Posted by: martha sue | April 22, 2016

Pisa and Florence…

Our long day in Rome was followed by an equally long day in Florence – the very next day. We departed on our bus ride shortly after 8 a.m. on the morning of April 22nd. Our first stop was an hour away in Pisa to see the “leaning tower of Pisa”.

Our guide was Francesca and she gave us a history lesson on the way to Pisa. There was a lot of water under the ground in the area where it was built and they were only able to place the foundation 10 feet down into the ground. It took many years to get the bell tower built – construction was stopped several times before it was completed – and no matter what they tried, it still leaned.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa

The bell tower is one of the four buildings that make up the cathedral complex known as the Square of Miracles.

Church and Leaning Tower in Pisa

Cathedral Complex with Leaning Tower in Pisa

Leaning Tower Selfie

Leaning Tower Selfie

We were at the Square of Miracles for almost an hour and then met our group for the walk back to our bus. We got to a train crossing and the gate was down… waited for at least 15 to 20 minutes before a train finally arrived and passed by.

Stopped by a train - Pisa, Italy

Stopped by a train – Pisa, Italy

Once we got on the bus, our next stop was Florence — Firenze in Italian… We travelled through the city of Florence before crossing the Arno River arriving in the historical center.

Next stop - Firenze

Next stop – Firenze

Once in Florence, our guide walked us to the Santa Croce Square and told us this is where we would meet at the end of the day. We found a quaint local bar to have a sandwich and a glass of wine before we started touring Florence.

Church of Santa Croce - Santa Croce Square

Church of Santa Croce – Santa Croce Square

From here, Jay and I walked over to the Plaza Signoria — this is where the replica of David resides. We didn’t have tickets to enter the Academy of fine Arts where the original David was moved to get it out of the weathering elements of being in the open area of Florence.

Palazzo della Signoria

Palazzo della Signoria

Palazzo della Signoria  - Replica of David where the original once stood

Palazzo della Signoria – Replica of David where the original once stood

Next I walked up the street to find the Duomo – I had a map and hoped that I was going the correct way. I passed a lot of stores and kept on walking and then there it was… It was massive and beautiful.

Duomo

Duomo

The painting in the ceiling was breathtaking – I looked the Duomo up on the internet and found this description. “Giorgio Vasari’s frescoes of the Last Judgment (1572-9): they were designed by Vasari but painted mostly by his less-talented student Frederico Zuccari by 1579”.

Duomo

Duomo -Florence, Italy

Met back up with Jay in the Santa Croce Square where we met our group and made the way back to our bus. We got back to our ship and to our cabin by 6:15 — barely had enough time to freshen up, change clothes and make our 6:30 dinner reservation! I think we were 5 maybe 10 minutes late.

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