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Florence and Pisa

Written on: Monday May 17th, 2010

A journal entry from: Europe 2010

May 17thFLORENCE AND PISA

Rowdy morning as a bunch of Asians stayed at the hotel and had an early start.  We caught the train to Florence and got on a tour bus to give us an idea of what we may want to see.  Not a particularly good idea as the headphones on the bus kept cutting off and we didn't know where we were in relation to the map.  We paid for a two hour tour but after an hour were told we had to switch to another bus to continue the tour and it went on the same route.  Had a wander around Florence but once again the streets were confusing as they are all at angles to one another and you can easily get turned around. The Duomo is quite magnificent but don't quite get where this is the most beautiful city in Italy – not a good omen of things to come. Went back to the hotel and had a beer sitting out on the patio at the back of the hotel and then out to dinner.  This is a weird place, we got the idea yesterday that it was a bit of a backwater but when we went out that night found that  the shops are quite high end and there were lots of tourists milling around.  We have still to see just what the attraction is here at Montecatani Terme.

 

May 18th

Walked around Montecatani before we left but still can't see what the fuss is about.  Lots of hotels, restaurants and shops but the only thing I could find on the net was that it famous for its spas. So we left our strange little hotel and the lady who runs it.  She gave us our bill for 90 euros for two nights including breakfast and we had to remind her that we'd had dinner one night.

 

A short drive to Pisa and we found parking close to the tower walked to the tower area – so far my favourite visit.  So much work has gone into making the area clean and attractive, the tower isn't the only attraction as there are other buildings there that have also sunk but not as much as the tower.  After a couple of hours of taking pictures from every angle we left for our drive to Rome. We were hoping to hug the coast but the road took us away for most of the trip even though we did try to get down to one of the towns but Tom took us back to the main road.  The poppies and wild flowers are beautiful at the moment and the Tuscany area is very attractive.  It's funny how periodically an old village would appear on the edge or top of a hill, we could only presume they were built that way to keep out attackers or spot attackers as they approached.

 We arrived at our hotel in Ladispolli and to our joy found it was a lovely hotel set along the shore of the ocean, large grounds with a swimming pool (closed for the season).  We grabbed a beer and spent an hour in the sun before heading out along the prom to find somewhere to eat.  Not a good meal although the view of the setting sun was terrific