A Travellerspoint blog

Chapter Ten

The day it rained.

Today we awoke in our sauna-like bunks to another sunny day in Tuscany. We got up and headed for the 45 room Uffizi gallery. We found ourselves another 90 minute line to stand in (we are getting good at this...) and finally got in to see the thousands of works of art inside. It was overwhelmingly full of statues and paintings and we filed along the route while trying to avoid tour groups. We saw the fabulous 'Birth of Venus', many marble statues and busts, Caravaggios, Boticellis and the real version of the boar Allison pet yesterday. No photos allowed though, but we got this one when the guards let in a group and ended right before we got across the line...

Then we hunted down lunch and headed to climb the hill to Michelangelo's Piazza. This gave us a really great view of Florence and of some incoming storm clouds...
We headed across the river via Ponte Vecchio, a bridge comprised entirely of jewelry stores. Then we got rained on, a lot, so we hid in a cafe. We realized it hasn't rained on us in about a month! Plus, it was the first time we weren't sweating!
We thought we'd try to see David when the rain let up but apparently those in line didn't mind standing in the rain and there was still a crazy long line. So we wandered back toward our hostel when Anna ran into her sorority sister, Sera Berlacher, on the street. Small world.
We rested and dried off before heading out to look for dinner. We found some delicious pizza and followed Allison's nose to some fresh waffles and Nutella for dessert.

So, now we are back in our warm room with our 14 other roommates and are ready to head to Cremona tomorrow morning!

Posted by dillam7 14:30 Comments (0)

Chapter Nine

I'm pretty sure the cure for that is gelato...

So, after our first exciting day of mishaps in Florence we got up the next day ready for some exploring... We began our day by hitting a very interesting exhibit on how Picasso influenced Miro and Dali's work. Allison sneaked a photo of a Picasso costume.
Then we found a little gallery showing many of da Vinci's machines built according to his drawings, which were also very neat and so far ahead of his time! He made a table saw, escalator, parachute, wings.... So here's Anna checking one out, you could play with most of them!
We tried to go see the statue of David but were met with a very long line (a la Vatican...) so instead we headed to Pitti Palace, home to several Dukes, royal families, gardens, art and of course.. fountains! We got to see a very cool costume gallery, where Allison took another forbidden photo of a gown by Schiaparelli.
Then we got a little lost and sweaty in the Boboli Gardens.

We headed back to town to see the shopping area and market where we found lots of leather and a big bronze boar!
We wandered around a while looking for dinner and dragging a little.. In the last few days we'd accumulated some small maladies. Anna got bit by some nasty sort of bug and has been growing a large red lump on her arm since Rome while Allison has got a recurring case of heat rash, we think, on her legs. So by the end of the day we listened to the advice of Aaron Wilson noted in the title and got some delicious gelato.
Overall, a good day.

Posted by dillam7 13:47 Comments (0)

Chapter Eight

The day Allison puked on the train tracks

Today we got up and figured we should see some more of Pisa so we walked around to find the Botanical Gardens. We read that they were free and when we got there and realized they weren't, we decided against it. We're cheap dates.
We hopped on the train to Florence which was only an hour. It was then that Allison started feeling sick...
As the title says, as we got off the train, Allison did in fact throw up on the train tracks. In the heat of the moment, it wasn't very funny but now, it's hilarious. So feel free to laugh. She's fine.
We checked into our hostel and put our bags down in our new 16 bed dorm room. It's kind of like camp but nobody talks much because we all speak different languages. So...yeah. It's interesting and there is a lot of body heat for a room without air conditioning. But maybe all this sweating will be good for our skin...

We went and got lunch at this adorable little cafe and our food was maybe the cutest thing I've seen.

We walked around Florence for a while then decided that we should probably wash our clothes because we're smelling a little funky. We went to the little laundromat across the street and took turns waiting. It was all going well until we realized that we had washed my new orange pants with everything else. Now all of our clothes that used to be white are slightly orange...luckily it's kind of a cute color so we're good. Things are all just a little off. Oh well!

After that fiasco, we got on a bus to go to a little town outside Florence for a classical music concert in this big, old Roman stadium. It was free!

We rode a tightly packed bus back home and headed to bed in our little 16 bed sauna.
So far, Florence is beautiful and every street we turn down is so cute. Tomorrow we are off to see some of the many museums!

Posted by dillam7 11:38 Comments (0)

Chapter Seven

Ok but seriously, that tower is actually leaning. A lot.

Today we said goodbye to Roma and on to the little city of Pisa. This city is so adorable. It's like Boerne but in Italy and way cuter. And it has a leaning tower...so basically it beats Boerne, Texas by a long shot.
Anyway, we got there and immediately left to go see the only thing this city is known for: the infamous tower!
I've got to say, and this might sound dumb, but the tower is seriously leaning. It's actually sort of scary how far over it is...

So we walked around there a little and watched all the people take the 'look I'm holding up the leaning tower!' picture. Now I sort of regret not doing the same. I feel like it is a big moment in your touring life. Oh well, I'll just have to live with my boring one.

After the tower, we walked around town and found a place to eat lunch. I know I'm gonna make Stinky jealous with this picture. The tomatoes were delicious!

After lunch we walked around some more, rested for a bit then got a late dinner. Post dinner, we headed back to the hostel and spent the rest of the night in the backyard talking to around 10 other travelers from England, Turkey, South Africa and Italy. Some spoke better English than others and some spoke none, like Mossimo from Sicily who mostly just giggled the whole time. He did however seem to have a good grasp on written English because this is the sign he put on his waterbottles in the public fridge to keep people from drinking them.

Pisa was a lot of fun and has made it onto our list of favorites so far. Tomorrow we go to Florence and then off to Cremona to see Guilia!!

Posted by dillam7 06:58 Comments (2)

Chapter Six

The day of the fountain

Today was a tourist day. We walked basically one entire side of Rome! It was pretty exhausting but we had to see all the sights!
You'll find a lot of pictures of fountains in this chapter because we took a photo of almost every one we saw. I suppose it's true that Rome does have the most fountains in one city.
First we walked to the Spanish steps and joined all the tourists filling their water bottles from the fountain. It's great water because it's actually cold. I have yet to see a single ice cube since we've been here. Apparently water temperature isn't a big deal...

Then we walked to the Pantheon and a couple cute Piazzas. While in the Pantheon we got a surprise concert from the Minnesota Boys Choir. It was lovely!5877212214_d475084c13.jpg

We found a cute market where we got some fruit and Allison found gummy mice! What are the odds. They were kinda creepy but delicious!

Lots of pasta!

Then we walked along the river for a while. It was so shady and nice we didn't want to leave. It's been brutally hot so any shade is amazing. 

We have been seeing these tiny cars everywhere and it seems like they keep getting smaller. This is a car parked perpendicularly in a parallel spot. How small is that mini Cooper now?

Then we kept on walking back up to our hostel, stopping to see a few more sights. It's unbelievable how large these buildings are. And they're just sitting there in the middle of the city.

We stumbled across what looked to be some sort of protest and from all the Italian I know (which is three words) we guessed that it was something to do with saving the trees. Everyone's sign had a picture of a bug with a line through it so maybe the bug was killing the trees? Who knows. These Italians are crazy.

Tomorrow we are off to Pisa for a night! Ciao!

Posted by dillam7 06:41 Comments (0)

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