Viva Italia Days 9 and 10 – Florence, Tuscany and Pisa

10/29
On our first full day in Florence, we had a walking tour of the Duomo and the Accademia.

The Duomo
The Rape of the Sabine Women
We FINALLY saw the statue of David!!! But you aren’t allowed to take pics in the museum. Bummer. (Luckily, there was a replica statue of David and we took lots of pics with him.)

 

Me and David!
Trying to get a pic of me pinching David
but a random lady decided to point right as Josh took the pic.

 

But later on in the trip – I got him!
Nailed it!
After the tour, we walked around and explored, took a quick nap, and then got some dinner.

 

A gelatin David!

 

Of course we had to get some chocolate from Rivoire!

We stopped in at a café on our way back to the hotel and got some cioccolato – Italian hot chocolate. This stuff was amazing – so thick and sooo delish! I’ve got to learn how to make it!! Also in Florence, we tried a sample of cake called Panforte. (I ended up buying some and finishing it before we even left Italy.) It’s almost like a fruit cake, but way better!

Cioccolato – yum!

 

10/30
The next day, we had our full-day drive through Tuscany. The people of Tuscany weren’t as nice as the people we were around in the larger cities. But the views were amazing. We visited San Gimignano, Siena and Chianti. In San Gimignano, they had lots of cute shops with affordable gifts. I bought 2 baby bibs – one for my new niece Marielle (who was born right before we left for Italy) and one for my friend Kara’s baby.

 

 

 

I also bought a kitchen towel for my kitchen. When I was looking at the towels, I got yelled at by the old lady shop keeper because I was holding gelato. Oops! But really, I didn’t spill anything! Not sure why she had to yell at me…

After that, the best part of the trip – the wine tasting in a real Italian winery in the hills of Tuscany!! So romantic! And the views from the winery were so beautiful! We got to try 4 wines and some extra virgin olive oil. We bought some wine and promised not to drink it until after we’ve had a baby. Josh named it our “baby wine.” 🙂

 

 

 

 

Next, we went to Sienna. We split a pizza for lunch and then had a walking tour of the town. We learned all about the Palio di Siena! (A horse race they have in Siena.)

In all, it was a very long day and we slept well on the bus back to Florence. Once we got back, we found a place to eat for dinner – it was a pretty fancy restaurant that had been open since the 1800’s. We got an antipasto platter – no cheese (boo) but a great selection of meat, some bruschetta, and a piece of bread with pâté. The pâté was gross – I couldn’t eat it. I can’t remember what else we had for dinner that night…

One the way back to the hotel, we stopped in a store and Josh got gelato and I got a cannoli – it was soooooooo good! We ate our dessert while sitting on the edge of the Ponte Vecchio. So romantic!

10/31 The last day was our half-day tour of Pisa. Pisa was cool – we got the obligatory picture holding the tower up. I bought my mom a shopping bag in Pisa – they had the best prices on all of the touristy souvenirs.

 

 

When we got back, we had lunch at McDonalds, of all places! I got the Italian Adagio burger. It had eggplant and feta on it. It was alright. The fries were the same old yummy Micky D’s fries. Josh had the McRoyal – basically a quarter pounder. We didn’t get McFlurries, but they had hazelnut and pistachio flavors. I also had a Coke Light – a diet coke in Italy!

After that, we went to the Piggy Market to shop. We learned on our Academy Walking Tour that the Piggy Market is named after a bronze statue of a pig-well, a boar really-that is sitting in a fountain near the market. His nose is the only place that is bright bronze because it is a custom to set a coin in the pig’s mouth, rub his nose, and drop the coin into the fountain. Then you will come back to Florence! We bought some leather handbags and wallets for gifts at the market.

Also in Florence, there is another custom that if lovers lock a key lock onto the side of the Ponte Vecchio bridge and throw the key into the river, their love will last forever. However, this is illegal so ever month or two, the police come out and cut off all of the locks. So their love lasts for a month or two. Ha!

After the Piggy Market, we found a place for dinner. We split a bottle of Chianti, then I had “small mouthfuls of beef” cooked in a tomato, pepper, and wine sauce. It was served with potatoes – the entire meal was amazing. Josh got lasagna and we split a plate of grilled veggies. For dessert, we had a Florence specialty – sweet dessert wine with biscotti that you dipped in the wine – it was awesome!

We also saw a few people dressed up for Halloween – not as many as I expected to see though. And whenever we saw a group of scantly dressed girls in Halloween outfits – they turned out to be Americans. Figures…