Saturday, July 9, 2011

Day 44 Pisa and Florence

I'm a proud grandma.....
So beautiful
Katie and Leaning Tower
Me holding fence up!
Still holding it :)
Cathedral in Florence
Dessert in Florence

Sadly I have to say we didn't have a chance to do justice to Florence,
so I will just have to return and spend a week there.
.......right after  I spend a week in Naples and Rome and 
(Venice that I didn't actually get to!) We had actually been
 spoilt by the previous two ports in Italy where we had 14
 and then 6 on each of the tours, this one was a bus of about
 38.......we felt like sheep , baaaaa baaaa baa. It wasn't
 all bad, we were off the ship and on the road and in Pisa
 before the crowds, so when we first caught sight of the 
Field of  Miracles it was empty making it a pretty awesome
 scene. And as can be  seen from the pics of The Leaning Tower
, it was cleaned in 2000 and now  is gleaming. We both expected 
it to be more grey looking, and no  apologies for not taking the
 "holding up the Tower" photo :) We had 45 minutes to take pics
 and shop before getting back on the bus  for the 90 min drive to Florence
, and just as we were leaving about 8 or  more busloads of tourists arrived,
 so we were pretty happy with ourselves. Our first stop in Florence was the 
Academy of Fine Arts which houses  Michelangelo's statue of David. 
Because we were on an organised tour we  had a time booked in to enter the museum,
 without this it would have  been a 3 hour wait!
 So another good reason to be on a Princess (or other  tour I presume).
 The Academy wasn't too crowded and we got a good view
of David and for quite a while, we also viewed some other pieces there. 
 Naturally you can't take photos but they wouldn't do it justice anyway 
 as it was amazing and well worth the visit. You get to appreciate how 
fortunate you are to see the original when you see one of the replicas 
in one of the squares in town, there is really no comparison. After 
leaving the Academy we were taken on a walking type tour past many of 
Florence's famous landmarks, including the Duomo , Medici Palace, 
Church  of Sante Croce and many more the midst of this we had a nice
 lunch at a hotel and then it was off for more walking. Our guide thought 
 it was about 40c after lunch but while it was warm in the sun I don't 
 think it would have been much over 33c at the most! So because of this 
 and the age of some of the participants (and the narrow streets) we 
 spent a lot of time in single file hugging the shady side of the street. 
 Our guide obviously had to try and keep 38 odd folks together in crowded
 places without losing us or us getting run over, so it was a quick look 
  at this and a quick look at that building with no time for lingering or
 sneaking into an interesting looking shop........ 
But in saying that we did get a great overview of the architecture and a 
 nice history lesson and even a look at some statues of the 4 teenage 
 ninja turtles :- Raphael, Donantello, Leonardo and Michelangelo, but no 
 Splinter! At the end of the day before we left we had about 50 mins free time to 
 shop, so Katie and I took advantage of that and headed straight for the 
gelati shop.............mine was melon and lemon and Katie had  strawberry
 and passionfruit mmmmmmmmmm Once back on the bus we went through a very 
leafy parky area of Florence  above the city before coming back into the 
city and onto the highway  home. It was absolutely gorgeous and I need to
 go back to check it out  more thoroughly :) The drive back was lovely too, 
through the Tuscany  countryside, with olive trees and grape vines etc
 After doing the obligatory "put your bags through the x-ray and walk 
through the metal detector" , then trudge up 7 flights of stairs we 
poked our heads in the laundry and hurray there was a free machine, so 
 we did a much needed load of clothes. The small things in ship life are 
also very exciting! While that was happening and I waited the 38 minutes for 
washing to end  before putting it in the dryer for 38 mins and
 (don't be late for  either or else some laundry rage might happen), 
I sat out on the  balcony and had a beer and a packet of chips for dinner
 as we sailed out  of Livorno in the late afternoon. Actually was about
 7pm but the sun was  still quite high , it doesn't get dark for ages now
 we are getting up  higher. Tomorrow is Monte Carlo and it is by tender 
and we are planning on doing  our own thing and will get off around 9.30 ish,
 wander up to the palace  and check things out before wandering back down to 
the water front and  having lunch and eyeing off the big yachts!   

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous Florence - a week would be a good start! But I bet that granddaughter will keep you at home for a while....