A Travellerspoint blog

Pisa

Mum and I climbed it

sunny 26 °C

??Pisa??
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We are back in ??Tuscany?? in a small village 20? minutes out from ??Pisa?? hope you enjoy my piece on Pisa?. Harry?

We finally arrive in our village??? after a quick? (but stressful??) ride? on the autobahn going 130 k?? and mum screaming? to slow down⏬ or LOOK OUT?!. But we finally got there. When we got there we were straight➡️ into the pool? for a quick dip?. We decided to hop? in the car? and have a look? at the nearby villages? next to our one Morrona for the afternoon☀️.

And now for some of the most amazing? facts in the world? about Pisa, here we go.

The history began in the year 180? years before Christ when Pisa was founded.

We all know the leaning tower of ??Pisa?? and it is on a lean because it was built on poor ground including clay, sand and shells. And half way through the build Pisa was went to war with Florence?? and Genoa. After they had got well into the build they noticed the lean so the build was postponed for a century for a unknown reason⁉️. And now the tower is 13 feet away from vertical.

In the war against Genoa Pisa lost 11,000 men? and a large number of ships?.

On the war against Florence Pisa surrendered? at the 109th year of the war?.

Only 100,000 people?? live in Pisa.

Pisa is also the capital of Tuscany.

Also the university? in Pisa is for the gifted? and talented?.

The city was badly bombed? in world war 2 but has been completely restored to its glory.

Also the city is very clean unlike Rome.

Day two Pisa

We got to Pisa early? to get our turn doing the climb?. But first we had to take the compulsory tourist pictures? - pushing the tower (check the gallery?? for photos). Finally our group was called up⬆️. Jack wasn't allowed because you have to be 8. He was so disappointed? but I called out next year mate as I started to climb?.

It was so weird the whole way leaning left or right - I imagine this is what it feels like to be on rollerskates. Finally the top⬆️ you can get a perfect panoramic view of the city- on a lean. Before we could have a good look around and take a couple of selfies? it was 12 o'clock. And at that time they ring the bells so all 6 bells the size of hippos? ring- it was so loud? and if you want to see the video? check me out on my Instagram account @harrys_travels_ .

Anyway time to head down⏬. What a amazing day we had In Pisa - still more blogs to come keep an eye? out- bye for now. We are off to Portofino tomorrow.

Harry

PS - Thanks for all the feedback and comments (please keep them coming....) and can I get 200 hits on this page of my blog please.......that way I'll know that you are all enjoying and following my travel blog.

Posted by saltydog4481 11:01 Archived in Italy Tagged pisa Comments (3)

Rome

Came out unpick pocketed.......

sunny 28 °C

??Rome??

??Rome??, amazing?. And if you haven't heard of it I will slap?? some sense into you☝️.

Here we go?.

First1⃣ up there are about 3 million people???? that live in the town of Rome??.

Secondly a whopping 23 million travellers?? go there each year - that's nearly 8 times New Zealand.

Also in the Roman times they washed their clothing in urine.

The Colosseum or Circus Maximus was sometimes flooded???? for boat and swimming battles

The colosseum took 8 years to build and it used over 350?????? thousand slaves each day, each year for 8 years!!!!!? The slaves were mainly Jewish

One side of the colosseum it is half ?broken? because of the poor land it was built on.

Back then ??Rome?? was home to about 2 million people.

?Legend? says the city was founded by two brothers Romulus and Remus- Romulus killed Remus and became the first ruler of ??Rome??
The ?Romans? used to socialise?? in the public toilets?

The last gladiator fight? took place in the year 436 AD??

Day one ??Rome ??

We arrive in Rome at around ?1 pm? and we're still recovering♻️ from the whip lashed ride on the way there, thanks Dad. Thr traffic is crazy but dad handles it well - we have given him the challenge of driving around the famous Rome roundabout (that you see in lots of movies) but as much as I have tried bribing him, there is no way he will do it. There is so much car and scooter tooting here and police cars and sirens race past every few minutes. It feels like there are more police than people in this city - they are everywhere and Jack does his best to get himself photographed with as many as practically possible.

