the beds are really hard.  We have been really lucky with the weather - every day has been about 30 degrees - even though it feels hotter due to the humidity.

We walked to the Duomo and Baptistry so that I could go to the museum to see the San Giovanni embroideries.  I have been looking forward so much to seeing them!  They are a set of panels that were originally part of a set of vestments embroidered in the 1400's.  They were taken apart in the 1700's.  On the way there we walked through a market - leather jackets on every second stall - but one lady was selling woven tapestries (I want to go back to her!) 

As we walked through the market I noticed a shop that said 'Passamaneria Toscana' and had to go and have a look (Passamenterie is the old word for trimmings).  This shop was to die for!  I kept telling the man that I was in heaven, but he didn't speak english and propbably thought that I was mad (Steve did).  I bought some trimmings from him - couldn't help it - but he also sold cushions and tapestries and the most gorgeous tassels that I have ever seen!  He allowed me to take some photos and gave me a catalogue and book on the business which has been operating since 1952.  All of the trimmings are made in Italy.

We finally made it to the Museum and I went straight to the second floor to see the embroideries.  I spent the next two hours photographing them and taking notes.  They were everything that I had hoped for.  Beautifully fine Or Nue work - and showed off in cabinets that allowed for them to be photographed clearly without reflection problems (and lit just enough).  Steve and the kids explored the rest of the museum and I met them out the front at closing time.  They were making bets on me being dragged out of there by the guards but I came out voluntarily!  :D 

To top off a wonderful day - dinner.  We had dinner at the Lorenzo de Medici Restaurant/Taverna.  There were swords and shields on the walls and it all looked fantastic.  I needed some meat and potatoes - we haven't had meat and potatoes since we came away.  I ordered a serve of Italian ribs and roast potatoes.  It came out like a medieval feast!  Yum!  The Dutch people on the next table had their dog under the table, so what little was left on my bones, I gave to them for their dog.  We only noticed the dog when my meal came out - as he smelled it and came out from under the table for his dinner!

Alison's Word of the Day:  Heaven
(and today's gelati of the day is cinnamon and biscotti)

From Becky:  Hello Peoples! Today we started off with a climbing of the Leaning Tower of Pisa! When we were out the front of it you could really tell it was leaning, the door was sooo angled! When we started climbing up the stairs, everything felt warped and unusual but you got used to that. I went all the way to the top!

We then drove to Florence (dad did anyway, I just sat and enjoyed the ride) and got checked into our hotel room. It's a cute place, I think that the roof looks like it's out of a kids book. After checking in we went out to the market and then more on to a Museum, but on the way we stopped, for some gelati. In the museum there were some awesome looking wooden sculpture things of the front of the church or something like that. It's had several different fronts.

For now, Ciao!

Becky's Word of the Day:  Warped

From Sam: Today we started heading towards the leaning tower right after getting out of the hotel. On the way we stopped to have breakfast (I had a chocolate crepe). When we arrived at the leaning tower we went into a line to get tickets to go up. The timeslot we were given was 12:00 so we sat on the steps behind the Duomo. After waiting for a while we went up the leaning tower. It felt very wierd moving through the tower as the walls around us looked like they were tilting around. I stopped nearly at the top (the steps got narrower and I don't like narrow steps). When we got back down to the bottom we headed back to the hotel although we stopped to get a drink first. The drink I got was limone (lemon) flavored Fanta (even more yellow). Then we went back to the hotel and got in the car- this time we were heading for Florence.

When we got there we went into the hotel (the hotel had a very old-fashioned elevator) and left all of our stuff there so we could go walking around Florence. We found an ice cream store (not a hard thing to do while in Italy) and I had a cone with a caramel flavoured scoop and a cinnamon flavoured scoop. When the ice cream was finished we went into a market (we had to wait there for a while as Mum found an embroidery store). When Mum was finally done in the embroidery store we went to a square which had a Duomo and a Baptistery. We went into a museum and looked at a lot of old statues and bits of the Duomo. After looking at everything
me, Dad and Becky left the museum to look for some chips (Mum stayed behind to look at more embroidery stuff). Eventually Mum was forced to come out as the museum closed so we went and got some tea. I had some grilled chicken breast, chips and another brands equivalent of yellow Fanta (this one was greenish-yellow) After tea we went back to the hotel.

Sam's Word of the Day:  Yellowey-er
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nan on

Beckie, I had a crepe like that when we were in Paris

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