Day 19 – Sunday 26 June 1994 – Pisa and Firenze!

Had to take a sleeping tablet last night.  Traffic was so consistently noisy.  Had a good sleep after that.  Woke up about 2 minutes before the knock on the door for brekkie.  A major disappointment!  One mouthful of coffee and a croissant with lemon icing.  Yuck!

Headed straight off out of Lucca for Pisa.  Leaning tower was gorgeous.  Very small and cute.  Very impressed with it.

Leaning Tower of Pisa – Torre pendente di Pisa(The Leaning Tower of Pisa) or simply the Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, known worldwide for its unintended tilt. The tower is situated behind the Pisa Cathedral and is the third oldest structure in the city’s Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo), after the cathedral and the Pisa Baptistry. The tower’s tilt began during construction in the 12th century, caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft on one side to properly support the structure’s weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed in the 14th century. It gradually increased until the structure was stabilized (and the tilt partially corrected) by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Leaning Tower of Pisa

Other monuments also very nice.  Lovely marble.

Cattedrale de Pisa – Cattedrale Metropolitana Primaziale di Santa Maria Assunta; Duomo di Pisa (Pisa Cathedral) is a medieval Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, in the Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa, Italy. It is a notable example of Romanesque architecture, in particular the style known as Pisan Romanesque.
Cattedrale de Pisa
Battistero di San Giovanni, Bapistry – The Battistero di San Giovanni (Pisa Baptistery of St. John) is a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical building in Pisa, Italy. Construction started in 1152 to replace an older baptistery, and when it was completed in 1363, it became the second building, in chronological order, in the Piazza dei Miracoli, near the Duomo di Pisa and the cathedral’s free-standing campanile, the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Entry ticket for the Bapistry.

Rest of Pisa nothing much.  Drove towards Florence.  Still haven’t found any bakeries or shops.

Went through a few towns on the way.  Nothing open.  Totally crapped off.  Concerned that Florence looks a bit big and busy to drive into and find accommodation in so turned off highway for Sienna and and thought that we would get accommodation there and then train to Florence.

We drove into a town and found a car park outside a gorgeous old building and better still finally found an open bar where we had some lunch.  Lovely pasta etc.  We asked where we were and found out that we had fallen straight into the heart of Florence!

We walked around and found some accommodation and realised that we were in the centre of Florence and within walking distance to everything! We were parked outside the Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace) and the Ponte Vecchio was just a few blocks away!  Florence wasn’t so big and hard to navigate after all!

Stayed at La Scaletta Pensione.  Expensive at 125000L per night with bath but quiet.  Couldn’t sleep for mosquitos though…  Brekkie not bad.  All monuments, museums etc that we wanted to see were closed on Sunday!  Except for the cathedral.  Paid to walk to the top but couldn’t make it past the bottom of the dome.  Too claustrophobic in crowds…

Went into Picasso display but it didn’t mean that much to us as we didn’t know much about him.  Had spent our time learning about Van Gogh instead.

Everything closed at lunch time.  Had a siesta.  Did our washing after much walking.  Did a bit of shopping but didn’t buy anything.

Had dinner with another Australia called Colin.  He was very nice.  Bought Gelati and walked afterwards.  Then had wine together back at the hotel.

There was a thunderstorm this afternoon.  Rang Mum and Dad this morning.

Day 20 – Monday 28 June 1994 – San Gimignano!