We had ✏️booked? a tour to go around♻️ Rome and we had a bit of trouble? finding it?. Two hours? of trouble to be exact. But we finally
find it?, just in the nick of time?, as our tour group??? is departing.

First, we walked down the Main Street in Rome to be greeted ?by the statues of the rulers? in Rome all? those years ago, on our way to the Colosseum.

We took a short cut through the Colosseum that took us through the ?ancient? ruins of Rome (have a peek at the photo gallery for some photos) finally we get to the Colosseum - it was amazing? 10 times as good as the photos? and it is huge.

Only looking from the outside?? now we get to go in?. We get up to the main viewing point? - do you know what went on in there, well here we go?..............

The gladiators? would fight to the death?, but there was one rule - don't fight people from your clan or town? - they could tell as each clan or village???? had their own style of helmet.

On other days there would be raft? battles - the aim was to sink the other raft so they would chuck rocks? and sticks? at the opponents.

Also they would have the man on animal battles men and women would battle all kinds of animals like tigers?, zebras?, giraffes?, elephants? and alligators?.

Lastly they would have animal? on animal ?battles.

Day two in ??Rome??

Today we went for a walk? around Rome (dad? tour style) - we were out for a good 5 hours seeing the old but wonderful sights of ??Rome?? - think Trevi fountain, ??Spanish?? Steps, Ponte Sisto.......But it was so hot like 30 degrees so we really needed to cool down⤵️. So we spot a grand old hotel and it has a roof top swimming pool and we might of just packed some togs because my mum had planned it!!!!! Mum scores a perfect five stars????? for this one......So we get to the top and what an amazing view of Rome. Another day in paradise?.

Day three in ??Rome??

Today we leave but we still have couple of things to do. And today is a Wednesday and every Wednesday at the Vatican the pope speaks? (we never saw him but we had a look around anyway) there are so many people queuing up to see him. Now we are done here in ??Rome?? so see you soon. We are driving north todY, next stop Pisa.

Posted by saltydog4481 04:46 Archived in Italy Tagged rome Comments (3)

Montepulicino - Umbria,Italy

Have a read of my time in Montepulicino

sunny 25 °C

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After a nice and easy 1.5 hour drive? south we have arrived in Montepulicino - a beautiful medieval town set high up⬆️ on the hills of Umbria. The village has winding cobblestone paths - it's hard? to work out if they are for pedestrians? only or for cars? as well. Mum? finds a friendly local who offers to lead us in- we follow him through a set of narrow, windy roads that take us straight to our accommodation?. The so called roads are barely wide enough for our car to glide through.???

We are staying in a very old?? and grand palace that has been restored and converted to apartments? - it is situated at the top? of the town so we get in plenty of exercise walking? up? the hill. This is practically grandma's second2⃣ home so we have some good insider tips of the must do's in this area???????.

It is the ancient city? of Nocera Alfaterna which was built in ?308 BC? and the walls of the city were built around the 1⃣4⃣14th century- It's an interesting town - really nice to wander around (?and very easy to get lost?) and take in the great views? of the surrounding hills and small villages that you can see for miles. It is still a really famous wine area - mum and dad are back in their element. Have you ever heard about their giant underground wine barrels - some of them have thousands of barrels of wine stored there.?

I will bowl⚾️ some facts right at you - hope you are enjoying Harry's history lessons????......

Monte is a medieval hill town
It sits high on a 695 metre ridge
It is a major food and wine producer
Famous for pork?, cheese, pasta and honey?
And last and least for me, wine?.....

Did I mention about the siestas?? here in Italy - everything closes in the afternoon for a few hours - and I mean everything banks?, shops,dairies, restaurants? etc so you need to be organised and prepared so you are not left for dead ?without food??!!!! Luckily we have dad? with us (the organised one of the group)........

After a good day exploring our village we set off outside the walls on day 2 - we visit a ⛪️monastery⛪️, explore a ?castle? and take a dip in a natural thermal spring - it is heavenly?. Smells a bit like Rotorua, which isn't the greatest of things?.

