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Pisa & Lucca

ITALY | Friday, 27 January 2017 | Views [255]

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Our second big day out of Florence started even earlier than day one. A smaller group for this excursion, and even a couple of people that we toured with to San Gimignano etc. Quite a drive through the city, passing by towns and through some less populated country with views across the plains to the Apennine mountain range. And then we arrived in Pisa...more bucket list ticking! Our guide, Ena, walked us in to the Piazza Miracoli. Surrounded by well maintained green lawns stood the Cathedral, the Baptistery and tucked just behind the Cathedral, the bell tower, otherwise known as The Leaning Tower of Pisa, gloriously shimmering in the winter sunlight. We started our own exploration with entering the Baptistery, the largest in all of Italy. We discovered, also, the largest font we've seen. A large octagonal feature originally designed for adult baptism. Then we did decide to climb to the upper "balcony" of this building which gave us a great view down over the interior of the Baptistery and outwards to the Cathedral and bell tower. After returning to ground level we explored the mauoleum, a cemetery dedicated to the interment of nobles, church leaders and other important members of the community.

We enjoyed a coffee in one of the many restaurants near the Piazza before joining a local guide for a tour of the piazza and the cathedral. As with many of the cathedrals, basilicas and churches we've visited over the past few weeks (and there have been many) this one was also filled with spectacular features, including marble carvings and ancient paintings.

Lunch in a local restaurant gave us the opportunity to mingle with some of our fellow travellers before meeting up with our guide and rejoining our bus for the afternoon's excursion. Away to Lucca we headed. Yes, another medieval town, surrounded by a wall, and filled with towers, churches, and a basilica. The Basilica of Lucca has a quiet little side chapel with a beautiful marble carved sarcophagus of a noble lady. Said to be loved so deeply by her husband, he was heartbroken when she died and had her grave decorated beautifully, including a small dog carved at her feet.

Lucca is also the city where Puccini was born. He spent most of his life living nearby in a villa his family owned beside a lake.

Before finishing our visit to Lucca we shared tea and local sweet treats with our new found friend, Rosina. 

A very satisfied bus full of tourists arrived back in Florence after a rich and full day.

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