Friday, 7 August 2015

Piza: not to be confused with pizza. Mmm pizza

In all of the travel magazines that detail Italy, they always recommend a visit to Pisa and having been here for a a few days now, I can definitely see why. There's just something about the place. It's bustling with tourists but still manages to maintain that modest cultural feel. There's a few things you should definitely do should you ever decide to pop by:

1) Check out all the market stalls. Full of postcards, bracelets, bags, hats, handmade jewellery, mini Pisas

2) Visit a quintessential Italian restaurant off the beaten track. It's usually cheaper prices as it's not full of tourists but you also get that true Italian feel.

3) Go to the top of the tower. For a bargain 18 euros, you can walk to the top and soak up the beautiful views and feel the slant of the tower whilst you're walking up it.

4) Take a stroll along the river. Not only are the views very Venice-like but the breeze really gets you from this point which is always brilliant when there's not a bit of wind anywhere. 

The view from the top of the leaning tower of Pisa- I just wanted to stay here all day.

There's nothing better than chilling out in the shade by the Pisa. Temperatures are soaring at the moment so it's a great way to hide away from the 40 degrees looming sun for half an hour or so.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Florence: the land of the beautiful

Despite its rich history, parts of Florence are surprisingly modern.You step out from the train station and it's almost like any other Italian city. But it's when you get to the centre and you see the Santa Maria Cathedral and the ancient streets that you feel completely lost in this whole new world. It's my favourite thing about Italy; the history of it is literally everywhere, reflected in everything that surrounds you. You feel completely immersed in another culture and that's what inspires me about travelling. You realise that outside your little bubble of a home town, there's a vast world out there, each part a bit different from the next. Florence has remained true to its routes, embracing its history and welcoming the millions of people that visit each year. Tourists everywhere take pictures of something so simple as a water fountain. It makes me wonder that if people from the other end of the world visited my home town, what would they catch on to and think was so different. Probably everything. You see, in this world, there are lots of other worlds, each completely different yet almost the same. 

There are street artists who are so dedicated to their craft that they sit there for hours at a time under the blistering sun. I complimented an artist who was painting small canvas panels of ancient streets from memory. He asks me if I'm an art student here in Florence and I reply with "oh I wish." We talk about the weather and his art and eventually I wonder off to buy an ice cream. That's what I love about adventure. Meeting people who are having different adventures, but still having an adventure. The fact is that when you pass someone in the street, you're completely unaware of their life story. But we're all aware of Florence's life story. Because it's been documented so heavily by us all. That's the beauty of it really- the people.