Saturday, May 25, 2013

In the Heart of Tuscany

We're in Florence! It's incredible. When we got here yesterday I was so excited because this is so much more of what I pictured Italy to be like than how Rome was. I want to take a picture of every street and every Italian flag. There's even a puppy that comes to work with one of the receptionists named Yuma and I LOVE her! And the view from our breakfast room/balcony on the top floor is absolutely INCREDIBLE! You can see the whole city. It really is breathtaking. We went to the street market yesterday with all of the leather. It was the biggest market I have ever seen. Then we went and saw the Duomo. (There is a Duomo in every city that is a gorgeous cathedral dedicated to Mary. We walked over the Ponte Vecchio Bridge (that is where the most expensive gold and jewelry is) it was wonderful and the sun was shining!Then we went to Lindt Chocolate and got Italian hot chocolate. Oh. My. Gosh. It was so so good. It's legit just melted chocolate. 
This morning we woke up at 5:30 to catch a train to Pisa then to one other stop then to The Cinque Terra. When we got to Pisa to change trains we found out that our train was cancelled because someone jumped in front of the train and committed suicide. I feel so bad for his family and the train conductor. We decided to stay in Pisa and go and see The Leaning Tower of Pisa! It's so much more leany than I thought it would be! (pictures don't do it justice). It poured while we were there and got really, really cold. We went in the cathedral there. It was beautiful, of course. I learned today from Katie's friend Adam Jones (who served a mission here and is visiting) that every cathedral is in the shape of a cross; the long part represents life, the cross represents death (there is always an altar there and that is where they do their sacrament)  and the top of the cross represents exaltation. Only the Priest and special people get to go to the exaltation part and that is supposed to be the most beautiful part of the church. Then we caught the train back to Florence and found the indoor food market that Alisha's cousin told her about. If you come to Florence you HAVE to go there.   It is called the San Lorenzo Market in Del Marcado Piazza. It is THE BEST. You can get a yummy authentic Italian meal for cheap and there are rows of cheese, meat, oils, treats, bread, etc. We got some lunch and then had fresh cannolis-so, so yummy! Sitting eating pasta while an old man played the accordion was picture esque.The best part of the whole market was the dried fruit stand. They have the yummiest dried banana chips. And the sweetest Japanese woman works there. We went twice, that's how good it is. The melon is really good too. After that, we came back to the hotel to warm up and hang out! I LOVE FLORENCE!

Cannoli time!

Cutest old man at the market playing for everyone.
He posed for me to take a picture.

The yummy food at the market.

The Cathedral in Pisa with the leaning tower peaking out.

Katie and me!

Alisha on the train to Pisa.

It's so leany!

That's me failing to look like i'm leaning against it.

Gotta love the tourist pose!

Mel on the train to Pisa. 

Adam and Katie on the train to Pisa.

On the Ponte Vecchio

Chalk art.

Ponte Vecchio 

Viva Italia!

Ponte Vecchio

Lindor truffles.

The outside of the Duomo here reminds me of It's a Small World
at Disneyland.

Back packin. 

The train ride (the part I was awake) to Florence from Rome was

The market.

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