Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Livorno

This is my last post about Tuscany in 2014. Last but not least. This nice port town founded in the 11th century has extremely tasty seafood. We saw the Fortezza Nuova, the port and visited a restaurant.

Lucca

Lucca is a small town in Tuscany surrounded with Renaissance-era walls. The city is known for the First Triumvirate which was the political alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, and also of Giacomo Puccini, the opera composer who was born here. But for us it was just a day-trip from Pisa. Unfortunately the weather was rainy, but it stopped raining in some stage during the day. We meandered around the town and visited the Puccini museum.

Pisa

We took the train from Firenze and spent 3 nights in Pisa. Pisa - the city itself is loaded with tourists, especially the area of the bell tower of the city's cathedral, aka the leaning tower. The city also served us as a good base for two of our day trips: to Lucca and to Livorno. The tower leans, indeed. We went up the circular staircase which turned out to be a very special experience of missing balance and coordination. Down on the lawn countless tourists were standing around with their hands in the air, pretending to push the tower. Given that every minute of daylight there are 10 people holding up the tower for a shot, short maths: 10 pics a minute x 60 minutes an hour x 12 hours of average daylight x 30 days a month. This makes 216000 photos a month. So we skipped this "very unique" experience.
who said it leans?
it's empty inside!

San Gimignano

We took a day-trip from Firenze to the Town of Fine Towers. I loved it! Medieval architecture well preserved and maintained towers, a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic styles of secular buildings and churches. The very nice town has about fourteen medieval towers, great wild boar meat, and excellent wine. Indeed the city deserves its title: the medieval Manhattan. We've climbed up to one of the towers, and enjoyed a great view on the town and surroundings.

Plenary session of the local parliament

Pistoia

We visited this medieval town in a day-trip from Firenze. The town is crossed by the Ombrone Pistoiese river and is famous for its ancient hospital, the Ospedale del Ceppo, where we got a private guided tour from a local girl in the underground part of the hospital. During the tour, the construction phases of the hospital were explained as well as its relationship with the city during different periods of history. They used to dispose the medical pottery into the river. Then we went up back and visited the Anatomy Amphitheatre of the hospital, which has been perfectly preserved since its founding in 1785 and the Medical Academy Room “Filippo Pacini,” which houses a remarkable collection of surgical instruments from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. We obviously developed quite a bit of hunger which we treated by some cold horse meat at the Piazza del Duomo.
hello, wake up! (Anatomy Amphitheatre)
The old pottery disposal place. I wonder if there are some Yersinia pestis bacteria still alive..

Fiesole

Fiesole is a small town on the hills surrounding Firenze. We took the direct bus, visited the Area Archaeologica and a very nice restaurant facing the city.