Pisa, Prosciutto, and Canolli

Day Fourteen

Today started a little earlier as we had a train to catch. We headed out into the brisk morning towards the train station. The mornings and nights have been quite chilly in Firenze. We arrived at the station with just enough time to purchase a bottle of water for our trip to Pisa. The train ride is about an hour long. Barbara had packed us sandwiches for our journey. I chose to eat mine for breakfast on the way there.

Once we arrived in Pisa, we figured we would follow the crowd. The crowd led us to the bus stop. We were able to get on the bus. The bus driver was annoyed he was falling behind in his schedule and shut the doors on many people trying to get on. The bus ride was uneventful and only took about 10 minutes. You know you have arrived in the correct location based on the amount of vendors selling kitschy souvenirs. Walking through the gate into the Square of Miracles you are immediately rewarded with a view of the leaning tower. The architecture of the baptistery and the cathedral is really quite beautiful, however, it is the tower that steals the spotlight. We stopped and attempted to take the obligatory pictures trying to hold up or push over the tower. We had some communication issues and now have a handful of failed attempts. I did manage to capture a fairly decent selfie though. The site is really quite beautiful, it is no wonder the site is one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World! After doing a quick walk around the grounds we headed back to the bus stop. The ticket machine wasn’t accepting cash, so Barbara made the executive decision to take a taxi back to the train station.

We returned to Florence at 1pm. Mady met us at the train station and took me to lunch. Barbara returned to the apartment to pack up some of her clothes. She decided her suitcase was far too heavy and wanted to ship some things home. Mady navigated us through the city to Osteria all’Antico Vinaio where we ordered two delicious La Summer sandwiches. Mady had a class to attend, so we ate as we walked. We parted ways at Kent’s campus and I returned to the apartment.

While Barbara completed her chores I settled in for an afternoon nap. I was sound asleep until Barbara came in and yelled: “it’s almost 5!” The last thing on Barbara’s must-see list was Michaelangelo’s David. We walked to the Accademia Gallery. Since it was later in the day, there really wasn’t much of a crowd. The statue truly is magnificent! It’s incredible to think Michaelangelo could envision that from a block of marble.

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With two hours until our dinner reservation, we decided to explore Tiger. Tiger is similar to a tiny Target and I basically want to take the entire store home with me. After successfully leaving the store without purchasing things I do not actually need, we headed to the restaurant. We still had another hour before we needed to be there, but we wanted to make sure we knew where it was located. After finding the restaurant, we walked further on to Trattoria San Lorenzo for drinks. I had my first Aperol Spritz while Barbara had a Campari soda. The food being served at the table next to us looked delicious! If we had more time in the city I would want to try it out.

At 8 o’clock we headed to La Ménagère to meet Mady and Sami for dinner. As soon as we walked through the door I fell in love with this restaurant! The decor and atmosphere are exactly my style. The menu is not exactly for the faint of heart. Picky eaters would have a hard time here. We ordered hummus and shrimp tartar as our antipasti. The hummus was tasty, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the shrimp tartar. Barbara and Sami both ordered the housemade spaghetti. I ordered the gnocchi arrostit, while Mady was undecided between the gnocchi and the ravioli. Our waiter offered to surprise her. When it was time for our food to be served, he presented Mady with gnocchi as well as the ravioli! He said both dishes were delicious and deserved to be tasted. He was right! I could live on that gnocchi! The food was absolutely fantastic!

We had decided earlier to skip dessert at the restaurant in favor of cannoli at the Duomo. We walked over to the Duomo to Don Nino, where we watched our cannoli being prepared in front of us. They too were delicious! After saying our farewells to the girls, Barbara and I walked back to the apartment to end the night.

Good night Firenze! It’s been fun. We’re off to Rome in the morning. 

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