Saturday, October 25, 2014

10/18/14 Day 275 Florence

Arriving to Florence or more commonly known in Italy as Firenze we met Leonardo a hostel style CouchSurfing host, who usually has a minimum of two groups a night. He also is a bit...quirky, yeah I will go with quirky: he has strict rules about checking in, arrival time, dinner time, breakfast time, shower time, all the times really. We were nothing but polite and accepting of his obvious OCD issues, but when we were writing out our ingredient list for dinner I had to take a deep breath and smile: (everyone cooks one night, and we got vegetarian night and he wouldn't let us do our own shopping) and he wouldn't accept a description of medium bell pepper, or 1 can of garbanzo beans (yes we actually needed to know the gram measurements of the can). At least we got to escape to the kitchen to cook the second night, a meal for 9 is quite the task but we whipped up some stuffed bell peppers and a garbanzo bean salad. The next day after our breakfast of black tea and cookies we were all sugared up and ventured off to see the city, with beautiful classic buildings and a mud brown river to really contrast the richly colorful houses. We saw two of the David replicas in the city but opted out of the 15€ original in the museum, you can see it from outside the door anyways. One of the statues is atop of the panoramic view over the city, at Piazzale Michelangelo. Luckily for us this view was our first priority and for good reason, what a beautiful panorama. We spend the entire day alternating between pizza and gelato in an attempt to find the best of Florence. On our way out of Firenze we made a quick pit stop to Pisa to see how low the tower can go. The tower took 199 years to build and began its lean during the first decade of construction due to an insufficient foundation and soft soil, although it was partially corrected two decades ago to prevent the tower from toppling over. Almost a millennium after construction began we find the same lawn flooded with tourists trying to perfect their pushing the tower over pose. After circling the tower and marveling at the pristine column our tummies growl and our priorities evolve into searching for pizza in Pisa, a great success in the end!

The David replica atop the Piazzale Michelangelo
The replica in city center
The view from Piazzale Michelangelo
Kevin, myself, Kevin, Guy (another of Leonardo's couch surfers, from Isreal)
The houses built on this bridge date back six centuries, and are now mostly jewelry shops
Amazing panini at All'Antico Viniao, just look at that mozzarella and prosciutto, yummy!
The Duomo

Our turn to serve dinner, stuffed bell peppers and garbanzo bean salad, Leonardo in white
Looking tiny next to the Leaning Tower of Pisa

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