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Italia 4- Toscana by Mikael
July 7, 2010, 10:06 pm
Filed under: A Little Me, Friends, Good Things, Laughs, Remembering, Roam, Try

June 6th was our first day of traveling… after rolling into bed at 4 AM from our club crawl the night before, we woke up at 9/10 to catch a train.

Discussions before the trip included investing in the good fast trains.  I forgot about that but I swear I’d never make that mistake again after this first train experience.  Reason I forgot was because I couldn’t figure out the train system, symbols, etc… just really confusing.  Twinner and I bought our tickets and boarded a 4 hour train… with no AC… and in 85 degree weather.  Not to mention the fact that, it wasn’t clearly advertised that if you didn’t have an assigned seat, you needed to validate your ticket by punchers located discreetly by the platforms… Thus we had to pay a 20 euro fee each when the ticket taker came by.  Such a pity. He was good looking but when he fined us, he wasn’t anymore.  By the time we arrived in Florence at about 3, Trashed was our last name.  I collapsed onto my bed as soon as we checked into our hotel.  After prying myself out of it, we went and got some lasagne for dinner.  Traditional lasagne.  It was different.  Good, but just different.  Then for reasons beyond my imagination, I couldn’t function.  I slept the rest of the day and through the night. I was more trashed and exhausted than I thought.

Next day (the 8th) though was the one we were very looking forward to: Best of Tuscany Day Bus Tour… Started in Siena, had lunch at an organic farm right outside of San Gimignano before heading over there, and finishing off in Pisa. Our tour guide was Sandra who was completely stunning and I loved her accent.  She was very friendly and eager to help. =)

The Tuscan villages are really quite small!  And each one, from the 3 that we saw, had it’s own look.

Siena was beautiful!  It really reminded me of the Siena crayon because everything seemed to be that color–the buildings, the main square… everything!  We did a walking tour around Siena through the teeny tiny streets and got to go inside the Duomo, which was extraordinarily pretty on the outside.  Still very nice on the inside, but I was a sucker for the exterior grandeur.  Inside the Duomo was a room that people hadn’t been allowed in to see for centuries.  They didn’t start allowing people in until about a decade ago, I think.  Never restored, nothing.  We were told to enter and exit quickly so as to keep breathing in the room to a minimum so the artwork would last.  I was shocked at how perfect the paintings and the music books were.  Despite never being restored, the colors were incredibly vibrant.  The music books were fascinating on their own… the notes looked so weird!  After wandering a little more after the tour, Twinner and I nearly missed the group going back to the bus… we made it just in time.

Off to the organic farm and winery for lunch!  They showed us their vineyards, where they kept their pristine white cows and calves (which we learned would be eaten! if you’re gonna make us eat cows, make them ugly not gorgeous ok?!), and their wine storing mechanisms, barrels and such.  Lunch was delicious spaghetti bolognese (with meat that I almost cried eating because of the cute white cows we had just seen), yummy cheese, prosciutto and salami (I didn’t finish those–ick, not my favorite), and 4 different wines: a white, 2 reds, and a dessert wine that came with our almond biscotti at the end.  The white was my favorite.  The second red was much better than the first.  And the dessert was WAY too sweet but it was in a shot sized glass so I just downed it.  Biscotti was better on its own. =)  At lunch we met some really fun people, including the group of girls that we’d later spend our time in San Gimignano and Pisa with.  We were separate from much of the group because the table we chose was a little farther away and had a better view of the Tuscan hills.

San Gimignano was next on the tour… Home of the best gelato supposedly–the grand champion shop!  So that was our objective, to buy some gelato.  Verrry yummy in my book!  Definitely the best so far on the trip (but we got spoiled elsewhere with gelato… but that’s not until volume 6!).  We just walked around, saw shops, and Twinner bought a very cute little leather borsa which is Italian for purse.

Last stop, Pisa.  Yep, the home of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I had an ingenious idea for my picture but it was an epic FAIL.  Here’s a pic of my failure.

Yep, so I reverted back to the old touristy standby of just holding up the Leaning Tower.  Time was a little more restricted in Pisa, so we just stopped and got drinks across the street from the tower with the girls we made friends with at lunch.  It was too expensive to walk up inside the tower plus we’d heard it was vastly overrated and overpriced… so we skipped out on that.

It was a long ride back to Florence!  Once again, we were trashed and got some McDonalds since it was close, cheap, and had cheeseburgers (sometimes a girl needs a burger, if you know what I mean).  The guys who worked there liked us though, giving us a free beer and each of us a clapper that I far too much fun with.  For some reason, McD’s got us really hyper and that night turned out to be quite fun as we people watched from our balcony and yelling out at people, saying ciao!  A couple waved back.  Italians are so friendly…  We also bought some Italian chocolate that night. YUMMY!  Oh my gosh.  Divine stuff, that is.

Our next full day in Florence will be covered in the next volume… just you wait and see what we’ve got in store for that.  DAVID! =)

And to respond to a comment on the last volume – I do have tons of pictures, and I’m currently looking into a public photo album online so I can link to it =)

Italia 1- Colosseo & Trevi
Italia 2- Angels & Demons
Italia 3- Pt 1: Vaticano
Italia 3- Pt 2: Club Crawl
Italia 4- Toscana Tour
Italia 5- Accademia & Uffizi
Italia 6- Veneziamore
Italia 7- Verona
Italia 8- Milano
Italia 9- Cinque Terre
Italia 10- Ciao Roma!


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This sooo makes me want to go back to Italy. I miss it! And the picture is so funny!

Comment by unabridgedgirl

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