Hey guys, welcome back to my blog! It feels like forever since I have written here. As you may have read in Dr. Kennedy’s post last week, this month has been hectic in terms of adjusting to the situation in Italy and transitioning back in the United States. But, I will tell you my perspective about that in the next few weeks. For now, I still have some wandering adventures to tell you about. Enjoy!
So, I wandered around Pisa and Lucca this week. The group and I went on a field trip to visit these beautiful cities here in Italy. Pisa is close to two hours away from Florence, and it is home to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. Or as the Italians call it, Torre Pendente de Pisa. It was so incredible to see the tower in person. With all the pictures that I had seen of tourists playing with the optical illusion, I could not wait to see what it looked like in person. And after having seen it, I would say that the tower is not as big as I thought that it was, it is about a third of the size of the Washington Monument. Nevertheless, the tower is still incredible, and it is actually leaning! This is very impressive given its weight and age. Our tour guide did mention that is regularly maintained, and that some of the best engineers and architects worked on keeping it leaning, but in a way that it doesn’t keep leaning down further or fall. The tower’s construction began in the 1100s and took about 200 years to finish. It was meant as a bell tower in the Field of Miracle (Piazza dei Miracoli), which consists of a baptistry, and a cathedral, but the story is that the tower began to lean during construction. The architect is still unknown, but people have a few theories.
Outside of the piazza are many merchants selling everything from foods, “leather” bags, and I put this in quotes because throughout my time in Italy, I could figure out who was actually selling real leather. Some merchants would try to sell you on a leather item by telling you that it is real and that others are fake, and would go to extreme measures to prove it by holding a fire over the item; But then again, everyone was doing the same trick so it was confusing. But anyways, back to Pisa, they sold everything including fake Gucci, and Prada bags, which I had not seen in Florence, since it is illegal.
Anyways, after the photo ops, we were headed to Lucca.
Lucca was so great, so clean, and so peaceful. It was more relaxed than Florence. There were less tourists, so that gave us a chance to peacefully wander around. It is a city surrounded by a huge wall, which was historically supposed to keep people away and protect the loyalty that lived within the walls. So, for the rest of the time that we had, we visited to flee market where people were selling silver spoons, books, record players, vintage clothes and bags, furniture, and just about everything. And we also ate some of best food that Lucca had to offer. I finally got a chance to taste the famous tripe (cow intestines), which is a delicacy in some parts of Italy. And it was so good, I was not disappointed at all.
Overall, Lucca is a very charming city, and I encourage everyone to go there when they visit Italy.
That’s it for this week, I hope you enjoyed this blog. Don’t forget to read up on Amara and Rebekah’s blogs later this week for more about Italy and the culture!