Travel Diary | Mediterranean Cruise | Florence & Pisa

7th July 2015

Florence, Italy

The next adventure on the schedule was an excursion to Florence and Pisa in Italy.

Now, I’d better come clean. In the post where I announced I was going on a cruise (probably prouder than I would announce if I was getting married – which I’m not) I said I wasn’t going to Florence because I’d already been on that excursion. Well, we went anyway, because Ty hadn’t been and I probably would have regretted it if not, so we thought we might as well go.

We docked in Livorno on the Friday morning, and after a quick breakfast we left the boat and joined our tour bus.

First stop was Florence for a tour with the city guide.

As I just mentioned, this was the second time that I had been on this particular excursion. The first time was with my parents three years ago. Of course, when you have been on a tour before you have certain exception levels. The tour guide was not as good as the one I had the first time I visited Florence and missed out on so many important parts of the city.

Fortunately, having been there before, I was able to take over and be a tour guide for Tyrone during our free time and showed him what the tour guide had neglected to show us.

We started off at the cathedral (The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore). The Baptistery was completely covered in scaffolding because, as I’ve learnt from my visits to Venice and Rome, the Italians love their scaffolding.

Florence, Italy

Then we wondered through the streets of Florence to explore some of it’s iconic buildings.

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Oh, and we saw David.

Florence, Italy

Our tour guide only showed us the Ponte Vecchio from a distance, and so I took Tyrone to walk across it later in the day.

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Once we were let free for a few hours, we headed straight for a pizzeria. We found a small cafe close to the Ponte Vecchio which had a gorgeous seating area at the back.

Florence, Italy

Refuelled and ready to walk some more, we crossed the Ponte Vecchio to see the gold shops, and then walked back to the centre to find the bronze bore. If you rub his nose it will bring you luck. Apparently.

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Back on the bus our guide told us she had a surprise before heading over to Pisa. I knew exactly what it was before it was revealed.

Florence, Italy

THIS VIEW!

Florence, Italy

Isn’t it incredible?! The last time I went on this excursion they didn’t take us up to this viewing point and I was really disappointed. This trip more than made up for it.

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

I’m wearing a jumpsuit from Pull & Bear. I’ve really fallen in love with jumpsuits.

I fell asleep on the bus and when I woke up we were in Pisa.

Florence, Italy

There’s really only one reason to visit Pisa…

Florence, Italy

I promise you, I didn’t attempt the classic tourist photo, but plenty of people did.

Florence, Italy

As you can see, the Leaning Tower is kind of banana shape. See how it slightly curves towards the top? Well, this is because it started leaning when they were building, but in order to complete it without it falling over they had to make it curve ever so slightly to balance the weight.

It rained while we were in Pisa, so we took cover and bought an ice cream to complete our day in Italy.

Are Florence and Pisa on your travel bucket list?

If you missed the other posts in this series you can find them here:

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  1. Susanne

    I hate Florence, lol! It’s just a city full of luxury brand shops and tourists, and the people in bars etc think all are Americans who don’t know the language, so if I speak to them in Italian they reply in English, but the problem is that their English is much worse than my Italian so they end up mixing English with Italian, and I end up not understanding anything. Why can’t they speak their own language when someone speaks to them in their language? So annoying! It’s the same in Venice and Verona, by the way. However, the buildings are amazing there. And there is that hop on-hop off bus that takes you to Fiesole, and from there you can walk to some nice little villages. That’s a good thing. Something I would like to see in Florence is the house where you can see how high the water reached during the bad flood in 1966 – it’s supposed to be something extreme.
    I’ve only seen the train station in Pisa, never the tower, it looks scary!! It really looks like it’s falling down soon. Is it still moving or have they stopped it?

    • Holly

      Tourists ruin most places. I know this only too well living in a very touristy city. But if you can ignore them and see the beauty beyond then Florence is a pretty city.

      I saw that house! I didn’t get a picture though. I was so shocked about how high the water level was. It’s hard to believe.

      I think it’s still moving. They say that it will be gone by next century. It’s like Venice; get there before it goes!

  2. Haha, Italians do sure love their scaffolding. I really want to explore ore of Italy, as I’ve only been to Rome. Florence looks beautiful! I love the carousel.

    Yo, David is fit.

    That view is amazing. I literally get a boner over amazing views. Like, number one on my list of things to do when I visit somewhere new is see what the view is like. Love your jumpsuit, by the way. Pull & Bear is one of my favourite shops and it doesn’t help that there is just one nearby where I intern, and so I need to grip my money close to me, haha.

    Florence and Pisa are definitely on my bucket list!

    • Holly

      Ahh my next post is going to be about Rome!

      I’m also a big fan of beautiful views. It doesn’t get much better than this one!

      Pull & Bear have some amazing clothes in at the moment. It’s so hard to resist!

  3. I literally began to bawl the moment I saw pictures of Florence, The date you posted this on is actually the date I was there this time last year. I love being in Italy, despite last year having a hard time being away from my boyfriend for 6 weeks Italy feels so much like home. I did not get to do Pisa, but I got to do so much in Florence itself, and some of the places you stood I stood exactly in the same place. You are so lucky to just get up and go on a cruise like that. I would take cruises over lame North American road trips any day! Unlike Susanne I never had an issue with the language. Everyone I spoke with spoke Italian, minus the Gucci museum, because we had a choice, and they spoke way too fast in Italian to keep up. If you move away from the tourist areas, you find pure culture. You should try going right down south, like to Calabria, where no tourists are. You can immerse yourself in the food, culture and the beaches are magnificent, as well as the historic small villages and castles. I will be back there atleast by 2019. I need too! I wish I could write travel books and travel forever.

    • Holly

      Haha, I am dying to go on a North American road trip. Swap?!

      I feel really bad that a don’t speak another language fluently, and just have to hope they understand English. There’s isn’t a good enough approach to teaching languages in the UK. They need to start earlier and have lessons more frequently.

      I’d love to visit some of the less-touristy areas.

      Writing travel books would be my dream!!

  4. Cat

    Wow, all the details in the building in the first photo are beautiful. I love seeing architecture like that :) Florence looks like a lovely city, and the view you got is amazing! What a great view of the city and all the buildings in it! I’d love to visit some time.

    That classic tourist pose with the Leaning Tower is so funny to me, haha. I think it’s funny that so many people do it. I actually never noticed how the tower curves at the top, but that makes sense now that you mention it!

    • Holly

      There are quite a few buildings like the one in the first image. They are all so stunning!

      It’s so funny when you are there. There’s just a row of people standing there with their arms and hands in weird positions!

  5. The tower looks scary, I’m not sure I would have the courage to visit it. Lovely pictures, the ones from the viewpoint are amazing. I was surprised about the pizza, it looks thicker than I’ve imagined.

    • Holly

      I don’t think I would like to climb up to the top. I’m quite happy staying on the ground and admiring it from a distance!

  6. I have fallen in love with Florence and Rome after reading Dan Brown’s description of both of the places in Inferno and Angels and Demon respectively!
    Again, I totally loved your pictures.
    Hey, you look great in jump suits! i look stout in it! :(
    Leaning Tower of Pisa! Wow!