Italy Travelogue, Part 2

By , October 19, 2009 8:02 pm

Finally, more Italy trip coverage.  Just a few months late ^^;

This is a photo-intensive post.  I was planning on cramming all my remaining photos into this post but I just had too many I liked >_<  So there will be one final post sometime later. ^^;

In this post, I will cover a brief trip to the mountains, Pisa, and day 1 of Florence.

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To start things off, we head to the Italian alps for some sightseeing and lunch at a nice restaurant.

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I can’t remember the name of this lake but it sits in a valley between two peaks.

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Pumpkin gnocchi.  Was amazingly delicious ^^

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Also got some garlic roasted potatoes and polenta.  Love Italian food :D

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The Thinker ^^;

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A better view of the lake.  Was a nice view :D

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The stream that feeds the lake.  You can see some kayak’ers in the corner.  I want to try that someday!

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Driving in Italy is insane.  These motorcyclists were flying around these winding mountains roads at 60, 70mph >_<

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Heading back down to mountains.  We will return later and travel much farther up ;)

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Back in Maniago’s open air market.  Yummy fruits and vegetables.

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This style of shoes was quite popular.  Not sure what they’re called >_>

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People

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Woke up quite early to catch a train to Pisa.  You guys know what’s there, right? ^^

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I thought there would be some nice places in Pisa but only found this old tower that was about to fall over…

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Trying to hold up the tower was the cool thing to do here ;)

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This is the main church in Pisa’s Cathedral Square.

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And the baptistery  nearby.

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So, everyone thinks of the leaning tower when you mention Pisa, right?  Well, I did too but the church was actually quite impressive.  A huge building with 3 large entryways.  Was built like 900 years ago >_<

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Inside the church was also pretty cool.

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Big paintings on all the walls.

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The pulpit was intricately detailed with various statues acting as support pillars.  ~700 years old.

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Back outside, we head towards the baptistery, another very interesting building.

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Hey, since it’s a baptistery, it makes sense to have a stature of John the Baptist =P

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View from the second floor.  The baptistery has a unique round design which boosts the natural acoustics of the building.  From the center of the building, anyone speaking will have their voice amplified by the sound echoing off the circular walls.

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Going down to the dungeons.  Or just out the building ^^;

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And the tower itself.   Construction took over 170 years and was completed in 3 stages due to obvious complications from a poor foundation.  It was first halted at the third floor.  A second architect then took over and tried to compensate for the lean by tilting the higher levels in the opposite direction. You can kind of see the change of angle after the third floor.  Then after construction was halted again, a third architect built the bell tower at the top and tilted it even more in the opposite direction so that it appears to be straight xD

Enough of Pisa.  The next day we arrive in Florence ^^

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Florence!  Hot, crowded, expensive!  The big building in the background is the Duomo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore).  Main attraction of the city.

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Had to a pay a small fee to enter the church to climb up the dome but was well worth it ^^.   This is what the dome looks from the inside.

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The dome has a unique construction in that it is partially hallow (dome within a dome) allowing you to literally climb up through it.  I wish I had gotten pics of the climb >_<  I have a few from the climb down though (a few pages down).  Was 463 steps to the top, a bit tiring…

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Once you reach the top of the dome, you can climb out onto a small deck near the very top.  Gives an excellent view of the downtown city!

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This is pretty much the highest point in the city.  You can see the church’s bell tower on the left.

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Another cathedral in the distance.  Were quite a few churches in Florence.

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Another church.

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And another ^^;

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Some dude in the bell tower taking a picture of me taking a picture of him xD

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A jet getting attacked by giant birds.

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The bell tower @ 70mm.

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The bell tower @ 200mm.  Lurve telephoto lenses ;)

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Kagami enjoying the view :D  Should’ve used a narrower aperture though.  orz

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Heading back down.  This is what it looked like climbing through the hallow interior of the dome.  Signs said, “Do not write on the walls” so of course, everyone wrote on them xD

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Felt a bit like a dungeon >_<;  You can see the curvature from the dome.

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Another 463 steps down and we finally make it out alive.  That little structure at the top of the dome is where we just came from ^^

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Walking through a downtown market.  Lots of dead animals.

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!! Balsamic vinegar.  Tons of it!  Tsukasa would’ve died and gone to heaven if she were here! ^^;

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This is how Italians get around.  Nope, no Ferraris or Lamborghinis.  This thing xD

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Went to the Academia to see Michelangelo’s David.  They wouldn’t allow photographs so I had to sneak this one in.  Cost like 15 euros and all I got to see was some naked dude :-/

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Another church.  Don’t remember the name :(  They didn’t allow photos here either so I had to be sneaky.

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It had an awesome stained glass window though.

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Was a long, hot (37C!) day so we head back to hotel.  Watched Star Trek dubbed in Italian.  Was awesome ;)
More Florence (and more) photos in next post!

8 Responses to “Italy Travelogue, Part 2”

  1. Guy says:

    Really liked the Pisa-church pulpit.

    So, where are your photos from the trip? :P Unless “The Thinker” is you?

    And yeah, Italy, Germany and France have laws requiring the dubbing of TV/movies brought to them…
    .-= Guy´s last blog ..Figure Friday Addendum – October 2nd-15th. =-.

  2. Heheh, I’m not in any of these photos ^^; I was always behind the camera xD

  3. natalie says:

    I’ve always been paranoid about sneaking photos, mostly because what happens when you get caught? But then if you really think about it, they can’t do anything other than ask you to leave without infringing on your personal rights; unless they have you sign a contract on the way in or something. I over think things…

    Love the pics, especially the one with everyone posing with the tower XD

    • I was caught a few times. There were lots of other places that didn’t like me taking photos. Nothing beyond, “please don’t take photos”. I obliged and went on my way. Wasn’t really a problem ^^

      Glad you like the pics :)

  4. Smithy says:

    Nice photos! Especially like the ones of the historical buildings, always fascinated by those.

    Ah, I recognize that baptistery from the “Maria-sama ga miteru” OVA! ^^
    Wait, that might not necessarily be a good thing… ^^;;
    .-= Smithy´s last blog ..Queen’s Blade 2nd season 5 =-.

  5. Blowfish says:

    Ha!
    That brings back memories of my 5 days School trip there back in 2000.Was a pretty awesome area and I really enjoyed it.
    So say is there still that huge blackmarket going on in the area of the leaning tower? ^^

    Did you go to San Giminiano to taste the worlds best ice cream aswell?
    .-= Blowfish´s last blog ..Emaretta-chan =-.

    • Yes, the shady market by the leaning tower is still there ^^;

      San Giminiano? Didn’t go there but we did try gelato at all the cities we passed by. Florence is supposed to have good gelato but didn’t find it very special. Actually, the best gelato we had was at local store in a small town we stayed near ;)

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