Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Leaning Tower

This post is a narrative by both Alec and Ally.
 After a day of relaxation where I went into the bakery and got breakfast breads and then we enjoyed a drive to a hilltop town of LamoleThe food was more pasta…getting a little tired of pasta, but the view was pretty and the waiters and waitresses very nice at Ristoro di Lamole.  The waitress offered ALL of us a lemon drink after lunch.  Limoncello….but we took and sip and YUCK!  Apparently kids are allowed to drink this in Italy.  Mom also really loved stopping at Villa Vignamaggio where some Shakespeare film was done with some actors she thought were cute were in (Avis' comment: 1993 Much a do About Nothing with Kenneth Branagh, Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, Keanu Reeves, & Michael Keaton). 
The next day we went to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  It was about 2 hours from where we are staying.  We had to walk in from a parking lot and we entered the walls through a porta (large door) in the wall.  We went in and there three buildings inside on the Campo dei Miracoli or in English the Field of Miracles; the baptistery, the cathedral, and the Leaning Tower (bell tower for the cathedral).
I felt great when I got to see it because I studied Italy in first grade.  It was much greater than I imagined….because it really was leaning and bigger than I actually imagined.  Everyone else was taking pictures pretending like they were holding the tower up, so Ally and I both took pictures like that too.  We walked all around it…some fields were sectioned off and we couldn't walk on them, but some were open to run on.  You can go up on the tower for 18euro or over $20US a person, so we decided not to.  Mom and Dad said the view from the Eiffel Tower in Paris would be much better at the end of our trip.

After walking around we went for lunch about five minute walk outside the walls.  On our way there were lots of people trying to sell us watches, sunglasses, and everything with the Leaning Tower.  Lunch was great…it was the best pizza yet at Pizzeria Al Bagno di Nerone.  We talked to the owner about a picture on the wall of a horse and jockey…turned out it was his horse and the son, the jockey.  The horse is winning a lot.  We told him about California Chrome and the Kentucky Derby.  He knew about the Triple Crown.  We also tried a local appetizer called cecina.  Mom and Dad told us it was an overcooked grilled cheese....NOT!
 After lunch we walked back into the “field” and then went into the church that we had a reservation for and it was free.  Inside the church we paid 2 euro to listen to a video and speech about the history of the church.  Then we went on a seek and find looking for the things we saw on the video.  We saw lots of crypts or graves…some were golden and some were plain wood.  There was a beautiful chandelier named after the famous Galileo because when he saw them light the camdles and raise it by a rope it would swing and that is what led him to make pendulum clocks.
We got out of the church and returning to our car our Dad bargained with the seller and got two Italian fedoras for the price of 1 and a half.  Then in the car we headed for Lucca, another walled city.  Lucca also had porta…with three gates.  If intruders made it past the first gate, another gate dropped and there were holes in the wall where archers would fire arrows at the intruders, and then there was another gate if they broke through that one.  Lucca is very proud of their city because they are one of the few that has not been bombed in a war. So they have kept their walls and many people live inside.  So many it was very hard to get around the narrow streets because cars kept coming by, but they had a fun playground.
Tomorrow is going to be an easy day as it is our last here before we leave our friends and head to Florence.

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