Sunday, January 1, 2017

Summer 2016 Pisa and Florence Italy

The long awaited day for Jeff. We were back in Italy!

Today we had pre-arranged a van to take us for the day. We were so happy with our driver and he was so happy that Jeff was an enthusiastic speaker of Italian. 

He was a great host and even provided water bottles and bathroom breaks for us. 

I was surprised that the tower of Pisa was so slanted. You can really see it when you are right up next to it. 

From this angle it didn't look too bad. They actually closed the tower for 11 years to restore it and put in supports. It's now opened to the public to go up but it cost 18 Euro per person so we just took pictures from the outside. 

We walked the grounds around the tower and looked inside some of the buildings. 

You had to pay to get inside here but since Jeff is "handicap" he was allowed to go inside for free and take a picture. 

I loved the details and the craftsmanship of the places we saw while we were in Europe. 

We also tried to get the pictures of holding up the tower...and Jeff tried helping other tourists do the same. 

The sun wasn't very cooperative...

As we were entering Florence our driver took us to overlook the city. 


What amazed me was all the ancient walls that surrounded the cities. They had been there a long time and the cities had grown beyond their bounds but they still stood. I could only imagine what life was like during the time those walls were in use. 

While we were at the overlook we also took pictures with a replica of the Statue of David. 

We happened to be there on a day when the place where the real statue was housed was closed. 

Afterwards our driver took us into the heart of Florence so we could explore. 

Some of the buildings were closed that day but just seeing them on the outside was amazing too. 

I remember this building from my Art History book and always thought it was black and white. Once I was in front of it I realized that its actually green and white marble. 

It amazed me how many beautiful churches there were all over Europe. 

Here was one of them that we went inside. 

The painting on the ceilings were painted with gold. 

There were also statues everywhere

For lunch we wanted to get some Italian pizza. We thought we were ordering pizza with prosciutto and something got lost in translation and this is what came out. 

It was not at all what we were expecting but it was good anyway. It was almost like fried bread, prosciutto and and a cheese dipping like sauce. 

A little humor in the streets...

Overlooking the Arno river..

Some views of Florence. 

This is Ponto Veccio which is supposed to be the richest bridge according to Jeff. It houses a number of jewelers that you can shop from while you walk across it. 

The Duomo of Florence

We also enjoyed shopping in the middle of town. We got some good deals on belts, a backpack for Ashley and some ties that Jacob can wear on his mission. We wish we had more time to visit but we had to get back to the boat. 

What was nice was at the end of the day we could come back to the ship to our room and eat a nice dinner and relax. We weren't having to lug our suitcases all over Europe and try and find transportation to fit all of us. We were able to enjoy the evening. 

Tonight we listened to Joel and Scott doing Karaoke.

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