While we enjoyed our time in Venice and Florence, the convenience of having a rental car for our stay at the apartment in San Casiano gave us the most flexibility of our time in Italy. Rental cars are very expensive in Italy but the countryside would be missed without one.
On a cold, windy and wet Sunday, we took off for Pisa and the Leaning Tower. This was an hour and a half drive to the west. I’ve seen many pictures of the leaning tower but seeing it up close and personal was amazing. I took several photos and I can tell you that the tower leans much more than depicted in these photos!
I kept shooting from different angles to try to get the best “lean”.
This close up of the base will give you a better idea of the extent in which it leans.
The tower is located in Piazza del Duomo and is the free standing bell tower for the beautiful cathedral.
Surrounding the square were many shops and restaurants. We wandered off the beaten path a little and came across a wonderful little restaurant where we had a great lunch. It also gave us the opportunity to dry off and warm up. We had to wait a little on a table so we were given wine and Brushetta to make our wait more comfortable :) It seems to be an Italian tradition to make sure the guests are comfortable while they wait. What a novel idea! :)
I snapped a photo, through a mirror, of the unusual chandelier in the dining room. I kind of liked how it reflected through the mirror and I didn’t have to turn around and disturb other diners to get the shot.
The following day, with more liquid sunshine :) we drove to Siena, less than an hour to our south. Siena is a beautiful little village in a picturesque setting.
We purchased tickets to see the Cathedral and spent several hours going through the Duomo as well as the crypt, museum and baptistery. Pictures just cannot do justice to the beauty of this place.
I took many photos of the interior; one of the few places photos (no flash)were allowed inside. I’ve included only a couple. Don’t want to totally bore you and do want this blog to eventually upload on a low signal :)
One of the ceilings…even the floors were a work of art!
As has been our pattern, we eventually wondered off the beaten path and found ourselves in another quaint little restaurant where we had another delicious meal.
I had the chef’s choice Zuppa which was a wonderful bowl of comfort food. I have no idea what all was in it but the Italians use much of their leftover, stale bread in soup and I suspect that was the base of mine. It was excellent!
It’s a good thing we are doing so much walking or we’d have to seriously curb our eating habits! :)