Today we docked in Livorno, Italy bright and early. Dan, Mom and I hopped onto a 10 hour tour, starting with Florence. It was about an hour and a half drive through the country side to get there so it was nice to get to see this side of Italy. Once in Firenze (That is the Italian name for Florence) we walked around on a guided tour for about 3 hours. We went to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore, past the Museo Dell'Opera Del Duomo, through the Palazzo Dell Signoria, into Santa Croce Church, home of the tomb of Michelangelo, Dante, Machiavelli, Galilleo and more. We saw the oldest bridge in Florence, the Ponte Veccio, a very famous three arched bridge with shops lining it. We walked the streets and there were far more scooters here than anywhere else I have seen. I really wish America was a scooter culture. We had lunch at a really upscale Italian restaurant, having authentic Italian Lasagne and Chiante (sp?) and of course Gelato. I was going to kill my Mom midday though... she had purchased a fine Italian leather jacket, famous from this province, and had it altered. It took too long to alter though and we had to leave our group and try to catch up later. I thought we would never find them, miss the ship, and be forced to sell purses on the street to make up enough cash to get back! But, it was only about 15 minutes and we ran through the streets of Florence (pretty cool) and finally caught up with them amidst the sea of tourists. It made me feel better about it once I saw the jacket, it was nice haha. We didnt get to see the David, but the most famous copy, seen in the Plaza dell Signoria, is still something to notice.
After lunch we took the short drive to Pisa. The highlight was, of course, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, 800 years old and still leaning at about 15 degrees (my estimate). I got some of the famous "holding-up-the-tower" pictures and bought a bunch of souvenirs. It was pretty nice to be at the place where Galileo used to drop different weighted objects off the top to study gravity and mass. The surrounding Cathedral and Baptistry, oft over shadowed by the tower, really were quite amazing, and would make a trip to Pisa worthwhile even if the tower was not there. All of the Italian Cathedrals and palaces are covered in marble, mostly white in color, with red and green accents and exquisitely carved statues and detail. It was a great day and we really made the most out of our time in the Tuscany region of Italy.
In the evening, after dinner, my Mom, Dan, Aunt Kim and I had a few drinks at the champagne bar. I had never seen my Mom drunk before and challenged her to get a drink so she said she would get just one martini... It was the funniest thing I had ever seen! After about half of the Martini, she was drunk and slurring, rocking in her chair and just being goofy drunk. We all had a blast and many good laughs. A little later on we met up with Tracy, Kipp and Robyn and had a few more drinks, without my Mom (she had had enough haha). Up next: Naples and Pompei!