Ah, Pisa. You were just beautiful. And the Leaning Tower? Definitely one of our favorite sites on the trip.
The ship docked about 15 minutes away from Pisa in the port town of Livorno, and from there we took a free shuttle to the city center. After that, we weren't exactly sure how to find the ticket office for the public bus, so we followed two women we'd seen on the shuttle who were speaking Italian. We figured they either worked on the ship or were also passengers, and after a few minutes of walking, HOORAY! They led us right into a square where all the local buses stopped. The kiosk next to the stop had the routes posted, and we bought tickets to the local train station. As I've said before, public transportation in Europe is really just awesome. Everyone we met was friendly and helpful, even if they didn't always fully understand us. And eventually we made our way to the train station where we bought our tickets for Pisa and headed over to Platform 14.
But on the way there, I saw that Platform 7 had the information for the Pisa train displayed. And it was leaving in about one minute.
Pierce, blessedly, had been very adept at reading train and bus schedules thus far, and had done an awesome job of keeping us on schedule. But I was almost certain he was wrong this time. Turns out, the schedule posted on the wall was from December. And Platform 7 was, indeed, where we needed to be.
Of course, we still weren't exactly sure we were on the right train until Pierce turned to an little Italian man and said, "Mi scusi...Pisa?" When the man nodded Pierce, all casual like and with a spot-on accent, said "Grazie" and turned back to me. It was simple. Nothing impressive. But he did it with such confidence that I just fell all over myself.
"Where did that come from?" I asked with a grin.
Pierce shrugged. "Eurotrip," he said.
|LOVED these Charles Dickens doors. Don't they just scream A Christmas Carol?|
Pisa is an adorable little Tuscan city surrounded by high stone walls. It was quieter than other European towns, so our day there was much more relaxed than the ones we spent in Amsterdam and Marseilles. We thought we'd be able to see the Leaning Tower from far away, but it turns out it's tucked away in far corner of the city near the walls. So when we reached a dead end, we turned to our left and there it was...right in front of us. We liked sort of stumbling upon it because it was simply breathtaking. We didn't have time to get used to seeing it which made the view that much more impressive. For all it's leaning glory, it's really quite a beautiful building. As is the entire Piazza dei Miracoli.
Hundreds of people were milling around, taking photos, shopping, and lounging on the lawn in front of the cathedral. We giggled at the large groups of tourists who stood with their hands in the air, pretending to hold the tower up and decided we were much too important, much too cultured, for that.
We are such snobs. But, seriously, all I could think of was how we'd end up on some Pinterest meme looking like we were rehearsing for a remake of Thriller. Have you seen that? It's pretty funny.
All in all, there's not much to do in Pisa but eat, pick up some kitschy souvenirs, and see the Tower. But when you're in Italy with your absolute favorite person, that's all you really need.