Pisa to Florence 6.17.2007


Up early for checkout and complimentary breakfast.
With a warm family environment, Antonella’s mother and son introduce us to the table settings.
Our breakfast consists of less traditional items such as prepackaged breads and coffee.

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After our meal, it is time to gather our packs, say our goodbyes and thanks.

Hike to the train station, purchase tickets hours in advance to Florence (Firenze in Italian),

and stow our packs to view the famous sights of Pisa until departure.

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Along the way, crossing the river Arno, we see a tiny church, Santa Maria della Spina,
named for supposedly housing a spine from the actual crown of thorns worn by Jesus Christ.

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Evidence of the previous night’s festivities celebrating the city’s patron saint

includes a girl flying a city flag from her bicycle.

Our map guides us to the Piazza dei Miracoli (below)

that contains the infamous Leaning Tower of Pisa (Torre pendente di Pisa).


(Image Source: Internet)

Construction of this world-famous inclined bell tower began in 1173

over 200 years, and the leaning followed shortly after.

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Tourists posing for photos push imaginary objects in the air and vendors haggle prices for “designer” imitation merchandise everywhere.

A moment to capture the memory of our visit in photos and take some souvenirs…flicking, kicking, licking, and leaning with the Leaning Tower of Pisa!

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Break for a cool beer and internet cafe
to reserve a room ahead before departure to Florence.
On the way back to the train station,
we pass the University of Pisa and some street art stencils.




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A quiet train ride to study the map, we target some important sights…
Map of Pisa to Florence
Map: Pisa to Florence, Italy


Off the train, into the unrelenting heat to sweat while finding our reservations.
The city’s importance, elegance, and history are apparent all around.
After a few wrong turns, Hotel Tina comes into view.
After a misunderstanding at the front desk, we are shown our room.

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The view from our window.

Getting settled in our strange accommodations that include

a double bed, cot, sink, ceiling fan, shower, a bidet type basin…

and the luxury of air conditioning.

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Back out into the heat for the crown jewel of the city:


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Book studies cannot prepare one for such an architectural reality.

Breathtaking, the overwhelming green, pink, and white façade of the Cathedral

was completed in 1886.

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(Image Source: Internet)

An aerial view of Santa Maria del Fiore, belltower at the top left, and the dome at the center.

Brunelleschi’s Dome (Cupola) impresses faintness upon its viewers

as the largest masonry dome in the world!

Built in 1334, Giotto’s Belltower at he Cathedral climbs over 277 feet above the street.


Baptitsery (Image Source: Internet)

A wide shot of the work of Ghiberti and Brunelleschi.

Across from the main entrance to the Duomo is the Baptistery.

The three sets of doors are famous works by

Pisano, Ghiberti, and Brunelleschi.

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Towering around 15 feet high, each door is inlaid with many bronze panels,

and each panel depicts happenings from the time of Christ.

Each single panel details images of

Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise in intricate bronze sculptural relief.

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Duomo of Florence in the same day!

End of a long day of sightseeing and walking back to the hotel.

Searching for a recommended restaurant for dinner leads into back alleys with character.

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We fall into a corner eatery touting air conditioning.

The air is still a bit warm.

Salad, pasta, pizza, real Roma tomatoes, the food was fine.

Moretti beers are had as the waitress warned, “The water in Italy is not good to drink…”

After a bodega stop, we return to the room to retire

with more cheap and tasty Moretti beer all around,

we kick out some jams, and review the photos of the day’s adventures…


Virtual Cocktail Bar

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