It's not just a tippy tower

Trip Start Jun 08, 2012
Trip End Jun 16, 2012

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Thursday, June 14, 2012

First to Florence.  The tour guide took us into the city which was a little overcast.  Florence seems smaller than Rome in how crowded you feel with all of the buildings around you and so many things to see in a much smaller space.  Lots of tour groups were milling about and our local guide made a joke that this day must have been garbage day for the city because every other block had a truck doing pickups.  The stores in Florence are so pretty and the square is lovely.  It looks like it's unchaged from hundreds of years ago.
We saw the outside of the famous Duomo.  I grabbed a cappucino and we walked around.  We stopped for a delicious lunch once our guide was finished.  We ate in an outdoor garden type restaurant with a cover.  It had gotten quite hot by then but the inside was cool.  I had a delicious basil, anchovy, mozzarella, tomato salad and an Italian beer.  Yummy.  The other girls had Tuscan soup, pate on toast and bruschetta.  All so simple but tasty.
Next we bussed it to Pisa where the tower surprisingly seems so much bigger and whiter than I'd imagined it would look.  It was built in 1135 so it's quite startling that it looks to be in such good repair.  It does lean quite obviously but the surprise of that part of our day was clearly the church next to the tower.  I had never heard or read about it but it's lovely.  It has a gorgeous Byzantine mosaic on the ceiling, lovely artwork and a beautiful Baptistery which during it's first few hundred years did only Baptisms on certain dates during the year and only the men and the infant were permitted on the main level; the women stood on the level above and watched.  Weird.
It got quite hot in the town and we wandered around looking at the shops.  Our tour guide locally was a beautiful girl; she was the epitome of how I picture beautiful young Italian girls and she was extremely knowledgeable.
I just wish I could have stayed longer.  Just when I'm getting into the vibe of the town and then we had to load ourselves onto the bus and get back to the ship.
I mailed my postcard from Pisa even though I had purchased it in Florence.  I wish I'd been able to carry back more things but a lot of them were either too large or breakable. Another great day in Italy; my favourite country!

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