(I'm a fool.)
I couldn't get the perfect picture of me holding up the tower (which really was just so tilted, our tour guide said it's going to fall in the next 200 years!) so I did that instead. Pisa is really quaint; there's not much else to see besides the tower and its accompanying cathedral and baptistry. We climbed the 294 steps to the top of the tower and got to look out on all of the town and the surrounding mountains.
(view from the top of the tower)
There isn't anything else to say really; it was beautiful, we ate decent pizza, and got back on the bus to head to our hotel in Montecatini Terme (a little village in between Pisa and Florence). Saturday we arrived in Florence at around 10 and had a walking tour first. We saw the Duomo and its cathedral and bell tower, a copy of the David, the Ponte Vecchio, and lots of leather (obviously the most important part).
(gorgeous apartments along the Arno)
(Me and Mal, it was windy)
After the tour, we were torn between our growling stomachs and our desire to purchase all the leather in the entire city. Our stomach's won, as per usual. We went to this restaurant our guide recommended, Trattoria Ponte Vecchio along the river. I was brave and had pappardelle with boar! It tasted a lot like regular bolognese, just a bit smoother, if that makes sense.
After lunch we took an obscene amount of pictures on one of the bridges and then headed over to the leather market. It's very similar to any other open air market, except most of the stuff is real. Naturally I couldn't decide what I wanted, since I don't wear belts or gloves, and even though I'd love a brown leather jacket it wasn't necessary, and I already have a great wallet. So, even though I definitely don't need it, I got another bag. It's grey leather and really structured and perfect for an internship or just when I feel like looking like a grown up. Then, after shmying around for hours, it was gelato time (as it is every day at around 4 o'clock). Rachel (who's studying in Florence) took us to this place along the river, Santa Trinita Gelateria. It's all artiginale, which means that it's homemade.
I got half their signature flavor, mascarpone cream with nutella (on the left), and cookies on the right. Now, I know I say this every time I post about gelato, but THIS was the best gelato I've had so far. And I'm totally not a vanilla girl, so you know that this must have been the most superior gelato. We sat with our cones on the bridge in the sun, overlooking the river, and I had to photograph this...
just written on the side of the bridge. I don't know about ever, because that's a pretty strong statement, but I'd say it's definitely up there. Florence is great, I can't wait to go back with my parents in a few weeks! Maybe I'll get that leather jacket then...