Long time no post!! I’m currently on a train to Cinque Terre from Pisa. You know when you look up Italy on Pinterest and that coastal town with the bright buildings and the beautiful water pops up?? Well that’s where I’m heading (pictures will be posted soon). Yesterday we spent the entire day and night exploring Pisa and spent the night in a hostel-I didn’t get robbed or kidnapped and the bed was actually comfortable!! #blessed
The morning began with a two and a half hour bus ride from Cortona to Pisa. Watching the Tuscan countryside blur bye as we zoomed towards the city is something that I will never forget. Rolling fields speckled with budding sunflowers filled my vision and distracted me from the book I was attempting to read (I’m up to 5 since I’ve been here). After arriving around 10:30 am, we explored the Duomo, the Baptistry, and the adjacent cemetery. The combination of romenesque and gothic architecture with Middle Eastern and Imperial Rome influence was just breathtaking. We were released around 12:30 to explore the city. Not going to lie, Pisa did not give me the warm and fuzzies at first. The area around the Baptistry was super touristy and gross, and I despise being haggled by the salesmen on the street.
But once we turned onto Via Carducci, my opinion changed. Gone were the tacky tourist restaurants with fixed menus and over priced trinkets. The streets were lined with expensive shops and cafés that have been there since 1896. We strolled up and down the streets window shopping and gazing longingly at the pastries in the pasticceria. The rumbling in my stomach and my attitude indicated that I was getting hangry and we needed to eat like now. We found a local hole-in-the-wall pizza joint that had been there since 1910-and this place was legit. No one spoke English and there were photographs of Audrey Hepburn and other celebrities eating what is claimed to be the best pizza in Pisa. And it was. I had the Ama-a pizza loaded with spicy salami, eggplant, and Bufula mozzarella. Wow. I’m going to dream about this pizza forever.
We crossed the river, trading the high end labels for shops we can actually afford things in. We roamed down the streets, stopping in here, buying a shirt there. Time flew by and before we knew it, it was time for aperitifs (pre-dinner drinks-my favorite Italian tradition lol). The house red was great and cheap and we just plopped down at a lil café and took advantage of the free wifi (seriously we take anything we can get at this point). We did a little research and found a bar that all the studenti dell’universita di Pisa go and decided to check it out. Good life choice. This restaurant brewed its own beer…I don’t like beer at all and even I thought it was good. Dinner consisted of the free apps they had laid out. Breads with different spreads and meats and cheeses lined the bar top and all we had to do was fill our little plastic plates and we had a taste of Tuscany.
Pisa, I’m not going to lie, you started off a little sketchy, but all in all it turned out to be one of my favorite days. What I’ve discovered I love the most about traveling is not knowing where I am at the beginning of the day, and by the end, I some of the place has rubbed off on me. You grow a little and gain knowledge with every new place you travel. Well, off I’m about to get off this train and hopefully I can find wifi to post this!!
Go for it- Leslie Ambrogio