Luke here. Since I did such a great job writing the Lisbon entry, Alex is letting me guest write the Pisa entry as well. When we planned out our trip, we knew Pisa was going to be either a day trip in between cities or a one-night stay since it is a smaller town. It ended up being cheaper for us to take a train from Florence and stay the night and then fly out to Venice.
We arrived early in the morning on the 13th and made our way to our hotel, which was an easy 10-minute walk from the train station. We were able to check into our air-conditioned room and unpack a bit before we decided to head out and see the leaning tower.
After getting some directions, we made our way through the town square and towards the leaning power. When we turned the corner and first saw the tower, we were so surprised how leaning it really was.
After taking our popular Pisa tower picture we found a pizzeria and sat down for an ice-cold tea/beer and pizza. After an extended lunch we decided to head back to our hotel to catch up on some sleep since we had already seen the majority of Pisa on our short walk around the city. There really wasn't much else to do.
We got a much needed 4 hour "nap" and got up to find an early dinner since we had an early flight the next morning. Ironically we made our way back to the same area of restaurants we were at for lunch and had dinner and the same spot we ate at earlier. However, the trip wouldn't be complete without Alex finding and socializing with a stray cat for a couple minutes.
We were able to FaceTime our parents and upload some pictures while at dinner and after a delicious tiramisu, headed back to the hotel for the night. Little did we know what we would find on the walk home...
As we made a couple turns and down a couple streets we came across what we thought was a concert in an enclosed field within the city. We saw people going in and out without tickets so decided to walk right in. Right as we entered we noticed several nuns walking around the "concert" and people drinking beers and eating food. Up on a brick wall a slide show was being projected and showing pictures of nuns and what we thought we members of the church youth group who was putting on the concert.
As we made our way through the crowd and the congo lines, we found the drink bar and food buffet that had been demolished. The best part was watching a nun handle a mini Heineken keg behind the bar. After a while of observing and singing along to YMCA, we decided to leave and head home. As we crossed over the bridge back towards our hotel we saw tons of people out sitting along the walls of the bridge. All the gelato stores were packed with people and everyone along the walls were eating gelato. It seemed to be the thing to do if you were from Pisa. We got back to our hotel and set our early alarms for our trip to the airport.
We got up the next morning at 8 to make our way to the airport. We got a cab and made it to the airport. We arrived at security and handed out boarding passes to the security worker who scanned our tickets and said they were being declined because the plane had already boarded...we knew something wasn't right. There was no way our 11:55 flight was boarded at 9. After a few phone calls, security confirmed it was an error on their booking side and that we were clear to go. We arrived at our gate and we're getting ready to board when an announcement over the PA system came on and notified all passengers that the airport was currently under a weather watch due to rain and lightning and that all planes were being grounded "until further notice". This wouldn't have been an issue for us any other time however the flight we were boarding was to Rome where we were catching a connecting flight to Venice. We had an hour and a half connection time but didn't know how long the weather delay was going to be.
We finally were able to board an hour late and were airborne shortly after. We knew we had little time to make our connection once we landed.
We landed in Rome and quickly got off the plane. When we landed, our plane was already boarding and we had 15 minutes to make it before gates closed. We were bussed over to the terminal from the plane and soon as the doors of the bus opened, everyone began running to the gates. We all seemed to be in the same situation. After running up and down a couple escalators, we arrived at our gate and jumped in the back of the line. We barely made it. We boarded the plane and could finally relax. Wheels up for Venice!