A lot of adventures, a lot of mishaps, a lot of gelato
Soaring temperatures, a burning sun, the middle of the European summer and one of the hottest days of the year.
And we were blessed to be in Pisa, possibly the place with the least amount of shade in all of Italy.
We arrived early in the morning to sweltering temperatures and a huge amount of tourists all trying to get the perfect picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. You know what I am talking about, the famous ‘Pisa’ picture of people pushing it over, leaning on it, squishing it, etc, etc. You know what I’m talking about!
So naturally I had to get one…
…and naturally I failed!
I did manage to get the standard ‘Look I’m a giant’ photo:
After getting our pictures we tried walking around but it was just way too hot to do anything. We managed to find a small ‘free’ bit of shade outside a souvenir shop to eat food. It is very rare to find anywhere to sit without getting charged in Italy, so we were very lucky! The town of Pisa is small and pleasant, it is essentially a stopover place for tourists, I would not recommend staying there. There is only the tower, the Basilica, a few small churches and all the souvenir markets, that’s pretty much it. I also found that the restaurants and cafés were marked up considerably compared to everywhere else in Italy.
The tower is actually quite small, and as stupid as this may sound, I thought it was going to be ‘leaning’ more than it was. To me it wasn’t the ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’ so much as the ‘Slightly Tilted Tower of Pisa’!
Once our stopover in Pisa was over we drove through to Florence, which was possibly even hotter than Pisa! We had a long walking tour in the afternoon around the city with a tour guide, who was very informative, but under the burning hot sun it was very trying in my already dehydrated and irritable state. Let’s just say I was very happy when the tour was finished and I was able to collapse on my bed at the hostel.
After an early night, with the worst air conditioning and the creakiest bunk beds known to mankind, Monica and I set off in the morning for a half day of relaxed exploring. Sarah and Jessica decided to go to the Uffizi Gallery to see the Statue of David, but I was not that keen on seeing another art museum for the moment. We walked around the markets, trying all the meats and cheeses and looking at all the foods, and actually managed to find Milo – of all the things! For those of you who might not know, Milo is this delicious chocolate malt powder you mix with milk, the Australian equivalent of Nesquick (except Milo is better!).
We walked over to Ponte Vecchio and looked at all the old, beautiful jewellery and took a million pictures of the beautiful reflections the old buildings made in the Arno River.
We then met up with Jess and Sarah and all got an extra large gelato sundae at a café in the famous Palazzo Vecchio.
It was the perfect, cold end to a very hot stay in Florence.