We emerged from the train station. And walked. And walked. And felt like Pooh as we stopped for "provisions" at the local grocery store.
|Sta. Maria della Spina|
|A happy James in the sunshine!|
|The building was leaning, not me!|
After a few more steps, we saw the tip of the campanile (the leaning tower) over the trees. I sped up to go to the ticket office, and arrived there at 11:45. The reserved ticket time we received was 12:00-- in other words, no wait to speak of! There was just time to feed the children some of the provisions to prevent meltdowns on the way up (can you imagine a puddle of bad temper oozing down those steps?). Promptly at noon, the children and their daddy went bounding joyously to the tower, while I "usefully" watched all the bags, knitted, and read my book. Any guesses on who was the happiest?
|Waving from the Top!|
|Ceiling of Duomo|
|Florence and James getting Holy Water|
|Quite a pulpit!|
|Michael and Ashley in the gallery, for scale|
Lunch, then on to Lucca, a little fortress town!
|Ashley was NOT impressed with the toilets at the train station|
We had read about a gelateria, so this was a high-priority item. And it really was good, I must say. Then we wandered into the duomo (under restoration, so filled with scaffolding), and went up the main street, which is an outdoor mall of overpriced items. I mean, really -- 310 euros for a pair of shoes?
We found a really cute piazza -- La Piazza dell'Anfiteatro -- used to be a Roman amphitheatre, and had been changed into housing, shops, etc. Really cute.
|Aren't the curved buildings sweet?|
|Piazza dell'Anfiteatro with my favorite family!|
|Closeup of the best part of the trip....|
|Our train from Lucca. We were in the top!|
|The cupola in the Duomo|
|Main altar in the Duomo|
|Floor leading up to the main altar|
|A side altar in the Duomo|
|Inlaid stone to the side of the main altar|
|Isn't this a wonderful depiction of the Fall?|
|The baptismal candle|