After breakfast, Alan & I retrieve the van and we all set out for Pisa from Florence.Â We arrive at 10 a.m. and it is already hot!
The first thing we notice is a Jewish cemetery right outside the walls of the city. Quite interesting with many Hispanic & Portuguese graves, as well as graves from Jewish soldiers from WWII and a few as late as 1982.
The leaning tower (tore pendente) is part of a church complex set back from the roadâ€”quite beautiful: the baptistry, the church itself, and the (leaning) bell tower, which is the farthest from the gates.
There are many tourists, although not so crowded as The Vatican, but just as hot!
After viewing the tower and taking some photos, Alan & I return to the gate where there is a long row of tented stalls with food as well as souvenirs and wait for the others. I wait in the shade where there is another Living Statue and had my picture taken with him. Not sure who he is supposed to be, but took the picture anyway!
Leaving Pisa for Siena, looking for a restaurant, but it is Sunday and not many places are open. We finally find one at 2 p.m. and they close at 3 p.m., so our lunch was a little more rushed than most places we have eaten. Eating is a major activity here and service is leisurely, usually. We order light fare: salad, omelets & pasta) and did leave by 3 p.m.
Alan wanted to show us the Piazza del Campo in Siena, but it was closed to vehicles and the walk was too far, at least for me, so Irv & I stay in the van and soon Jackie returns and then Alan, Kal, & Rhoda return. Also too strenuous as well as far. (When he was in Italy many years ago, some of these roads were car accessible and are no longer.) Also, it started to rain, so we head back to our hotelâ€”too late for my body clock, so after bathing I rest while and then just Alan & I went next door to our hotel for dinner, while the other couples went elsewhere. Itâ€™s good we are not glued at the hip and can make some decisions like eating alone without feeling beholden to one another.
I would not have attempted Siena after Pisa, since I felt that was too much touring in the heat. I told Alan I canâ€™t do his schedule. I need a mid-afternoon break after being up at 6 or 7 a.m. Then I can do something else in the evening. He is overzealous in trying to â€œshop us a good time,â€ but I become overtired and cranky. I wonâ€™t do this in Venice, even if I miss some of its charm. So far, Amalfi is my first love: more restful, less hectic!
Final photos of Pisa:
Above left: photo of me with church complex in the background. Right: photo of Alan leaning on the chain fence in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.