Thursday, April 23, 2009

Firenze e Pisa: Italia Part 2

So, we took a train from Rome to Florence, and the ride was long (about 4 hours) but beautiful, right up through Tuscany.  We made our way to our hostel, which turned out to be BY FAR the best I've ever stayed at, but basically the same price we paid in Rome.  This one even had a swimming pool, sauna, and restaurant.  Sweeeeeeeeeet.

No one had a specific agenda in Florence, so we chose to take things slowly, which turned out great.  We basically wandered around the city, seeing stuff along the way.  Also, my camera eats batteries, and I didn't get new ones until Thursday, so some of the following pictures are Carly's.

Piazza de Repubblica, where we had another great gelato.  This one was called "semi-freddo," which had the consistency of really cold whipped cream.  Still excellent though!

Katie might have liked the gelato?

The Duomo, which I personally think is rather hideous.

The front.  Still ugly, though.  I think its the colors that make me gag.

The next morning (Thursday) we got up early-ish and decided to hit the multitude of fresh markets in Florence.  As most everyone knows, I love farmer's markets and fresh markets and the like.  These were pretty freaking fantastic, as it had wonderful, spectacular, splendid, fragrant, tasty (I could go on...) ITALIAN food.  aaaaaaand go!
Parma ham! Covered in...peppercorns?

Oh my geez, fresh pasta.

Spices.  Wonderful spices. And biscotti. And wine.

So we just wandered around the fresh markets, grazing on samples all morning.  And that is how you should eat when in Italy.  We then continued our meandering ways:
One of three bridges in the world with shops on it.  Where is another one, Mom?

On said bridge, over the Arno River.

One of three copies of The David.  This was an outdoor statue gallery, and rainy! boo!

A particularly violent/awesome statue.

The guy is holding Medusa's head.  I kinda like this picture, except its a bit dark.

Yes, people.  This is a 5 kg TUB of Nutella.  I demonstrated incredible will power by not swiping it and diving in.  oooooooooo

Because of the crappy weather, we went back to the hostel and deposited our wares, and put rain coats on.  Katie, Carly, and I decided we wanted to hike up to the Piazza de Michelangelo, as it was supposed to have great views of the city.  So we did.  And it did. (did that make sense?)
Steps leading up to Piazza de Michelangelo.  They don't look steep in the picture, but trust me, they were.

Ah, the Tuscan countryside.  Incidentally, that wall was once part of a big fortress that the Medicis lived in.

Firenze from above, including the Duomo.

And again.

The other copy of the The David. With a pigeon on his head?  hehe

Around to the side of the Piazza, there was a small wooded area that was less populated.  We wandered around there for a while and got some even better views of the country side.
Slightly creepy damp wooded area.


More beautiful views.

Eventually we got tired of wandering, so we headed back down to the hostel, which was across the city.
Grotto thing on the way down.
Carly and I were exhausted after wandering/walking all day, so we decided to stay in the hostel and watch TV in our room.  Katie and Cat, though, went for some more pasta in Florence.  The next day, we got up late-ish and got a train to Pisa, which only took an hour or so.
We had quite a time finding our hostel which turned out to be another sketchy one.  Oh, well.  It was only one night.

Big cathedral on the Field of Miracles.

And there you have it.  Carly and I decided that it was a big fat FAIL for Pisa though.  They have this messed up tower and they charge unsuspecting tourists (not us, though) 15 euros to go up in the thing.  Come on, people.

hehehehe.  We had to.

Carly put her camera on the timed setting and got this super awesome picture.  Very contemplative.

We discovered, to our horror, that there is positively nothing to do in Pisa but the see the Tower.  So we sat on the Field of Miracles for most of the afternoon then ate food.  I had my first experience with gnocchi (this is a fresh pasta made from potatoes).  With gorgonzola cheese.  Don't try that at home, kids.  STRONG stuff.  Made me a bit nauseous, and I have a pretty strong stomach.  Oy.
Our flight left from Pisa the next morning to East Midlands airport.  On the plane, I got stuck in front of an obnoxious, talkative, screaming child, my #1 travel annoyance.  PARENTS: give your kids a HEFTY dose of Benadryl before flying or traveling.  Really, for all our sakes.
East Midlands airport is near Nottingham and Derby, so we got a train there, but didn't manage to get back to Preston before 11PM.  Stupid delays.  Then, I showered, blogged the first part of the week and went to Scotland!  Wow, that was fast!
Also, I have massively updated Flat Stanley's blog:  Check it out!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Putney Bridge in Bath England also has shops on it.