Italian Adventure: Florence and Pisa

I followed my visit to Venice with one to Florence. Florence wasn't exactly on my list of "must see" destinations, but so many of my friends recommended it that I decided it would be perfect for stop number two of my week in Italy. Plus, I could make a day trip to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

A two hour train ride brought me through northern Italy to one of the most amazing cities the country offers. Florence is classic Italy. It's in the heart of Tuscany. And it's beautiful. I was able to check into my hostel fairly quickly after arriving, so I decided to explore a bit. I quickly realized that Florence is a fairly compact city making it perfect to explore on foot. I spent two hours wandering the streets.

Classic Tuscany.
It's all about the details.
First I ran into one of the leather markets. Florence is famous for its leather. The market was fun to walk through, though I didn't purchase anything at any of the stalls. They had everything from belts and purses to shoes and luggage.
Leather belt stall.
I then walked down to the river and back up through the historic section of town.

The River
The next morning I got up early and headed to the Galleria dell'Accademia of Florence. I was in line before the museum opened because I didn't have a reservation, and, apparently, you need to arrive early if you want to avoid lines. It was worth the early morning though! I saw Michelangelo's David. The statue of my favorite Bible character was larger than life!

David
I also really enjoyed the musical instrument collection of the Medici family.

A Stradivarius violin
After the Galleria I wandered the streets in search of some of the reputable leather stores I had read about online. I found a perfect twenty-first birthday gift at one of them: a calfskin leather wallet! Thanks Mom and Dad!

I saw the Ponte Vecchio. It's a medieval bridge that has shops built on it. Pretty sweet!

A bridge with buildings.
That afternoon, I took a train to Pisa. I got to see the Leaning Tower. I took a picture "holding" it.

Classic picture
And then I bought gelato and sat in the shade and took in the fact that I was even there! It was pretty cool to stare up at the world's most famous bell tower and thank God for the opportunities He has given me.

Next time, it'll be all about Rome.

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