So continuing on our little adventure, our next stop was Pisa. How can you go to Italy and not go to Pisa? You can't! We thought the same thing. So, we left Rome early in the morning and headed to the train station to go to Pisa. Lesson number one: do not, I repeat, DO NOT attempt to drag personal luggage through the cobble stone streets of Rome. Or any luggage for that matter. Scott and I decided not to take a taxi from the shuttle drop of to the entrance to the metro. We didn't think it would be a big deal plus we are all about saving money. So, off we go dragging our bulging luggage through the winding roman streets. A few blocks down the road (European blocks are much longer than blocks in the United States, we found out) Scott's wheel broke and shattered.... luckily there was a wheel inside a wheel (glad we had good luggage) and it still rolled along fine but the cobble stone sure did a number on our luggage. After that, we rode the metro to the train station, and tried to find a train. We decided not to purchase tickets in advance in hopes of getting a better price and boy were we right! We saved about two and a half times the amount of money we would have spent just purchasing them on line. So we boarded the train. It was my first time on a train. Same for Scott. It looked just like the Hogwarts express. We even had our own compartment. I loved it. The best part of the train ride was watching the rolling hills of Tuscany gently drift by our windows. It was thrilling to see the rolling hills, cypress trees, and lonely villas as we winded through the Italian country side.
Made it to Pisa. Got off the train. Found a map. Found the street our hotel was on and started walking. For some, this may have not been well planned, but for us it was an adventure. I didn't really think about planning every step of the way, but luckily for us, it worked out! We liked getting lost and then finding our way! We found our hotel and made some great friends that night at a little cafe. The next morning bright and early, it was off to find the leaning tower.
And it really leans. Like, really far! These pictures don't do it justice. You come around the corner and see it and you wonder how it is even still standing!
Honestly, how could I resist?
A little bit before this moment, our camera dropped and broke. It hit the cobble stone wrong. Sad... we couldn't see any of our pictures and had to guess when we were aiming the rest of the trip but on the whole they turned out ok so no complaints!
After our short stint in Pisa, we boarded the train and we were off to Florence. Florence was one of our favorite places. When we go back, we are going to Florence. The whole town is still so medieval. We loved every second of it. We went on a walking tour of Florence and our tour guide told us if we rubbed the "little piggy's" nose, we would receive life long good luck and return to Florence one day. Sign me up! Both Scott and I rubbed his little snout.
This is Scott in front the Medici palace. Well, one of them anyways. The Medici were powerful rulers and great contributors to the arts during the reign. Behind Scott is a replica of where the David once stood. It is interesting to note that David is looking towards Rome. Our tour guide told us that this is because the Medici's wanted to send a message to Rome saying, "we may be little but we can challenge, and defeat Rome the giant." Interesting symbolism. We went and saw the real David but you can't take pictures. In fact a lady who was with our group started crying and saying to her husband, "I've waited my whole life for this!" She was literally crying. Her poor husband.
Scenic view of Florence.
Florence at night. After we had spent the day going through museums and walking through the city we decided to walk to the Piazza de Michelangelo, I think is what it was called and it over looked the whole city. Once we got up there, we found some steps and listened to some street performers play the guitar and sing. It was amazing to hear them sing in Italian while overlooking the city skyline. We tried to get good pictures, but, alas, our camera was broken. Oh well, next time I guess!
These were everywhere! A modern Artist who is currently all the rage throughout Europe. Scott loved it and took several pictures each time we saw one.
The Duomo in Milan
Modern art in Milan. Milan was our least favorite place. We couldn't get in to see the Last Supper and so we just spent most of the day walking around. It reminded me of New York. Not bad if you like that kind of the thing. After a day in Milan, we headed off to the airport and flew to Amsterdam to meet up with our tour group!
Italy was fantastic. The food was great. The gelato was to die for. I ate a gelato at least twice a day. We loved the culture and the history.