For our last day in Italy, we went to Pisa and Florence. We had about an hour drive through Tuscany to get to Pisa. This was the most beautiful bus ride I have ever been on! Since we were getting close to the end of our trip, we were both very tired. It was hard to stay awake on the bus, but the views were fantastic! We even saw fields of sunflowers.
Then we got to Pisa. There was a bit of a walk to get to the city center (The Field of Miracles) and the leaning tower. I have never been in a location with so many people trying to sell you stuff! Seriously, there were around 15 guys waiting at our bus to start hounding us right when we got off. The big push was umbrellas because it was a rainy day (hints our rain jackets). So, when in Pisa, be aware of your personal belongings!
Our tour guide took us around back to enter into the city square because that’s the view where you can see the lean of the tower the most. I’m sure the looks on our faces were hilarious! The tower leans so much! Pictures don’t do it justice. It really looks like its going to fall over at any second.
Of course, I wanted to take the classic touristy picture trying to “hold up” the leaning tower. Travis thinks this type of picture is dumb. But some how he ended up with more pictures like that than me. Hmm, interesting…
Believe it or not, there’s not a lot to do in Pisa besides look at the tower. There is a catherdale called Il Duomo di Pisa and a smaller building called Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistry of St. John).
If I remember correctly, it was free to get into both of these buildings, but you still needed to get a time ticket to get into them. Since we only had one hour in Pisa, we didn’t have time to get a ticket and get inside.
After waiting for a couple of late people in our tour group (if you go on a tour, DON’T be the person that holds up the WHOLE bus because you’re late. Rude), we were on our way to Florence. It was another 1 1/2 hours on the bus through beautiful Tuscany. Here’s a good idea I saw another family do: Grab the mini cereal boxes at breakfast as a snack to eat throughout the day. Never would have thought to do that, but its a very good idea. I was hungry by this time!
Florence was the biggest surprise to me. I didn’t have high expectations for Florence because of all the other locations we went to, but Florence is wonderful. Its much bigger than I expected and still so much to see. Don’t write off Florence just because its not Rome!
We started with going into the church of Santa Croce. It was raining quite a bit, so we stayed inside a little longer than we intended to. There are a lot of famous people buried in this church.
Next, we walked to Palazzo Vecchio with a sculpture garden including a famous replica of David.
Then, we grabbed some lunch and walked to Duomo di Firenze (Cathedral of Florence). I might be wrong on this, but I believe this is the third largest Dome in the world. Maybe, I dunno, but its big. According to our tour guide, the most impressive part of the Cathedral is the outside. For the most part, the inside is somewhat blank and just very big. If you are impressed with big spaces, it might be for you. If you prefer details, stick with the outside. We just walked around and admired from the outside.
Last, we walked to Ponte Vecchio, which is a closed bridge.
Sadly, it was time to get on the bus (everyone was on time in Florence!). As we were leaving the city, we got an incredible view. The picture does absolutely no justice, it was breathtaking. The picture gives you some idea of how big the Duomo really is.
I listened to some Billy Joel and slept on the ride back. Exhaustion was hitting us by this point in the trip. We got back to the boat with some very rough waters ahead. We were rocking hard that night. The show was the final show from the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers. I was very impressed they were able to perform with the amount of movement the ship was doing. I was feeling sick, so I took a Dramamine and went straight to bed.