Day 6: Florence (Part Deux) and Pisa

Apologies for the late post. The following is an account of events on 6/11. Today, 6/12 will be recapped tomorrow morning!

If I only had a few words to describe our final day in Florence I would certainly consider using the term heart-stopping… As in a collection of heart-stopping moments strung together just closely enough to catch your breath. Lucky for me and unlucky for anyone reading this right now, I’m allowed far more than two words.

Moment #1: The Bell Tower at il Duomo, Fireneze

Nothing too terribly negative to report here. I mean, who actually expects to take an elevator to the top of a bell tower? Well this guy right here did and that unnaturally positive life partner of mine, referenced in a couple of previous posts, managed to convince him (me) otherwise, so the stifling stairs we went. The 471 steps to the summit proved a reasonable fee considering the opportunity I had to capture some of the most arresting images of the trip. Best views in Florence.

…literally out of breath heart stopping.

Moment #2: Pisa Junk and Esmerelda

We decided to go to Pisa against the advice of nearly everyone we bumped into that had traversed the area previously… Retrospectively I can say that it was a pretty silly decision. When you get off the train in Pisa at stazione centrale things look a little different than most other places: more garbage, more general stinkyness and way more gypsies. Suddenly I felt the same sensation I had had only a few days earlier when we almost missed our Cinque Terre trek and I did the “this had better be worth it” thing. Unfortunately, il Torre di Pisa (leaning tower) did not impress. Frankly, it’s small. Frankly, it’s boring. Frankly, it sucked. Tons of tourists all taking the same pictures (someone trying to hold the tower up and some trying to knock it down) and pick-pockets everywhere. Pisa itself we found to be the dirtiest and least interesting city of our trek. Not recommended at all… Even by other Italians which I find to be hilarious. When you travel to other large cities in Italy you often find (pardon my French) tshirts and sweaters that read “Pisa $hit”, or “I went to Pisa and all I got in return was pick-pocketed”. Even their own country has turned its back on most definitely a place no longer worth visiting. Throw in there the fact that we were literally chased… Like running on foot… By a crazed lunatic for nearly 300 meters through the main piazza in town, and it’s no contest. She was obviously a gypsy and offered to buy my camera. I told her to leave us alone and she started screaming at the top of her lungs, running after us. Eventually she stopped at a pay phone and sure enough we thought she was making a call to her gypsy posse in the train station where we were going. To our good fortune however, we made it on the train without further lunacy.

…literally “are we going to die” heart-stopping.

Moment #3: All’Antico Vaniao

I have limited words for what I’m about to say, because I start thinking about Vanaio and I lose most human capabilities… Breathe…

Hole in wall. Panini only. Freshest ingredients. Homemade, hot focaccia bread. Huge crowds. Huge sandwiches. Only 4 euro. Slabs of mozzarella. Prosciutto hanging from the ceiling. Amazing. Delicious. MUST VISIT if in FLORENCE. No excuses.

…literally wish we died and went to panini heaven heart-stopping.

Pictures include Sarah holding up Pisa like everyone else, Vanaio and the surrounding absurdity, and coast because I miss him.

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