Sunday, November 27, 2016

And on with Italy!

After Venice, it was back on the tour bus and on toward Florence.  The nice thing about the tour was that we stopped in so many places before getting to the destination for that day.

On the way to Florence, we stopped at Cathedral Square & Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Pisa.....the leaning tower of Pisa!  Pictures never do justice to the way you see it with your eyes, but this is the best I can do....

This was our view from the tour bus riding down the highway

The Cathedral and looking in the background, you can see the leaning tower.

Of course we had to do our duty to hold the tower up while we were there.....many were kind enough to help!

There were soldiers everywhere so we behaved!

Entering Florence......this is called something I can't remember, but it is basically the gate into Florence...

Florence was gorgeous at night!

We finally found a restaurant we liked and I'm not kidding!  

My sister, on the right, finally got a margarita!

We had some of the best Mexican food!

The next day, we toured Bagno a Rapoli, Florence & San Gimignano and Tuscany (I have no idea what order these are in, so remember it's been over a year!)  I did see olive trees.

Of course, you must go to see David.  Spectacular.  Our tour guide said that Michelangelo believed there was a person imprisoned in every piece of stone he carved.  

Of course, there was a cathedral and all the cathedrals were equally beautiful.

It seemed there was a greater police presence here and we heard that the Pope was due to be there the next day.

The three travelers in front of a stone carving....maybe a fountain?

I snapped a picture of this map, but realized later it didn't have many of the places we visited.....but it did have our next destination, San Gimignano

San Gimignano was one of the prettiest places....just breathtaking.....this is our friend walking down the street.

The valley 

This tower was just as you came into town and was a guard tower back in the day.

The man on the left, standing by our Daniella, is a world renowned gelato's worth the trip to Italy to eat the gelato!

Beauty around every corner!

 Just in case you were wondering, yes we enjoyed the gelato.....and enjoyed the chance to sit for a few minutes.

We ran into a man we had seen at our last stop.  He recognized us, so of course pictures had to be made!

Fresh water fountain by an outside cafe

This gorgeous view leads to the all important pay restroom!

The Cathedral at Assisi (I'm pretty sure)

One last view of San Gimignano

While in Rome, we went to a little cafe where we actually and FINALLY had pizza!  I was so happy.....the wine was good too.

This was the appetizer plate that was at each place!  

This young lady is studying to be an opera singer and she was really good!

They had us join in the fun!

One of the men in our tour group just spontaneously got up and danced with the singer!  He was having a good time!

This might be Vatican City....

And finally, the Colosseum!  It was very impressive.

Just a little gift I was going to pick up for the Superhero.  Strangely it never shipped!

We got to Trevi Fountain at had just reopened after repairs and when we rounded the corner there must have been several thousand people waiting to get to the fountain.  We finally got up to a teeny spot where we could throw our coin in then quickly move so someone else could take our place.

That night we packed our bags.
Early the next morning, we caught a taxi to the airport in Rome and started our trip home.

The trip home was uneventful.....a little daunting for me coming through customs.....but we made it to Atlanta and then started our trek to Pensacola.

It just happened to be STORMING in Pensacola when we tried to land.  We touched down hard and went right back up....the pilot came on and said this...."We are doing a fly around because we were unable to land....we will make one more try and if we can't land, we will divert to Gulfport."  Oh, my head just fell into my hands and I started praying.  I said, Lord if we have to divert, please let me act graciously and not go to pieces.  I know......but I was tired and so ready to be home.  On the second try, we landed!  Hard, but in one piece!  I immediately started crying while everyone else was clapping and cheering.

There were so many details about this trip not in this post, because I took several hundred pictures and I figure nobody wants to see all that!

So there we are, over a year later, our Italy trip is in the books!