Pisa & Lucca
Trip Start Unknown
16Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
On our way we passed what looked like a Catholic church. Marcus told me that there was a service going on after peaking inside it. ''Why don't we go in?'’ I asked him. He shrugged. We went in. Inside was a beautifully adorned alter with music sung in procession, and gorgeous paintings on the walls! The church itself was packed. Also the whole service was in Italian. Perhaps just by being there was a good thing I thought to myself. We sat in the back away from the rest of those attending. I lit a candle for us and loved ones back in the U.S
Back onto the streets we were seeing the most peculiar things. A decoration of a crown on a wall, a cross painted in the street, and other things that both of us did not have explanations for kept revealing itself to us in spurts. We reached the Piazza dei Cavalieri and then Piazza dei Miracoli soon after. A little history on Pisa: Through the middle ages, Pisa was considered to be an important port and a great Mediterranean Sea republic. Thus tremendous building projects such as the Piazza dei Miracoli resulted from the wealth that Pisa had 'acquired' during the 11th century. Rumor is with the help of aid, Pisa's admiral Giovanni Orlando took gold treasure from Saracen pirates in Polermo in 1063 allowing them to start building project of the cathedral and other monuments.
In the 12th century, the sea battle of Meloria left Pisa at a loss and from 1406 on, in the hands of Florence for economic support. With the help of the Medici, the port was made larger, causing a fast economic recovery for Pisa. The University of Pisa was also opened around this time. Pisa was also the birthplace of the important early physicist, Galileo Galilei who studied medicine at the University of Pisa but then went on to study mathematics
Back at the hotel, Marcus came around the back with the car for me to unload the luggage. When I opened the back to the car, and pulled out my luggage a big whiff of something awful reached both our noses. What IS that?! Marcus said. Apparently the sack of potatoes resting in the cardboard box on top of Marcus' suitcase went bad seeping bad potato juices all over the outside of his suitcase! Haha. I thought this was terribly amusing but naturally Marcus thought otherwise.. Back upstairs in our hotel room it was not Marcus but the suitcase that got a nice long shower...
A bit later, we were on our way to Lucca for dinner. I must say I rather enjoyed the lightness of the Italian diet as compared to the rich heavy German diet where one might be considered rude for not finishing his or her plate. Also, unlike the heavy 'Americanized' pizza crusts I've grown accustomed to over the years; the pizza crust in Italy is actually rather thin. Mmmm!
The rest of the evening entailed watching the sunset and walking to sites such as San Frediano, piazza Anfiteatro (also known as piazza del Mercato (the Market Square), Via Guinigi, and piazza Napoleane. Piazza Napoleon was actually closed off due to a Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young concert on this night (Who'd of guessed?) so we got ice cream and watched the concert on one of the big screens from a nearby café for free. ;) Yeaaaah. Next we meandered back out of the town, passing antique shops, an interesting doorbell, as well as some modern art on display in a nearby church as we went. Lastly, we were back at the hotel & exhausted from a time well spent!
Here is an interesting link for a virtual tour on Pisa: