Valentin in Italia 2!- Florence

Trip Start Jan 14, 2007
Trip End Jul 05, 2007

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

It's impossible to take a train from Pisa to Siena without going through Florence, so Valentin and I took advantage of this by spending a few hours in the city.  It was the only chance he got to see it, so I tried to show him as much as possible.

We walked by the huge Duomo and in Piazza della Signoria in front of it, taking pictures of the cathedral, the David, and the other statues.  Then, we began searching for a place to eat that was cheap.  After some searching, we found a little place that looked like it had sandwiches and pizzas.  We took a seat and the woman in charge asked what we wanted to eat.  We asked about the pizza, and she went over to a cardboard box to show it to us.  It looked like a large, round tortilla chip, and looked to be that hard as well.  We agreed to get two, so the woman put oil, tomatoes, and basil on it and popped it into the oven.  I thought the dough would rise as it cooked but, when she served them to us, they still looked hard and flaky.   It was the most disgusting "pizza" I'd ever eaten.  I felt awful that Valentin only had a week to eat amazing Italian food and I'd taken him to this place.   It was a funny experience though, and it was hard for us to keep from laughing at the situation.    The best part was when two American guys came in for something to eat.  They asked about the pizza too, and the woman went over to the box to pull one out.  While she was busy, we whispered to the guys that the pizza was awful and they shouldn't get it.  I hope the people working in the place didn't hear us.  The guys thanked us and left without buying anything.  From then on, Valentin and I decided we would only go to places that were listed in my book, to avoid another terrible meal.

A few steps from this place, there was an open-air market, so after eating as much of the "pizza" as we could, and paying, we went over to look at the stalls.  Across the street from the market was a church, and suddenly people dressed in medieval garb began coming out of it. 


There were people playing instruments and twirling things and we stood there watching as the parade went by.  Valentin took tons of pictures. 

 This one is my favorite.  The  guy looks so stereotypically Italian.

Next, we headed back to Piazza della Signoria for some more pictures. 

Then, we headed towards the Arno river and Ponte Vecchio.  It wasn't the prettiest day, and it was cold out, but everything still looked beautiful.  Valentin took more pictures.  

By this time it was about 6 pm and the last bus to Siena left at 7.  I called Massimo and Marina because we were supposed to get together that day.  I was hoping they'd take us out to dinner and then drive us to Siena, but didn't want to ask, because it would be a big inconvenience to them.  So, instead I said I was sorry but we needed to get to the bus station to catch the last bus to Siena.  I guess I was too subtle, because they said they'd try to see us later that week.  Oh well. 

While I was on the phone, Valentin continued taking pictures.

Finally, I  got control of the camera and took a picture of Valentin.

And then we got someone to take a picture of the two of us on Ponte Vecchio. 

By this time it was getting late, so we headed over to the bus station to take the 75 minute ride to Siena.
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