After Florence, we went Pisa to see the famous Pisa tower. As a first impression Pisa looks very nice but it is really small and there is not many things except the Pisa tower.
When we threw our first step into Pisa, this view welcomed us!
After this beautiful view, we walked through to the miracles square, Piazza dei Miracoli. All the important buildings you need to see in Pisa are all in this square: Pisa Tower, Pisa Cathedral, Battistero, Camposanto.
Yes, all these buildings are very beautiful, but there is nothing special to make Pisa that much famous. From this point of view, we were disappointed a bit.
So, after we visited this square, we went to the old part of the city and Piazza dei Cavalieri. The old part of the city is better than the other parts. While we were walking around here, we wanted to eat an ice-cream. We were in a country of ice-cream paradise. We sat a shop which is near the river. It was the best ice-cream we have ever eaten! All flavors were beautiful and they allowed us to taste all of them. The price is also quite cheap. And this ice cream was the most beautiful thing about Pisa. I can not say we love the rest a lot.
(When girls forgot me after eating best ice-cream...)
When we learned that Pisa is too small and did not need to spend a whole day there, we did research on the internet to see where else we can go. And according to the writings Lucca and Sienna were definitely to be seen. They were both small, but it was what made them beautiful. So we went from Pisa to Sienna at noon, and we travelled around till the evening. You can, of course, draw a better route like Sienna-Pisa-Lucca-Florence. We have a little bit of a way out, cause we decided in last minute.
When we stepped into Sienna, the first thing we noticed was that the streets are small, smells like history and this history is very well preserved. However, I can say that the shops on these historic streets are quite new. If you want to do shopping, you can find many stores and brands.
Besides these little streets, there is a really big square. The name of this square is Piazza del Campo. One of Sienna's most remarkable points. It is impossible not to feel the medieval age on this square. If you come between July 2 and August 16, you can join a medieval age traditional horse racing festival, II Palio. We could not catch this race but I think it should be seen. There are lots of cafes and restaurants in the square but the prices are a bit expensive because of being a tourist spot. So we found a little shop and bought a Pannini. The building located in the middle of the square is Palazzo Comunale and the tower next to it is Torre del Mangia. To get to the top of this tower, you need to climb the stairs cause there is no elevator and there are about 500 stairs here. Of course, the view you see from the top is worth it.
We walked through into the center and we saw a different structure than the brick structures of the city. This building is the cathedral of Sienna, Duomo Sienna. When we saw this, we felt like it should be in Florence. But it was not surprising to think that Sienna and Florence were in a race for some time. The inside of the cathedral was as impressive as like the outside, too.
There are various places around the cathedral that make pizza. You can buy pizza from these shops and sit and eat in front of the cathedral. The atmosphere is really enjoyable for eating food or drinking something and most people are doing that.
We saw also something in Sienna that we have never seen before. The ceiling of the monastery we entered into, San Domenico Monastery, was made of wood, even the ceiling was made of wood! Inside of it did not get much light due to the wooden pendant and it smelled old but this situation makes atmosphere of monastery perfect, we liked it a lot! Just go and feel the history all the streets. Sienna is the perfect place for this.
After leaving no stone unturned in Sienna, we went to Lucca to spend the night. And something unexpectedly, when you think that it was not funny at the moment but it was funny to think afterwards, happened. We had a room in the Bed&Breakfast Hostel. When we looked at it from the map, it looked right in the middle of the city. As we passed through the city we saw that there is a festival in town and were excited to go to the festival. We arrived at the hostel, but nobody answered, even we had knock the door several times. When we called the hostel number, the guy we were talking to was only speaking Italian. Lastly we checked the hostel address to mail and we noticed the mistake we made. There were two bed & breakfast hostel in the city and we had booked the hostel which is 5 km outside of the city! After a small shock, we were on our way to the other hostel because we had no other choice. Nobody talked on the road and everyone was very tired. Because the road was very dark and there were no people around. After 5 km walk, we came in front of the hostel. But there was no sign around about the hostel and everything was still too dark. We saw a women and asked her. She showed us the hostel, we finally found it! The hostel owner woke up because of our voice and opened the door for us. The thing, he is one of the best hostel owners we've ever met. He gave us a room large enough to accommodate 10 people and he even apologized for giving the small room to someone else. Of course, after all this hustle and bustle it was too late and we had no energy to go to the festival. We changed our clothes immediately and slept.
It was really great that the result of a mistake was so beautiful. Because our hostel and hostel owner,Alex, were great. So we decided to stay one more night because we wanted to attend the festival. Even if we have to walk 5 km!
The next morning, we started the day with an excellent breakfast table. Then, after spending a little time in the hostel's garden, we started off through the city.
Lucca is a small place like Sienna and because of it’s flat area, walking around by foot is very easy. However, I have to say from the beginning that it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, because of the pleasant time we spent. You can understand that you are in front of the right city from the walls around the city. The whole city is surrounded by walls.
After we got into the city, we went to the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro in the first place. This is a square with a round shape, consisting of cafes and restaurants. We sat at one of these restaurants because we heard so much about taste of the Tuscan wine. We ordered Tuscan wine and pizza and prices were not that much high. There are menus in front of the shops, and you can look at them before you sit down. The Tuscan wine is really tasty, you should definitely try it. In this square, it was very enjoyable to just eat and drink something. We sat and chatted for long time.
One of the most beautiful buildings you can see in the city is the Chiesa di San Michele in Foro, Basilica of San Michele in Foro. This basilica is located on Piazza San Michele, San Michele square. Two of the most beautiful squares you can see in Lucca are Piazza San Michele and Piazza Napoleone. Cattedrale di San Martino, San Martino Cathedral, are also definitely worth seeing. Especially the inside of this cathedral is more spectacular than the basilica.
There was also another place we really liked, the Palazzo Pfanner Museum. Inside of the museum, exhibited the medical supplies used by the former doctor who lived here. But the garden of the house is even more striking. The arrangement of garden and the sculptures inside are really excellent.
Another building you need to see is the Guinigi Tower. You need to climb about 200 steps to get top of the tower and when you reach the top, oak trees meet you there. Yes, there are oak trees on top of the tower! You can enjoy the beautiful view of Lucca while you are in the trees.
We mentioned that Lucca was surrounded by walls. We ended our city tour on these walls. The most beautiful feature of these walls is that their tops are covered with grass. You can easily walk on or along the walls, or relax and enjoy the grass. We had the pleasure of the walls after we drank wine. We were a little bit drunk after that wine actually because of the fatigue and weakness of the body that we had given not to eat too much food. In fact, our friend claimed that she is the president of Lucca. Anyway… I mean just enjoy that nature.
Now, is the festival time, the Lucca Summer Festival. Different artists perform each day. We had a lot of fun, even we did listen to people we did not know. It is also a great way to spend your night in a small place like Lucca. The names that come to the festival are the names you want to listen to. We had many celebrities like Marcus Miller, Tom Jones, Lionel Richie, Earth, Wind&Fire, Neil Young, Anastacia. It is worth to take a look. The festival takes place in June and July.
After the festival, we returned to our hostel, went to sleep and we were at the end of our another Italy adventure.
- You do not need to buy maps in Sienna because there are map photographs on the street.
- We especially thank to Hande Metin for made wrong reservation and walked us 5 km in a place we have never known. Kıps :)
- It is very easy to find fountains for tap water in Lucca, like other cities in Italy. You can easily fill your water from these fountains. But Lucca's water is the best water we've ever drank, after Iceland. Strongly reccomended.
- I’m sorry but be prepared, Pisa is not what you expected.