As we waved goodbye to Venice from our “vaporetto”, we wondered if we would ever see her magical skyline again. For now, we were on to the next adventure and would soon arrive in the city of Pisa to visit another of Italy’s extraordinary landmarks!
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a campanile located in Campo dei Miracoli, “The Field of Miracles”. It’s one of several bell towers in Pisa but is the most famous due to its tilt. From the coach, we only had a short distance to walk before reaching the field and as we got closer, we were suddenly stunned by what lay before us. Not only was the tower magnificent, but the cathedral, baptistery, and cemetery made for an astonishing picture of Romanesque architecture. It was already quite hot and we sought shade while Ruth introduced us to our local guide Roberto, who enthusiastically shared his knowledge about the tower and the beautiful city of Pisa. Campo dei Miracoli truly was miraculous and if we’re fortunate enough to ever visit here again, we will most definitely spend more time exploring Pisa!
Back on the coach, we relaxed while Domenico cruised on to Florence. We arrived at the ultra-modern Hotel Vittoria by mid-afternoon and had just enough time to freshen up before we were off again to Ristorante Montebuoni, nestled in the Tuscan hills. Our host for the evening, Chef Emelio, greeted us like we were family and we felt privileged to learn our group would have the entire restaurant to ourselves! Chef Emelio demonstrated how to make his spinach risotto from scratch while we shared wine, fresh bread, and good cheer. In addition to the risotto, a veritable feast of meats, pasta, and Italian desserts was served, and Chef Emelio even prepared a special veggie plate for me!
On the way back to the hotel, we sang slightly buzzed versions of the Dean Martin songs playing on the coach and laughed out loud with our travel companions. A perfect end to another perfect day on the Road to Rome!