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Pisa, Siena, & San Gimignano

ITALY | Wednesday, 31 January 2007 | Views [957]

Well, a lot has happened since I last wrote. School has really started to pick up and I feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day, or I guess hours with free internet access to keep up with everything. As you can probably see from my last pictures, a couple of my friends and I went to Pisa the other Friday. It was everything I’d hoped it would be, but I think that a lot of tourists ignore the rest of Pisa besides the leaning tower and the cathedral. The rest of the city which I saw from walking to and from the train is really beautiful. It is on the Arno so it has many beautiful river side views similar to Florence. This last Saturday I went on a day trip to Siena and San Gimignano. Siena was way more beautiful that I ever could have imagined. We went to Saint Catherine’s Cathedral and their duomo and then had lunch in the main piazza. Saint Catherine’s was very pretty, but we were not allowed to take any pictures inside, which was a big bummer because it had the most beautiful stained glass. It also to my surprise had the mummified head and finger of the actual Saint Catherine. It was kind of creapy to look at, but something to see since I learned that this is not so uncommon in European cathedrals. On a more appetizing note, I had the most amazing gelato in the main piazza. It was tiramisu with chocolate, and I ran into my friend Jen there because she was on a day trip with one of her classes. San Gimignano was also very beautiful, it has towers built all over the city because of old family feuding, apparently they used these towers to defend themselves. It was very pretty, but we only had about an hour to walk around and see the city. The way home was one of the best parts of the day because three of my friends and I had raced back to the bus to get the front seats of the second story of our double-decker bus. The front of the top of the bus was just a giant wrap around window so it felt like we were on a rollercoaster the whole way home, and with the way Italians drive on their narrow little streets, it was a crazy ride! This past Sunday my roommate and I attempted to go to the Florentine’s soccer game which is about a 40 minute walk from our apartment. We took a bus there with a bunch of other students but weren’t able to get tickets so we ended up having to walk all the way home, which would have been a long walk if we knew how to get home but since we didn’t, we ended up getting lost for about 2 hours but found this awesome little flee market on the way home. It had these old Italian magazine advertisements for anything you could think of, I especially liked the retro Italian Volkswagen ads. I think I might have to go back and get a few another day. Hopefully, Katie and I will be able to get tickets to the next game, we just didn’t order them in advance so we knew it was long shot, but I hope to go to a few of the Florentine games while I’m here. Oh, I almost forgot…some of my most exciting news! This past week I went to an international students night at a discoteca with a bunch of people from my program and I won 2 for 1 tickets for paragliding in Interlaken, Switzerland!!! So I guess I’ll be making my way to the Alps soon! As Julie, Rhonda, and Troy would say, it is definitely “The Year of the Europe” !!!! Hey Julie and Rhonda, any news about “The Year of the Salad” and you two coming to visit me? Well that is all for now, I will hopefully have more to tell you after this week. Cassie, my roommate from Minnesota is arriving in Rome today to start her semester here in Italy, so I’m super excited to see her and Rome in the next few weeks! Ciao!

Tags: Misadventures

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