After staying most of the day in Lucca the day before, I decided to stick around Pisa for a day to do some planning and to make sure I took that typical "holding up the tower" photo (Check it out!).
Tristan and I woke up around 9, had breakfast and headed out to see a bit of town. We stopped by a pharmacy in the middle of town that Octavio (the father in the house we were staying) ran. He had left out a bottle of Calcium for me, because I hadn't had any luck finding it anywhere else (it is most often chewable or in fizzy drink form here). Tristan and I had lunch at a nearby pizzeria and spent a couple hours doing some "work" at an Internet cafe before heading over to the tower.
As soon as we arrived, we spent about 15 minutes trying to hold up the tower using "real life Photoshop". I think I succeeded after a while, but it was pretty hard. My expression is definitely somewhat real because it was pretty hard to hold that position for 5 minutes while Tristan was saying:
"Ok, now move the front hand slightly forward. No. No. OK. Now back. No, too far. OK...now angle it kind of forwards. No, the other forwards. OK. Lean back. OK, now put your lower hand forward again"...etc.
After photo time, it was time to have a look. Around that area you have to pay for everything, but figuring that we might as well do it, we reserved a time to go up the tower and spent the afternoon between the Duomo, the Baptistery and the Camposanto. Each building has some (or many) incredible features on its interior, including an amazing pair of 700 year old frescoes in the Camposanto that were destroyed by Allied bombs during the Second World War and then carefully pieced back together again...definitely by some dude who really really loved jigsaw puzzles.
Tristan and I sat around in the grass waiting for our 7:20 tower climb to roll around, eating lemon gelato and raspberries that we bought from a nearby supermarket, using the caps of chocolate milk bottles as spoons. The tower was interesting and about what I expected it to be like, but it was a great view of the surrounding landscape. I don't know if I will ever get tired of climbing up stone steps that have supported so many visitors that they have begun to dip in the center...something that I have really only found in huge tourist destinations in Europe.
A little after eight, we headed back to our place for the night, where we had an enormous and delicious dinner with the family. After dinner, we went upstairs to talk to the oldest son Filippo. Noticing his last name on an award on the wall, and then seeing a photographic family tree, I realized that he was a member of the same Sassetti family that had constructed this house in the mid sixteen hundreds. That was pretty amazing for me. I also called Marco, the main man behind Brooks in Italy who had offered to run with me to Livorno the following morning to arrange when and where we would meet.
Before we went to bed, Tristan and I sprayed ourselves with some "Off" that we had bought in the supermarket earlier in the day...we had both been destroyed by them the night before.
08 August 2009