Florence, Italy - Day 2
After an amazing first day in Rome our second day we headed up to Florence for the day by train. We used Viator for this tour as well and had a great time exploring. The morning started out pretty early as we headed out to the Termini train station. Neither one of us had ever been on a high-speed train so we knew we were in for an interesting day. Our hotel pickup was around 6:30 AM so we made our way out to the piazza to meet our driver who was outside waiting for us. We picked up another family on our way to the train station to meet our guide who had our train tickets. Around 7:00 we boarded the train and took our seats for the hour and a half ride to the Firenze S.M.N. station.
Upon arriving we met up with our first guide and jumped on a bus to our first location which was an overlook called the Piazzale Michelangelo with an amazing view of the city of Florence.
After spending about an hour at the overlook we made our way to the Galleria dell'Accademia which was an incredible experience. It was the first time either one of us had been exposed to Michelangelo's fantastic work. The paintings and sculptures were exquisite.
After walking through each exhibit admiring his work we had reached the Statue of David. It is difficult to put into words how breathtaking he is. We were both incredibly moved by the beauty, detail and story Michelangelo tells with this statue. It is amazing to think that this was carved out of a single block of marble.
After we left the Galleria dell'Accademia we made the short walk down the street to the Duomo di Firenze which was absolutely stunning. We didn't get a chance to go in, but we hung out in the piazza out front and admiring the detail of the architecture.
It was getting to be lunch time now and we had arranged to stop at a close by the restaurant before heading off to Pisa. We ate at Giannino in San Lorenzo which we had a fixed lunch menu with bruschetta, salad, penne in pesto and meat sauces with cheesecake for dessert. The food was really good.
For our last stop, we boarded a coach for our hour trip to Pisa. Upon arriving we had quite a lengthy walk to get to the gates which helped work off the good food we ate. When we arrived at the gate we met up with our last tour guide who explained in great detail the four amazing structures. We discussed the Duomo di Pisa, baptistery, cemetery, and the leaning tower. The cathedral was absolutely beautiful from the outside, but the beauty on the inside was stunning.
While exploring the cathedral there was a thunderstorm moving in overhead which you can see in some of my photos above. When we left the cathedral we walked around the back side to the leaning tower and the bottom fell out on us. For about 30 minutes we stood outside the doors of the cathedral getting rained on, but it was an experience that was well worth it. Once the rain let up I did get some pictures of the leaning tower including one of Megan holding it up before we had to get back to the enterance to catch our ride back to the train station.
On our way back to the train station we were running quite a bit late and had 10 minutes to board the train back to Rome. We ran through the terminal to get to our train just in time to board and take our seats. The hour and half ride back to Rome was relaxing and once we got back to Termini we jumped in a cab and headed back to our hotel. One of the great things about where we were staying there was several little restaurants in the piazza. That night for dinner we stopped at Ristorante Clemente Alla Maddalena and had a great meal before getting some sleep before our tour of the colosseum in the morning and our friends getting into Rome before our cruise.