Tuesday, September 20, 2011

T & R: In Pisa and onwards to Florence. Day 5 out of 2 weeks in Italy.

Day 5 : Pisa and later Florence.
Before leaving for Florence from Cinque Terre, might I add that I had a fantastic time staying at L’Antica Terazza B&B that is located in Monterosso.
The hosts were very accommodating thus if you ever visit Monterosso, make this place your accommodation.
From Monterosso to go to Florence by train, do make a stopover in PISA (there is no need to pre-book even in summer). The reason we stop is because you have to stop anyway in order to go to Florence thus PISA is a good place to do your change of trains plus you don’t want to say that you go to Italy without seeing the leaning tower of PISA right?
Don’t forget to stow your luggage, because there is one in the train station itself and plus you don’t want to lull in across the roads all the way to the leaning tower ….. how unglamorous is that?
From here, it is simply a half an hour walk to the famous leaning tower.
Once you pass the bridge (you will see small statues as depicted above when you find the bridge), it won’t be long till you see the famous leaning tower.
Pisa’s famous Leaning Tower is simply the bell tower for the adjacent cathedral – cathedrals all over Italy have bell towers, and many of them are also leaning for one reason or another. This is one little fact the folks in Pisa would rather you don’t know, but it’s true. Of course, if you try to convince your friends that you’ve seen plenty of leaning towers in Italy, if you haven’t seen the one in Pisa they’re not going to be all that impressed. Besides, you’ve seen everyone else’s pictures of themselves “propping up” the Leaning Tower, why not have one of your own?
Construction on the Tower of Pisa, called “La Torre di Pisa” in Italian, began in 1173 and went on more or less for about two hundred years. The ground beneath the tower was soft, and so even before the building was near completion it had already started to tilt. It was noticeable enough that the builders even tried to compensate for it by angling the new construction differently than the old construction – if you look at the tower from the appropriate direction you’ll see it’s not perfectly straight on one angle. The Leaning Tower has been closed to visitors at various times as engineers worked to shore up the base, fearful it would eventually topple completely. If a visit to Pisa won’t be complete for you without climbing the tower, check in advance to make sure it’ll be open when you go.
PLEASE BOOK YOUR TICKETS IF YOU INTEND TO CLIMB THE TOWER else if you reach the tower during Peak seasons i.e summer, the tickets to climb the tower for the day could have sold out!
Climbing the tower of PISA is a lifetime experience (it felt that way the first time however if you intend on coming to PISA ever again then that statement will become invalid) thus I of course have a prebooked ticket (which you need to go to the counter to exchange for a real ticket) and was 15 minutes early at the entrance. (If you are late, I believe you will have forfeited your turn so don’t be late!) Also make sure you have deposited your bags at the area in which you collected your bags else you will not be allow entry into the tower. Only cameras are allowed.
There will portions of the tower which you can stop to admire the view before heading straight to the top.
And before long, you will have reached the top of the tower which lies the flag.
Do soak in the atmosphere and the view of being on the top of one of the world’s iconic monument. (I have done the Eiffel so this is another nostalgic moments)
Once you have had your fun (plus buying whatever souvenirs you need to albeit very expensive!) it is time to head back to the train station.
Don’t forget to buy your tickets from the machine and have it validated before boarding (its the yellow machine!) and off you go …… to the town of the renaissance aka FLORENCE.
You can find cheap accommodation around the Florence’s Duomo itself so try to book yours roughly at most 200m from the Duomo so it will be easier for you to gravitate to. (in case you get lost!)
Cinque Terre to Pisa (approx 2 hours)
Spending time in Pisa (approx 2 to 3 hours)
Pisa to Florence (approx 2 to 3 hours)
Next stop : In the city of renaissance itself, Florence has lots to offer!!!

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