Before we made our way to Florence, we stop off at Pisa - Just a quick visit, we saw the Cathedral, Baptistery and the leaning bell tower.
We arrived at camp at 4ish we had a backdrop of the Tuscan hills, stunning, we put up our tents (the ground was so rock hard), after having a great time hammering the tent pegs into rock, we went to the pub for a cultural experience - a traditional horse race that happens once a year since the medieval times Paliao at Sevena. It was so cool everyone was weary their traditional outfits and doing their traditional roles like dancing and the music. That night we ate a real Italian meal you guessed it - pasta, pizza and red wine. After we went to the bar for a drink we were so hyped we were g-ing up the band and they pulled Shannon, Sarah and me up to help them sing a song, it was hilarious we sang "With or without you" after that we went to nightclub - what a messy Italian nite.
The next day we explored Florence - first we started off at at the campsite-Santa Croce Church this gothic style church contains the tombs of many famous artist including Michelangelo, Ghiberti, Machiavelli, Dante and Galileo. Michelangelos tomb was stunning it had three women sculptures one being a painter, the other sculptor and the third an architect (these representing the things Michelangelo was famous for). There was an amazing garden. From the garden there were rooms containing things from centuries ago. One room contained newspaper articles, paintings, and sculptures, another room contained more tombs. The next stop was the Duomo - the worlds largest Cathedral. It took 150 years to build! It had an enormous Dome, painted with angelic images -we decided to climb the bell tower 418 steps!! Great views Florence with the Tuscan hillside as a backdrop - it was a real AAAHHH moment. We passed the Baptistery, it has beautiful bronze door entitled Gates of Paradise. Next we moved onto the Galleria dell Academia - the Home of DAVID - what a stunning piece of work!! Michelangelo gained such accuracy by secretly dissecting dead bodies to see what the human body was made up of - this statue was the first of its kind to have such realness to its physic right down to the muscles, ligaments, and bone structure!! We sat there for ages just staring.
Next we went to the street markets - nice stuff, but not so durable. There were so many doggie people there, Kim had her wallet stolen and she didnt even feel a thing. Next we made our way to the Palazzo Pitti via Palazzo Vecchio; Piazza Della Sighoria and the Uffizi Gallery. The Piazza Della Signoria was the home of the David and other famous art sculptures ie Neptune, the Rape of Florentines and the Victory statue. The Palazzo Vecchio was used in a scene from Hannibal where Hannibal kills and guts the cop from the balcony on the outside of the building like the famous painting - there is an etching picture of a man on the side of the building - some say that Michelangelo did this because he saw a crime being committed and he wanted to capture the criminals image, and secondly, he made a bet with someone that he could draw a mans face just by looking at the back of his head. We made our way through the Uffizi Gallery - built in the 16 century, contains the worlds most famous Renaissance paintings.
We made our way over the Ponte Vecchio - this famous 14 century bridge was the only bridge to survive Nazi bombing in WWII. The corridor along the 1 floor was built by the Medici family to link the Palazzo Pitti with the Palazzo Vecchio. The Palazzo Pitti was stunning - inside the grounds there was an enchanting garden with stunning view of Florence and the Tuscan Hillside - another AAAHHH moment!!