Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pisa & Lucca

Yesterday we ventured outside of Florence for a day trip to Pisa, which was about an hour and half away by train. Pisa was a pretty little town and had some lovely streets for wandering but the main focus of course was to see the famous tilting tower. The leaning tower was surprisingly small and surprisingly beautiful. I did not think it would be so white. Set against the particularly blue sky yesterday it was striking. The tower does indeed lean at a very noticeable angle and we, like the countless other visitors captured numerous photos of it from every angle. (What we did not do was take photos of ourselves 'holding up' the tower, which many others seemed to be doing.) The queues were far too long to wait around in the hot sun to climb to the top so we visited the neighboring duomo and baptistry, which were splendid. (Also spendid was the fact that while walking through the tourist crowds Betty-Lou found a fifty euro note on the ground!) After the architectural sites, Betty-Lou spent her newly gained money on a relaxing lunch. Betty-Lou had mussels, which she assured me were delicious.

street market cheese, pisa
orange buildings, pisa

From Pisa we took a half hour train ride to Lucca, which is a lovely medieval walled city filled with beautiful churches and winding alley ways, each more perfect than the last. There are not any major sites in Lucca, but the town itself was wonderful to spend a few hours exploring. It was also filled with tourists, mostly filling the shops, which lined the streets. We had planned to eat dinner in Lucca, but we were caught in the old problem of the restaurants in Europe not opening for dinner until late (i never will get used to that), so we took the train back to Florence where we had a wonderful meal out doors (as all of our meals have been so far). Betty-Lou ate wild boar sausage, artisanal cheese, and osso bucco, which she said was as good as hers. I had porcini risotto and asparagus and more than one glass of limoncello, which the waiter brought me in an admitted attempt to get me drunk. Limoncello isn't bad, but two glasses is definitely enough.

It was a very long day and we ended it quite exhausted, but it was wonderful and we went to bed reflecting on the day and looking forward to the next adventure.

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