Our Trip To Italy Part Three
Today I am sharing the last part of our trip to Italy which features the cities of Pisa, Lucca and Verona.
After we visited the beautiful town of San Gimignano (see part 2 of our trip) we drove back after an early dinner to our Florence hotel to spend the night. The next morning we gathered our things and set off in the car to Pisa which is an easy drive and only approx 80 kilometers or 50 miles from Florence.
The main reason to see Pisa is of course the leaning Tower of Pisa and let me tell you its worth seeing. Prior to seeing this famous site so many times in photos and videos etc, I thought it would be over-rated but after seeing it and the surrounding area in person I have changed my mind – It is spectacular and a place not to be missed on any trip to Italy.
It was very busy on the day we visited as you can imagine, but we had done our homework beforehand and figured out the best place to park that even had a round trip shuttle bus to the city walls for only four Euros.
The buildings in the Piazza dei Miracoli are really breath taking as they have done and are doing a great job of renovating and maintaining them all. We spent the best part of a half day there walking around the Piazza area including the main street area and we also had a nice lunch at one of the many outdoor restaurants.
I think it was enough to see everything from outside but if you are planning to go into all the sites (which there are long lines to get in to), you will need a more time. The main sites there are:
- The leaning tower of Pisa
- Pisa Cathedral
- Pisa Baptistery
- Duomo di Pisa
There are some other sites to see in the city of Pisa obviously but since we were short on time, this was all we wanted to see. After walking back to the city walls we jumped on the shuttle bus back to the car and started our short 30 minute drive to the city of Lucca.
Lucca is known as the city of 100 churches and its is famous for its fantastic medieval city walls. Again we only had a half day here so we got to see as much as we could in a short period of time, which ended up being perfect for us again.
Here are some of its famous sites:
- Piazza dell Anfiteatro
- The Guinigi Tower
- Lucca Cathedral
- San Michele in Foro
- Piazza Napoleone
- Museum of Villa Mansi
We really enjoyed Lucca it has plenty to see and lots of great restuarants in wonderful piazza’s which we really enjoyed. So after a nice dinner, we jumped back in the car and drove back to our base hotel in Florence.
The next morning we were up early to return our rental car and then got a taxi to the train station in order to take the train to Verona. We took the Italo train which we booked in the Florence on day two of our trip after my husband and I walked by a Italo ticket office. It was a fast train and only took us an hour and a half to get from Florence to Verona. Our tickets were in first class with reserved seating and free WiFi and cost was 120 Euros round trip which is a good deal plus the trains are super nice, clean and the stations are conveniently located close to the city centers so I highly recommend it.
I personally loved Verona which is like a small version of Florence with lots and lots of beautiful sites. We were staying there for one night to celebrate my birthday which was on the day we arrived. What a way to celebrate a birthday right?
Since we were there for only one night, we chose a hotel centrally located in the center of town that had lots of shops and restaurants all around. Our hotel was called Hotel Accademia and it was very nice and the location was perfect.
Verona is famous for many things including its setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The famous Juliet Balcony is located there and there was a line to go up to the balcony which we skipped and enjoyed it from outside. Even though this one of its most famous sites, there is so much more to see in Verona. Here are some of the highlights:
- Piazza delle Erbe
- Juliet’s Balcony
- Verona Arena
- Castel St Pietro
- Piazza di Signori
- Verona Bridges over Adige River
- Scaliger Tombs
- Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore
For my birthday celebration my husband had made reservations at a restaurant with breathtaking views of the city from high on the hill above the Adige river. It is called Re Teodoricore Verona and has the most amazing views of Verona. We got there a bit early for drinks and enjoyed the beautiful sunset which was one of the best I have ever seen. It was such a fabulous way to celebrate my birthday, which I must say was a full day celebration that included a nice lunch with a few glasses of Rose’ wine as well.
The second day in Verona we walked around the whole city and took in all the sites before taking the train back to Florence around 6.30pm. When we arrived back in Florence, we walked over to the Piazza Di Santa Maria Novella which is only a few hundred yards from the station and had one last dinner in the beautiful city of Florence.
The next day it was time to fly back to Los Angeles – We are both looking forward to when we can visit this unbelievably beautiful country again.
Have you been to any of these cities in Italy and what was your experience like?