I won’t lie to you, I’ve spent the past few days sleeping far too much and lazing around Florence. Up until today, I haven’t done one single touristy thing, besides walk into people because I’m too busy examining my surroundings. Especially when my surroundings include a pair of teal punx leather ankle boots. I think I’ve practiced good self-restraint so far, but don’t congratulate me until I’m in Bologna without a pair of teal punx leather ankle boots. REALLY. TEAL SUEDE ANKLE BOOTS. If I were Cinderella, these would be my glass slippers. No lie. Ok, moving on. Yes, I’ve mostly been sleeping until 9, eating breakfast, and then lazing around until 2. I may or may not nap during that time. Then I set out into the city to walk around and plan out Christmas shopping. It’s been unbelievably warm here, but even so there is a distinct Christmas feel in the air. Hint hint, I’m doing my Christmas shopping in what I would consider the leather capital of the world. Swell.
I really enjoy the urban areas of Italy, but it turns out the rural parts are my favorite. I love the little towns dotting the hillsides, with nothing more than a few trattoria’s and tabbacchi shops. Though you get more strange looks, there’s also more of a home feel. A welcoming. Plus, I NEVER ran into Americans. Sure a few English from time to time, but not one single American. This experience has taught me that we Americans tend to like the beaten path. And I must say, the American accent sounds so harsh after only hearing English spoken by the British the last few weeks. I’ve skyped with the fam and such, but really, most people I’ve spoken to on the regular have had a British accent. I now cringe when I hear Americans and wonder if that’s how harsh I sound. It’s such a strange feeling. I think it’s slowly dissipating though, which is good.
Also, someone start trying to sell Tom’s shoes here in Italy IMMEDIATELY. At this point it’s clearly just a US/UK thing but everyone keeps eyeing my Tom’s like they’re going to take them right off my feet. It probably doesn’t help that they’re that really obnoxious yellow-green color. Even the men are obsessed with them. Two stopped me in the mercato yesterday and said, “Those are great shoes”. You probably think they were just being cheeky, but they had this look in their eyes, like they thought my shoes could launch them into space. That’s the other problem with it being so touristy, is that everyone here speaks English. It’s more difficult to walk past someone saying something to you, when you actually understand what they’re saying.
Anyway, so today I finally ventured out to do something touristy. I caught the train to Pisa, only an hour away, to check out the famous leaning tower. It was strange to round a corner in Pisa just to stumble upon the tower. Literally, I turned a corner, and there it was in all its obvious leaningness. It almost doesn’t seem real to look at it. And then I noticed the beautiful greens, duomo, and baptistery, which were far more interesting to look at if I’m being honest. The duomo was free so I spent about an hour in it devouring all of the paintings and architecture. I know little about either, but just LOOKING is overwhelming. I took some pictures of the inside since it was a very unique duomo, compared to all of the other ones I’ve seen. This one is so light and airy inside, whereas the others are usually dark and a bit morbid. In fact, the whole Field of Miracles, as it’s called, is light and bright. Almost blinding. The Field is just that, a big open grassy square, which I’m sure helps with the light.
Then I just meandered around side streets and the university. I must say I prefer walking around aimlessly and stumbling upon beautiful things, rather than following the tourist guide. It’s especially good since I always have time to kill being by myself!
And I’ll let you in on a little secret: I wasn’t supposed to spend the whole day in Pisa. I was supposed to start in Lucca and catch a bus to Pisa and then back to Florence. But I slept late and I missed my train to Lucca. I could have done the reverse and gone from Pisa to Lucca BUT I had this plan to go to a recommended Indian restaurant for dinner in Pisa. So I was determined to stay until late so I could have Indian food, which I’ve been CRAVING. Come to find out around 5pm the restaurant is CLOSED on Wednesday. I almost cried. The tears were forming. There wasn’t many people around but there was this older gentleman eyeing me warily, like he knew I was about to break down and he didn’t know how to handle it so I persevered and ate a really tasty veggie pizza instead. Not even in the same ballpark as the Indian food I was expecting, but it’ll do. For now.
Since I screwed it all up and ended up buying a ticket to Lucca before realizing I missed the early train, I will be headed to Lucca bright and early tomorrow!
Here’s the gallery of my Firenze and Pisa pictures: