The eternal city of Rome is greater than you could expect! However, Italy has so much more to offer than just Rome!
We booked an Airbnb in Florence for 3 nights and after our week in Rome we decided to take the train from Rome to Pisa since it was on the way! The train ride through the Tuscan region is so beautiful. To your right are villages in the mountains and to your left is the Mediterranean sea sparkling in the sun. We only stopped for a few hours in Pisa to eat and sight see so we walked straight from the train station a few blocks to the Leaning Tower.
The tower leans because it was built on unstable ground which is actually how Pisa got its name; it’s a Greek word meaning “swampy” or “marshy terrain”.
We bought pizza from a food truck right next to the entrance, sat in Piazza del Duomo, and admired the stunning architecture of the tower and the cathedral. It is a lovely small city that is so rich in history!
We made our way to Florence which, in my opinion, is the best city we visited. There are not as many tourists as in Rome, yet still just as many incredible historic sites to see. We had a wonderful Airbnb apartment close to the train station and the canal. We set out along the canal toward Ponte Vecchio, grabbed delicious stratcciatela gelato and headed to the Galleria dell’Accademia, the home of priceless works of art and Michelangelo’s David. A ticket is about €13 and we had to wait about 2 hours to enter but it was well beyond worth it! The works of art were unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
Our more relaxed day, we simply walked around and explored. We didn’t have a set plan to do anything except eat wonderful food and get some exercise. We found ourselves in Piazza del Duomo socializing and purchasing postcards for souvenirs. This gothic styled cathedral was completed in the 1400’s and the dome portion remains the largest ever constructed.
We stopped along the canal to eat a quick lunch and walked up to Piazzale del Michelangelo where you can see the entire city of Florence. The view actually takes your breath away.
It was a fortunate time to visit Europe overall since the Euro Cup was underway and everyone everywhere was joyous. We sat in a pub, drank Italian beer, watched Germany vs. Ukraine and reminisced on our Italian experiences during our last hours in Florence. I realized I had never truly appreciated history until this experience, nor have I ever experienced such rich culture.
Italy you are truly something special.