Hidy ho, mes amis! I’m back from my amazing two week spring break adventure, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Computer access was limited along the way, so I figure I’ll recap each city, then dedicate one to all of the delicious food that I ate whilst away. Duh.
The rest of our time in Florence was spent not actually in Florence. Instead, we took a day-long tour of the Tuscany region. I had done this same tour (with the same guide, as it turns out) when I was last in Italy. Leaving from Florence, we headed to the small city of Siena, whose medieval walls still surround the town. Siena is home to the world’s oldest living bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, founded way back in 1472.
Siena’s clock tower, located in the Piazza del Campo, is visible from anywhere within the city walls and is perhaps Siena’s most defining structure. The clock has no hand for minutes; therefore, “Meet me in the piazza around 12,” could mean showing up at 12:05 or 12:55. Although I enjoy this sort of nonchalance in theory, I have experienced enough of its practice in France.
The next stop on the tour was lunch at a farm in San Gimignano, followed by a stop in the town itself. Known as “Medieval Manhattan” for its countless towers, this is another town whose walls have survived to this day. The farm was as gorgeous as I remember, and the lunch just as yummy. I also knew better this time than to drink all of the wine available at the “tasting.”
The final stop of the day was in Pisa, home of…well, you know. Our tour guide had excitedly told me earlier in the day that this portion of the tour had changed slightly since I had last been, and that I was in for a real treat. And the treat was…a tour of Pisa via choo-choo train. By choo-choo train, I mean one of those awful little mini trains that shuttles you between attractions at Disney. A lightning storm commenced almost immediately after we pulled up to the tower, and Jay and I struggled to take a few of those silly Leaning Tower snapshots in the pouring rain. After my dad almost got into a fight with an aggressive “Rolex” salesman while defending my mother’s honor, we were able to cut our Pisa losses and head back to Florence.
Next up: Venice. Stay tuned!