After a two month break in England, I have finally made it back to Italy. A brutal early morning wake up call, a few sobs at the airport, hugging mère goodbye & a short flight & I am in Pisa. Land of the wonky tower.
Getting the Lam Rossa bus from the airport to the Piazza dei Miracoli, a snip at €1.20, I walked around the corner to my hostel, Hostel Pisa Tower. Handy location & for €16 for the night, I can't really complain, although, with no real kitchen facilities, being a vegan in Pisa is not a convenient option.
Having only a day in the city, I decided to follow an itinerary by Around Tuscany. Although, rather in reverse. Starting back in the Piazza dei Miracoli, I obviously went straight for the Torre Pendente & oh, what a sight. I'm a cliche, I know it, but, I only really came to Pisa for the leaning tower & I have to admit, even if I had done nothing else all day, that sight alone was worth it.
After gazing admiringly at it for quite some time, under my umbrella, I moved on to the duomo, which is free to enter, but you do have to acquire a ticket from the Museo delle Sinopie next door. Don't ask me why, but you do. [rolls eyes] I'm in no way religious & don't get any kind of 'vibe' in a church, but darn it, some of them are spectacular, especially the gilded ceilings & this one did not disappoint! Well worth a visit, especially as it's free.
Deciding to dedicate some time to the joys of the square, I popped back into the Museo delle Sinopie & bought a due ingresso ticket, which allows you to pick any two attractions in the square to visit, for €7, otherwise, they are €5 each. They do other combinations, tre ingresso for €9 & quattro for €10. However, the Museo delle Sinopie & the Battistero looked kinda boring, so I just opted to see the Camposanto & the Museo dell' Opera del Duomo.
The Camposanto Monumentale is a cemetery, which was somewhat destroyed before World War two & then ravaged again during restoration work, due to the outbreak of war. Now with the roof restored & many of the original frescos salvaged, it is a great place to visit. Equally so is the Museo dell' Opera del Duomo, which is quite large & takes more time to fully take in, than I envisaged.
Housing original works of art from over eighteen hundred years ago, which, I would like to add, are not in any way encased & therefore took all my will power not to grope! Unlike stiff museums & galleries in England, Italy has a very relaxed policy & whilst you may see a CCTV camera about, there isn't anyone standing by to tell you off for poking a finger at a thousand year old statue. Much to my glee!
Leaving the square entirely, I pottered off down Via Santa Maria & took a right turn down Via del Mille to Piazza dei Cavalieri. A huge open expanse, surrounded by the Scuola Normale Superiore (an amazing building), Torre della Muda & the Santa Stefano dei Cavalieri church. Not much to do there, but worth it for any architectural lovers.
Taking a right turn down Via Ulisse Dini until Via Borgo Stretto, I strolled along, popping in & out of a few shops. Finally reaching the end of the road, with night upon me, I crossed over the Ponte di Mezzo, stopping midway to take a snap of the river. Unfortunately, due to lack of camera skills, I was not successful in gaining a nice shot, but the scene itself was rather special.
After a quick walk down the road to see the Chiesa di S.Maria Spina, I carried on down the Corso Italia, which is a long shopping strip. Made the obligatory visit to Zara naturally, although, walked out empty handed & full of longing. [sigh] Taking my retail sorrow to the end of the road, I ended up at Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, where, just to my right, I got to see Keith Haring's colourful mural.
Satiated with my day's excursions, I dashed into a local supermarket to grab something for dinner. Whilst paying for my olives & lentils I got the shakes & nearly had a cardiovascular breakdown, when I found my hostel keys were gone from my jacket pocket. All I can say is, I have never been so happy to find something in my jean's pocket in all my life. [phew]
Off to Florence tomorrow! Ciao!