Time to leave the lovely Rapallo and make my way to Florence, changing trains at Pisa with time for a look at some kind of tower I heard they have there. I actually had a little extra time in Rapallo as the 10.26 InterCity to Pisa didn’t turn up til quarter past eleven.  The train journey is very similar to the one from Nice to Genoa, hugging the coastline but mostly in tunnels. I arrived in Pisa at 1pm.

Your welcome to Pisa is not especially pleasant. The station is a tad grimy and doesn’t seem to be in the nicest area. Things get a bit more pleasant as you cross the bridge over the river and head towards the centre. I was really just here for a quick look at the leaning tower so didn’t have much of a chance to check out the city.

The tower itself was great to see and there  were huge crowds surrounding it, many going for the classic photo-op of pretending to push it over. I resisted the temptation.  The cathedral next to it is also very impressive, though unfortunately a lot of the facade is covered in scaffolding.

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I made my way back to the station and caught the train to Florence, and in an hour or so I was arriving at Santa Maria Novello station.

I don’t often post photos of my hotel room, but then again I’ve never stayed in one with beautiful frescos above the bed. It was actually an apartment and featured a little patio area at the back. A great location too, only five minutes from the Duomo.

I headed out early evening and it was apparent that the beauty of Florence was not overrated. I strolled past the Duomo, the statue of David in the Piazza della Signoria, then crossed the Ponte Vecchio into Oltrarno and paused for a glass of wine next to the river.

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From there I returned to the north side of the Arno and found a home for the night in the bars in the streets surrounding Basilica Santa Croce. I rounded the night off in the lively Lion’s Fountain pub which was also home to many of the Americans visiting Florence. A few beers and a chat with some fun people and it was time to head home to sleep under the frescos.

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