Sorry, I just had to. Pisa screams “tourist”, so my goal is to make this post as cheesy as possible. Ha ha, get it? Cheesy? Like Pizza? No? Ok.
The next, and unfortunately last, stop on our trip was Monterosso-al-Mare, a small village located in the Cinque Terre, which is on the northwest coast of Italy. Getting from Siena to the coast was at least a half days worth of travel, so we took an early train out of town. Missy and I were not looking forward to traveling again; unpacking and packing our luggage was starting to wear us down. “When we come back to Italy, we’re carrying everything on our backs,” we said to each other. We were beginning to see the prudence of the “backpacker mentality” when traveling abroad.
Be that as it may, I had purchased our train tickets to give us a little extra layover time in one very popular Italian city: Pisa. I figured that since we had to switch trains along the way anyway, why not do it a place where we could see a few more sights? Since Pisa had some of the most famous sights in the world (and we weren’t planning on coming back any time soon), we would be remiss to pass them up.
Pisa, for most people, is a one stop shop…and we were no exception. Once we arrived we checked out bags at the train station and began our walk to the Field of Miracles. We could have taken the five minute bus ride, but we were not rushed for time, so we decided on the 45 minute stroll through the heart of the city. We joined the masses doing the same, winding our way past shops and across the River Arno, until eventually (and seemingly out of nowhere, not unlike the other great sights in Italy), arguably the most famous tower in the world, appeared.
Now, there are four main buildings that make up the Field of Miracles: the Cathedral, Bapistry, Duomo, and of course, the Leaning Tower. Ok, well there is actually five if you count the quarter mile long row of the worlds cheesiest souvenir stands, where anything and everything tacky can be bought…just ask my Dad sometime about the ridiculous magnet we bought him.
We spent a good 45 minutes just walking around and taking it all in…especially the tower. We’ve been learning about it and seeing pictures since we were old enough to read and comprehend…and now here we were, standing right in front of it. Un-real! We walked the shops and bought said tacky magnet, but before long the temptation was just too great; resistance was futile!
That’s right. Total “typical American” tourists…and proud of it! We weren’t supposed to be on the lawn, so technically we were breaking some kind of rule (you kids keep off my grass!)…but it was definitely worth it. How else were we supposed to get these awesome pictures (more on Facebook, b-t-dub)? So laugh, make fun, say you wouldn’t do the same thing…but the truth is, you totally do the exact same thing. Then you would look back and laugh at yourself for being so touristy. I don’t have a picture, but everyone else on the lawn was doing it too…so you actually feel more out of place if you don’t do it. So I guess if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em…right?
So we soon left the Field of Miracles, caught a bus back to the train station, and continued onward to the Cinque Terre, excited to spend the last days of our trip relaxing on the beach. If we only knew what was in store for us once we got there…