Pisa & Florence, Italy (Days 42 & 43)

The cathedral and Leaning Tower of Pisa

On Wednesday morning, our tour group left the hotel and drove for several hours to Pisa so we could see the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  What a beautiful building!  Truly, it was so beautifully bright and just so interesting looking, even without the leaning!  The tower is actually the bell tower for a big cathedral that stands next to it.  We only had an hour there and had to eat lunch, so we didn’t get to go inside of anything.

Oh how many times this pose has been held!

From there, we continued our journey to our hotel in Signa, a town outside of Florence, Italy.  When we arrived at the hotel, Jennifer and Nancy went to their room for a nap and mom started taking notes about the day while I ventured out to find a grocery store to buy water since you can’t drink from the tap here.  Whew!  What a hike!  And when I got to the store, I couldn’t figure out which water bottles to buy!  Hah!  My plan had been to look for anything that DIDN’T say something that resembled “mineral water,” and anything that didn’t have a nutritional breakdown on the bottle; I figured that was a safe bet.  But go figure, that wasn’t an option once I looked at every huge bottle they were selling!  After staring at the water for probably ten minutes and not knowing what I was going to do, I decided to watch people.  I saw two different people come in and fill their baskets with packages of one of the brands of water, so I crossed my fingers that it was normal and grabbed three bottles, bought them, and walked about seven blocks home carrying six liters of water!  Hah.

After checking out at the store, I started to remember how far I’ve come.  It’s funny, just a little over a month ago, I was terrified any time I got up to the cashier at the grocery store, hoping they wouldn’t say anything to me.  Any time I had to buy something, a ticket, groceries, dinner, I’d be so nervous or would have a phrase in the appropriate language all ready to go and then blank as soon as I needed it.  Seriously, I had some sort of deer-in-the-headlights complex.  I would repeat a phrase at LEAST 10 times to myself and as soon as it was time for me to use it, I’d just stand with my eyes big and mouth open and no words would come!  And now I’m walking around Italy and finding myself saying “oui” instead of “yes” or the correct language, “si,” saying “pardon” to get by people and I’ve have accidentally said “merci” instead of “grazie” a few times.  It’s a lot of fun though.  It’s a nice little brain workout!  The most important thing to know is how to ask “do you speak English,” because from there they’ll either say yes and you’ll talk or you can play a quick game of Charades.

Anyway, that night, we went to dinner at a place up the street from our hotel called Foffo’s.  Mom and I had a little bit of pasta and then went back to the hotel.

Peruzzi Leather store

On Thursday morning, we took the bus into Florence (about a 1.5 hour ride).  When we got there, we had a tour of a leather store.  They showed us how they put gold on the leather (they had leather waste baskets!!), and then they used mom as a model for one of their leather jackets!  Hah!  After that, we had a walking tour of Florence.  I took lots of pictures, but without a tour book or a good map, I honestly can’t really tell you what anything is, so sorry in advance!

There was a man (from Poland, mom had to ask him) playing the guitar while we were eating lunch and mom just absolutely loved it, so I got his CDs for her and I took a picture of mom, Nancy and Jennifer with him.

That night, we had dinner at the hotel.

Dante Alighieri statue

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore
marble workshop
Congregazione dei Buonomini di San Martino

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore
One of these statues isn’t real!
River Arno
Tadeusz Machalski

River Arno
Ponte Vecchio

River Arno and Ponte Vecchio

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore
Lunch break!
Palazzo Vecchio
in Palazzo Vecchio

One thought on “Pisa & Florence, Italy (Days 42 & 43)

  1. I love that they used Mom for the model for the leather coat — so stylish! Fun. I hope I can visit Pisa sometime. I love the pic of you holding it up, no matter how "trite" it might be! 🙂

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