I made it back safe and sound! I have a couple more things left to share before I close this blog!
One last weekend. The only weekend remaining to go somewhere. There was no way I was just going to sit around when I have more places on my to-go list. So, this weekend, I hit up 3 of the cities I wanted to visit in Tuscany: Florence, Lucca, and Pisa.
It was great to get back to Florence. Last year with CUDS, we visited Florence and saw the Uffizi Gallery. Florence is a completely different city in the second week of January compared to the first weekend in June. There were people everywhere. There were thousands of people just in the Duomo area. We wandered around some Piazzas, went through the Galileo Museum, and stumbled upon a wine tour. In the Galileo Museum, there were hundreds of astronomy and cartography related instruments, as well as Galileo’s middle finger in a glass jar. The Wine tour was a wine event held in one of the Piazzas, just the other side of Ponte Vecchio. Ponte Vecchio is a famous bridge over the river in Florence, where there are apartments and lots of jewelry shops. The wine event featured Tuscany wines. For 10€, we each were allowed 10 tastings and a wine glass.
Sunday we went to Lucca and Pisa. Lucca is 30 minutes by rail away from each other. The historical district of Lucca is surrounded by an old city wall. There are a lot of neat piazzas and churches here. We visited San Giovanni church, which is an archeological site. Underneath the floor of this 12th century church, there are ancient ruins of former churches, towers, and Roman baths, among other things that have not been identified yet. We were able to walk around this site. It was neat to try to imagine what some of these ruins were when they were in their glory. We visited Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, which is where a Roman amphitheater was located. However, it was destroyed, and a ring of buildings in the same shape were put in its place. There were lots of small restaurants and a couple small bands planning, and it still had the amphitheater effect because of how these buildings were built. Our last stop was Torre Guingini, a tower in Lucca that has some trees growing at the top of it. It makes for a nice climb, because once you get to the top, you have some shade instead of the sun beating down on you.
After Lucca, we hopped on the train to Pisa. When we arrived, we took a bus to the other side of the city where the Duomo, Torre, and Field of Miracles is located. By doing this, we could reserve our time for climbing the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. We arrived to the sight around 4:00, and our assigned time for the 15€ climb was 5:40. We were lucky, because sometimes the tower is under construction. I did not even check to see if it was even climbable for the day that we went. As we were waiting for our time slot, we took lots of tourist pictures of the leaning beast. The clouds were dark, and yet the sun was bright, making for some awesome pictures.
The tower itself sure does lean. It really is amazing how it is still standing. It was so really neat to be in the presence of such a famous landmark.
The climb of the Leaning Tower of Pisa was definitely an interesting one. There are 272 steps winding around to the top of the tower. You can see marks on the walls from people’s shoulders rubbing on one side or the other depending on which side of the tower they were on because of the lean. The lean really affects the climb, as it makes one side of the tower difficult to climb, and the other is easier. You are almost stepping up as the stairs are leaning downwards. Many of the steps are very, very warn, especially at the top, making it difficult to get footing sometimes.
The view from the top was spectacular, overlooking the clouds on mountains in the distance. We were at the very top of the tower, with the only thing higher than us being the flag on top. It was an easy climb, but it was also one of the most satisfying for me.
Tags : Climb, Florence, Lucca, Pisa, travel
Categories : Trips