Friday, 2 November 2012

Leaning Tower of Pisa and Cinque Terre

After an early morning start browsing the small Saturday markets in San Donato in Poggio, we embarked on a rather ambitious day, to include Lucca, Pisa and the Cinque Terre.
Little did we count on a crowd of over 100,000 costumed people converging on Lucca for the annual 4-day Comic and Games Convention - the third largest convention of its type in the world!

A quick U-turn and we were on our way to Pisa. As we arrived in Piazza del Miracoli, we were all impressed with the lovely open grassed space and beauty of the buildings, including the Leaning Tower and Pisa's domed cathedral. Dozens of stall holders awaited the flood of tourists and for some reason were even pushing umbrella sales despite the clear skies! Tricia had last climbed the tower on her 22nd birthday whilst on a Contiki Tour of Europe MANY moons ago. Where did time go???

Numerous photos and a couple of Tower models later in hand, we were once again on our way to the Italian coastline and the Cinque Terre. It was a 20 degree Celsius day and perfect weather for the beach. The roads to the Cinque Terre (five colourful fishing villages perched precariously on the cliff face of the Italian coast) were windy and narrow. However, after some traffic congestion and parking woes, we reached the beautiful village of Manarola.

Manarola is a delightful village, patronised by tourists from all over the world coming to soak in its relaxed atmosphere, marvel at its position and admire its stunning views. It really is a feast for the senses and well worth the circuitous journey!

Our first impression of the Leaning Tower

Piazza del Miracoli, Pisa

Inside Pisa's beautiful cathedral

Stained glass of the Duomo, Pisa

Rich colours of the Duomo's ceiling, Pisa

The ornate interior of  Pisa's Duomo

Sean lends a hand of support to the Leaning Tower

Eloise, Brett and Sean at the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Brett and Tricia at the Leaning Tower

Eloise, Brett, Sean and Tricia in Piazza del Miracoli, Pisa

Eloise, Piazza del Miracoli, Pisa

Eloise winds her way down into Manarola

Map illustrating some of the Cinque Terre ( five lands)

Colourful charm of Manarola

Brett overlooks Manarola's stunning coastline

Sean soaks up the sunshine in Manarola

Tricia unwinds in the Cinque Terre's village of Manarola

Manarola's captivating hill scape

Italian coastline and port
Driving home, we felt relieved that we had managed to achieve so much for the day, despite our shaky start. McDonalds, I'm afraid to say, was dinner tonight as we just couldn't face one more piece of pizza. And so, we reach our last day in Tuscany tomorrow....who knows what it may bring.           Tricia

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