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Written on: Thursday March 8th, 2007

A journal entry from: Rouen Exchange

Before reaching Florence, we stopped in Pisa to see the tower.  This stop consisted of getting off the train, walking to the tower, hanging out there for 45 minutes and heading back to the train.  I'm sure there's more to do in Pisa than this but that was all we cared to do.  By the way, I couldn't bring myself to be the obvious tourist and take a picture of me holding up the tower like EVERYONE else was doing so I settled for a discrete one taken while I was sitting on the lawn (see below).

The first evening in Florence, we went to track down a restaurant recommended by Lets Go.  It turned out Trattoria Anita was down a back alley behind the Uffizi but it was worth it for the cheap prices and good wine.

Also in Florence we took a cooking class.  Unfortunately, we missed the first hour because I had the street name but not the appartment number so we had to return to the hotel to call them and get more exact information.  On the menu was Gnocchi (at my request) for Primi, Chicken with herbs and a potato/green bean dish for Secondi and a cake made with mostly Riccota cheese, saffron and sugar.  Very proud of my gnocchi making skills after that.  We made so much food it provided supper that evening.

The last day in Florence we waited in a somewhat long line (or so I though for it being only the start of March) to see the David.  Very impressive.  We also took a tour of Plazzo Vecchio.  By paying an extra euro, Chris and I got a guided tour (complete with security guard) of the secret passageways of the building.  We also climbed to Piazzale Michelangelo to get a great view of the city later that evening.  I decided against going to the Uffizi museum as I couldn't really bear to spend more time looking at paintings - hope I don't regret that later on!

I also did some good bargaining in the street beside Accademia.  There were people in the street making Chinese style paintings with sponges and colourful paint.  I was just interested in how much they were (no intention to buy) so asked on of the men.  He informed me that they were 3 euro which satisfied me so we turned to leave.  He grabbed my shoulder and lowered his price to 1 Euro so I couldn't refuse and got my name painted, Asian style, in Florence.

I'm not sure if we missed something, but Florence wasn't all I was expecting it to be.