So, Finally here’s the last part of my Italy trip blog. I have been looking forward to finishing my blog, its taking so much time since I’m back to work now. My life has never been this busy, but I’m loving it.
Pisa! here we go!. Who haven’t heard about the Leaning Tower of Pisa? I suppose if you love travelling then you surely know what and where it is. As for me knowing that the tower was on our bucket list for this trip, made me super excited to fly!. My plan was of course, to do the customary “save the tower from falling” phot op (who doesn’t do that?).
The Torre pendente di Pisa, world-widely known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa was unintentionally designed to tilt. The soft foundation on the other side of the tower made it tilt the way it looks now. It went though numbers of architects and engineers to save it from falling off. Not to mention it has also survived through the hard times/wars and natural disasters. I’m feeling lucky to finally say I am one of millions who was able to see this magnificient building.
From Sta. Maria Novella train station in Florence, we took the “normal” moving train to Pisa Central station. We thought there was no point of getting the fast moving train since we have the whole day for this trip and Pisa is not that far from Florence. We didn’t book our ticket in advance, we bought it right on the train station. You can pay either cash or card and getting ticket is not a problem at all. The train wasn’t slow as expected, it was better than that. You can even charge your phones and gadgets on board, my mobile internet connection was way too slow, I wasn’t able to use my internet until we got off the train.
The train wasn’t busy on our way to Pisa, there was no ticketing staff on board either. All the tickets were validated beforehand. It was going well until a few stops later. Since there are stops where no tickets are required, a few gypsies kept coming in. For whatever reason, the train don’t have any security or staff on board. As soon as the gypsies started coming in, our worries started. These people started asking for money, and there were quiet a few of them, there were more gypsies on board than passengers I would say. To be honest, this made me want to jump out at any stops already. At one point, a guy came close to me and literally checked what was inside my bag!. Luckily all my friends were behind me looking at the guy straight in the eyes. Other passengers where quiet and looked at him as well. The guy walked away, as if knowing that all of us well give a good fight if he starts. There was no help expected from any staff, we didn’t see anybody going around the train for checking.
If you take the normal train, take extra care and be very cautious, I’m not saying that all trains are like this, I believe we were just unlucky that day. Coming back to Florence from Pisa was different, because the train was busy already and gypsies didn’t bother getting in at all. I think they know what time to distract and annoy passengers.
We arrived at Pisa Central about midday, and due to my pregnancy (again) I needed the toilet so badly. There was only one I could use, which was the Mcdonald’s, and whew!! believe me when I say, that was the most disgusting toilet I have ever been during this trip!. I won’t say it was the staff’s fault, because all they did was let people use the toilet for free. (that time anyways). I give the blame to other people who used the toilet!, customers, outsiders, tourist, ect. Because this toilet is the only one in the station people treated it like dump. It looked even worst than a dump, people didn’t care for the next users, no flushing and dirty seats like people were sitting like “FROGS” with super dirty feet!. Wet/flooded floors, scattered toilet rolls and bad smell welcomed me right at the door. If only I wasn’t desperate to empty my bladder, I wouldn’t have bothered! and yes! pregnant me had to sit like a “frog” as well. I might have annoyed an employee because I told one of them that the toilet was filthy. I hope there were more restaurant staff to control “pigs” using the toilet. Anyways, theres a toilet at the leaning tower of Pisa, clean and good for use, its right behind the tower and the church. So if you’re not desperate enough to use the, you can wait and use the one at the Leaning tower.
Other than that, we had to take a bus ride to the Leaning Tower site. The passenger bus is easy to find, its right outside the terminal, you will never miss it. There are quiet a lot of busses that go through historical and tourist areas in Pisa. Transport is easy and not a very long wait. Bus ticket can be purchased inside the train station, all day/family ticket is way cheaper than singles. Me and my friends bought the family ticket (6 of us).
I was actually expecting the tower to be outside the city, away from everything, but no, its right at the heart of Pisa!. With buildings, houses, restaurants amongst others, this place is mobbed with both tourists and locals. The tower itself is a bellower, church on the other side and baptistery on the other. Being what it is for hundreds of years, having it at the centre of the city makes a lot of sense. Churches are always built right at the heart of any town/city, so the location says it all.
There were a few restaurants around here, again you’ll never go hungry as long as you got the money, and if the restaurant is not full. There are also plenty of souvenir shops you can choose from. I found the souvenir shops here cheaper than Florence. Here’s where I bought my souvenirs for everybody.
People specially the tourist (including me) went gaga over the “save the tower from falling” photo pose. There were all of us trying to take photos at the same time as a matter of fact, funny! but who cares!, I wish I had a good one but….. never mind 😀 ~ Tip: don’t be shy, take the famous leaning tower pose, everybody does it! you should as well.
The trip went definitely well, we all enjoyed it, happy to finally see it in person. Me and my friends posted postcards in Pisa, but mine didn’t arrived to my grandmother, its okey though, better luck next time. I know some people still love receiving postcards! I’m one of them. We had a lovely meal here, pricey though (tourists price) but lovely and yummy. More and more gelato we had, Italy got me and my friends hooked with it.
Leaning Tower is definitely a must go!.
7 days wasn’t enough, Italy has so much to offer!, I would have loved to travel longer but, money was running out!. (I wish id win a lottery one day).
We all took the train to Milan Central Station for our going home day. Three of us were going back to UK already, the other 3 had their holiday extended, going to Lake Como and Lugano, in Swiss. I wish I still had time, but other than money running out, I was going back to work on the Monday.
Our flight was not until about 5 in the afternoon, and arriving in Milan at about noon time means we had a bit of spare time. We had a quick side trip to see some of Giorgio Armani’s birth city, rather than sit and wait at the airport. With our luggages on hand, off we went to see Duomo de Milano (Milan Cathedral). We passed by Giorgio Armani’s famous house turned hotel, he’s original shop and other places. It was nice to see the place where he humbly started building his now world renowned name. But seeing the Cathedral was our main point. It wasn’t that far from the Milan Central Station, I’m glad we took the risk going away there instead of going straight to the airport.
After spending about 30 minutes at Milan Cathedral, we took a taxi back to Milan Central Station. From there we took a train to Malpensa Terminal 1 and 2. We got off at terminal 1, then a shuttle bus picked us up to Malpensa airport, the journey took about 20-30 minutes, and we just got on time to catch our flight back to the UK.
This trip was a good break for me, I do travel with my family more, but having a trip with my friends was something different. I would love doing this over and over again, different place at a time.
I am so looking forward for another ladies trip!, In fact we already have a plan for another one!. Cant wait! but for now….. work, work, work!!
I hope you enjoyed my travel blog… and until next time!
Have a good day all!