Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Italy Part II (Pisa, Florence and Bologna)

Still on Day 5:
After leaving the utopia known as Cinqueterre, we spent the afternoon in Pisa. Truthfully, aside from the center of town and the actual tower and surrounding buildings, Pisa is tourable in a half a day or less. But that is not to say that the tower and architecture of other buildings were not breath-taking and totally worth it!

View from base of the tower:

This guy was awesome. He could design anything with one hand and a tiny set of pliers and a coil of wire. From your name, to the a mini Leaning Tower of Pisa, to a bicycle, to a heart picture frame, et cetera. He was just so intensely handy and thoughtful. Very Italian as well. Heh.

That night, we arrived in Florence, exhausted beyond belief. We crashed early and got ready for a full day of touring the next day...

Day 6:

First things first, we found some parking in Florence and happened to find a spot near Florence's Arc de Triumph, which was pretty convenient as a locator for later that day.

We then promptly reserved our times for the two museums on our crucial to-do list: Uffizi and Academia, where Michelangelo's David rests. I was told repeatedly, "No pheeoto, no pheeoto!" but I took "phoooto." His hands, feet and head are enormously out of proportion to his body. It is awkward. "Perfect" my butt.

Some views of Florence:

Though this city was incredible what with the mountains of statues and museums loaded with historical and artistic treasures, it was not the most aesthetically pleasing city I have seen, especially in Italy where places like Cinqueterre exist!

Day 7:

Dog-tired and just about ready to be home, we had one more stop. Our last day was in Bologna where Sara, Francesco and Marco took the train up to meet us and have one last authentic Italian meal with us. We went to a restaurant recommended by a few Italians (see: Food Porn) and feasted to our heart's content. Bologna, like Padua and my city of Granada, is a student town but much larger and more chaotic than the former two. They had this massive market which reminded me a bit of the Camden Town Markets in London. I loved it!

After dinner, we were even sleepier. We parted with Sara and her friends at the train station and that was definitely a bummer. It's the last time I'll see her until I return to Europe. :( But I certainly will return!

We all passed out around 9 p.m. to get up at 4 a.m. for our Bologna-Sevilla flight the following day. Once home, I claimed the map we used on our epic road trip through Northern Italy and traced our path. It was much longer than I thought! I kept my feet in the shot to show you how HUGE this map is and how invariably HUGE our trip was.

And so concludes the epic Italian journey. It was such a good trip. The company was great! The guests/hosts were wonderful! And I spoke in Spanish the entire time, as that was the common language with our Italian friends and of course, Fernando and Miguel. I felt some improvement for being so immersed and having so few English-speakers around.
613 pages read
256 photos taken
62 pages written
8 cities
1 country
Yep. Successful Semana Santa, indeed. :]

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