Florence and Pisa are separated by an hour long train journey, so after a few days appreciating the breath-taking art in Florence (last week's post), we decided to take a short trip to Pisa to look at some incredible architecture. The yummy gelato, particularly Tiramisu and Pistachio-flavoured, was a definite draw too.
We stayed at a crumbling, atmospheric hotel with majestic views of the Arno and in easy walking distance of the famous Leaning Tower.
Unsurprisingly, the Leaning Tower was heaving with bus tours but just a few steps away, the Pisa Baptistry, next to the Tower, was nearly deserted, which made the whole experience feel quite surreal.
I often find a very strange, almost detached feeling coming over me when I visit famous landmarks. Before the trip, I will inevitably seek out pictures and then when there, actually seeing the place crawling with tourists, I'll seek out a quiet spot away from the throngs and eventually will find beauty in something else associated with the place. For me, my moment of peace and appreciation came at the Monumental Graveyard of Pisa, where important people of Pisa were buried in elaborate marble graves.
The artwork and frescoes in the covered walkway were amazing and it was hard to believe that the place was virtually empty, yet a stone's throw away from the Tower.
I felt so lucky to have discovered this not-so hidden treasure and it's what I remember most vividly when I think back to my time in Pisa.
Probably a strange place to be enjoyed by a heavily pregnant me, but the perfect place to contemplate the circle of life and death.