Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Summer I Went to Europe - Day 3

Day 3 of our trip and we have arrived in Livorno, Italy!  Instead of spending the day in Livorno, we decided to take a charter bus to visit both Pisa and Florence.  During the ride to Pisa, we had an excellent travel guide who explained everything we could do in Pisa and the best way to see the most in the short time we were be there.
We thought these trees were really pretty!
After arriving in Pisa, we were off to see the #1 attraction there...yep, you guessed it...the Leaning Tower of Pisa!  I was really excited to see this, even though I really didn't know anything about it.  I learned from our tour guide that the tower was originally built as part of the town's Cathedral and began leaning shortly after construction began because of the soil that was used.  We got some really cool pictures of the Leaning Tower and other attractions in Pisa.
Up close pic of The Leaning Tower!

Me and my beau!

Probably my favorite pic of the tower!

And because no trip to Pisa is complete without trying to "hold the tower up." 

Then it was my turn!

After MUCH searching, we finally found someone who was up to our photography standards!

The Tower with the Cathedral to the right!

The Cathedral with the Baptistery behind it!

Just a cool pic Patrick took!
After a quick trip to Pisa, it was time to hop back on the bus to head to the land of Snooki...yep, Florence!  When we first got to Florence, we were both starving and REALLY craving some good Italian food.  With a little help from our tour guide, she led us to the best meal we had the entire trip.  Not only was it yummy food, but it was also outdoor seating right in the middle of the Signoria Square, which is the town plaza that houses the townhall of Florence.
Bargello was DE-licious!
Patrick's beer was MASSIVE!  I had a Diet Coke of the same rocked my world!

My meal was soooooo good!

Me, just relaxing with the plaza in the background!
Once we had re-fueled, we decided to take in the sights of Florence.  Our first stop was the plaza where we had lunch!  Here we saw Palazzo Vecchio; just outside this building is a replica of the Statue of David.  The original is located at the Academy of Fine Arts.  We didn't get to go there because of time, so we decided the replica would be good enough.  =)

Palazzo Vecchio

Statue of David Replica
After that, we strolled through the Uffizi Gallery, one of the oldest and most famous art galleries of the Western world.  There were several cool statues, including the likeness of the following people:

I'll be honest...except for the bottom statue of Leonardo Davinci, I have no idea who these other people are.  =)  On the other side of the gallery, we came to Ponte Vecchio (i.e. Old Bridge).

Our next stop was the Cathedral.  The cool think about this church is that the door was built to tell stories of the Bible for people who could not read.
Fun fact I learned on this trip...every Cathedral has a Baptistry

Beautiful entry way to the Cathedral

These are the door I was talking about above.

Patrick being silly!
Best Pic of the Cathedral!
By this point in the day, we were REALLY tired...thank goodness it was almost time to go meet our group, at the Church of Santa Croce.  It is amazing to me how long ago these churches were built...they are all such MASSIVE structures, too.  I can only imagine how long each of them were under construction!
Church of Santa Croce
After getting back on the ship, we quickly made our way to dinner and then decided to head to the ice skating rink on board the ship to watch Encore!  An Ice Spectacular.  It was amazing, and the talent on this ship continues to amaze me! 

That was it for Day 3!  At this point, all of the busy, busy, busy was beginning to catch up with us, but we were having a great time, and couldn't wait to head to Rome the next day!

And, finally...because no blog post is complete without a towel animal...

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