Four days in Italy (Part I )

January 1, 1970

by Sofia Leopold

I was thinking about this trip for months ago, so when I decided to buy me a fly ticked, I did it in January. At the time, I found a cheap flight, only for 50€ (59.41 US dollar). I arrived at the airport at 4 p.m in Italy, Rome (Fiumicino). Next stop: Tuscany.

First day: Tuscany

As my aunt lives in Tuscany, I decided to stay at her for my four days trip. From Rome to Tuscany there are no trains, buses or anything else to get you right there but will be a shame if you are in Italy and don’t visit the town, so here’s what you should do: first of all, you’ll have to take the train from Rome to Tuscany. Next step is renting a car or if you have small baggage rent a bike.

At first sight, Tuscany looks medieval with its old buildings and not so contemporary parks. For those who are history-lovers can be a magical place visiting the Old City, because Tuscany it’s known for its history, tradition, landscapes and also artistic legacy because it’s considered the birthplace of Italian Renaissance ( Florence is the regional capital of Tuscany). The remains of the old civilizations are still in good shape (from the Appennini and Villanovan cultures to Etruscans and then the Medieval period).

What is curious about Tuscany is that a lot of people are living in that old constructions, right in the center of the town and from outside all you can see are tiny windows and balconies decorated with different types of flowers.

I came in Italy with one thought: the cappuccino and I have to admit that I was very disappointed. After taking a long walk, we stopped for a gelato (Italian ice cream) and coffee. We ordered cappuccinos but wasn’t what we expected: it was too bitter for our taste. We were proving our point after the 3rd cappuccino bought in Rome. Still, Italian ice cream was delicious. The prices can be different for the gelato, but more you can pay for it is 3€ for the biggest, which means 3 cups of ice cream. The cappuccino’s also cheap enough, like 1,50€.

You can find a lot of bars in Tuscany to drink your morning coffee or drink a beer at night, and the ice cream stores are everywhere. Once a week, mostly on Friday,  there is a bazaar where people sell clothes, books, accessories, even furniture and other “home” stuff. My favorite one was the lavender stall from where I bought a purple pillow filled with lavender. 

Our first Italian day ended with some traditional pasta food with tomatoes and basil and outside was a volleyball game contest for villagers. All night music and joy!


Second Day: Pisa


The distance between Tuscany and Pisa is about 2 hrs with the train. A one-way ticket was 18,39€. We bought it from the train station. If you have a map, it’s impossible to get lost because it’s a small town and like all Italian cities it’s full of old buildings. From one end (train station) to the other (where Pisa is) you can see several medieval palaces, historical churches and a lot of bridges across the Arno river.

Santa Maria della Spina

We decided to visit some churches in our way to Piazza del Duomo and chose Santa Maria Della Spina, a small church placed on the bank of the Arno river. It seems that there was a thorn from Christ’s crown, how her name says “Della Spina” (“of the thorn”). Even the thorn is not there because was moved or lost, the architecture of the church is still one of the greatest things you can find on the bridge of Arno’s with its Gothic facade. It says it’s the most outstanding edifice in Europe. Also, the facade has two gates with lined arches.
After taking a walk on Arno’s bridges, we arrived at Piazza del Duomo. Here you find all the edifices who make Pisa city so known. If you want to visit them, you have to buy a ticket. For instance, we bought an 8,23€ ticket to visit all four edifices: Pisa Cathedral, Pisa Baptistery, the Campanile and the Camposanto Monumentale (Monumental Cemetery).
Anyway, you can buy your ticket for only one edifice. It’s your choice. In our ticket was included the Museo delle Sinopie (the Sinopias Museum). 
More info about Pisa and the other edifices and also about tickets and events you can click here.

Museo delle Sinopie

Here you’ll find some rare graphic works of the early masters, drawing on paper and parchments that had survived from way back in the Middle Ages. The frescos tell the story of Old and New Testament and compound the walls of the Camposanto.

 The Baptistery



Pisa Baptistery is an ecclesiastical building constructed to replace an older baptistery and was designed by Diotisalvi. You can read his signature on two pillars inside the building, dated 1153. The exterior of the building has statues by Giovanni Pisano. Besides its design, architecture, and sculptures, the Baptistery is renowned for its perfect acoustics. The guys from the stuff were tasting the acoustics and told us that the concerts held inside are heard from miles away.

The Camposanto Museum

Another great thing about Piazza del Duomo is the Camposanto or Camposanto Vecchio which means Old Cemetery or The Old Holy Field.
Build over the old baptistery’s ruins the legend says that the bodies buried under the ground rot in less than 24 hours. The building was the last raised in the Cathedral Square.

The Cathedral



The next and the last step was to visit the Pisa Cathedral, a medieval Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Some of the artists who worked for the Cathedral are Buscheto and Guglielmo. In 2015 a restoration project started and they want to complete it for the 950th anniversary of the Consecration (this will be on September 18th, 2018). The project concerns the preservation of the plastering of the dome and the side walls of the presbytery.

After a long day and so much to visit, we stopped for a coffee at one of the many coffee shops in Pisa.

Next day: Rome, here we come!

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