The hot natural springs bubble?? out of the ground filled with minerals and the heat☀️ of the earth?. The springs have been used since the time of the Romans and are meant to be very good for you? - can cure anything from colds to skin disease. We soak in the sulphur and our skin feels shiny? and soft. And if you are so uneducated? that you haven't heard of it? - picture this.... lady's bathing at spas with mud on their face and gherkins? around their eyes?. Well if you didn't guess the mud stuff is sulphur ta daaaa.... (?Jazz hands?)

Check out the blog for photos........next stop Rome.?

Posted by saltydog4481 00:39 Archived in Italy Comments (5)

Tuscany - Chianti Region

A wine lover's paradise

sunny 27 °C

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Bon Giorno.......

After a successful GPS setting - well done mum!? We are in our 4th destination stop - Greve in Chianti, Tuscany.

Mum says it's just a co incidence but we arrive in our local village and there is a full blown wine festival? underway.. Fun - it happens once a year apparently. Mum and dad join in the festivities - there are heaps of local wine growers here and dad does his best to try them all. This area is famous for red wine so I am told......and hopefully gelato. Lots of gelato??????

Five hours later......... We check in to our villa?⛪️. It is set on a family?? owned vineyard ,and that one wasn't on accident. It is a big vineyard - they produce over 400 000 bottles of vino next year and sell them mainly to Asia and USA. Jack and I head straight to the swimming pool. Check out the photo gallery of shots of the setting - it is unbelievable.

Day 2 in Tuscany.....we head north⏫ to a local town called Panzano - the town is famous for ,believe it or not, the local butcher. He's like Gordon Ramsey here in Tuscany. People pile into his shop to get their photo taken with him? - we think that it's funny?? as he gives red wine and grappa to everyone that comes into the shop - plus lots of meat and wine tastings. And it has just gone past 10 am in the morning.

We have a good explore of the village and head off to our next destination - Radda in Chianti- another cool town to explore plus I have the best slice of pizza? that I have ever had in my whole life.......

We come across hundreds of cyclists? on the hills of Tuscany out for a Sunday ride - they are all dressed in Lance Armstrong gear and they think they are in the Tour de France. But some of them are quiet lardy so they don't really fit. Unfortunately.

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The weather is still really hot - think 28 - so after a family game of soccer back at our Villa, we dive into the pool.

Day 3 - it's dad's birthday!!!!!!!! We treat him to lunch - it is delicious.??????????

Day 4 - exploring Siena - see my blog on our Big Day Out.

Day 5, chill axing by the pool and vineyard tours for mum and dad to try the local speciality, Chianti.?????

Day 6 we head into Florence for a day playing tourists - thanks again to Heidi for the helpful parking tips - we eased in and out of Florence smoothly.?⚠️?????

Day 7 dad gets the pick of the day for taking us to Passandia - we see the most amazing castle ever and mum talks the caretaker into giving us a special tour of the castle and the monastery - it was mind blowing.......check out the phitos??

Tomorrow we leave Chianti bound for Montepulicino - a Town set within medieval walls. It is in Umbria, still a part of Tuscany, but we are heading south towards Rome.⛪️⛪️⛪️⛪️⛪️⛪️⛪️

Check out the photo gallery which I have just updated.?????????

Ciao for now, Harry????☺️☺️??????

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Posted by saltydog4481 17:00 Archived in Italy Tagged tuscany Comments (4)

A day in Siena

A great day for food🍕🍕

sunny 28 °C

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??We start out early on our road trip to Siena, Italy. ?? a special thanks to Heidi for her legendary parking tips ??

??Siena?? is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and if you haven't heard of it - I will slam some facts in your face??

First up it is home to one of the first university's in Europe??

Secondly it was founded in 30AD - that's older than my dad? Dam!!.

Also the greatest traditional festival in Siena is the Palio Race - a two minute horse?? race that happens twice a year.

The city was built on three rolling hills and is surrounded by giant walls

Did you know that it is home to the tallest tower in Italy which we climbed up?- 315 narrow steps to climb (that's hard core stuff)?

Here's something you may not know the oldest bank? in the whole world was established in Siena in 1472.

Last of all, the most popular sport is football in this city⚽️.

We stroll into the city at 10:00am before eating our way from pizza shop to pizza shop, them from bar to bar. It took us a while to get to the centre but is was worth walking off all that food.

We were greeted by the tall tower? in the centre, as well as the amazing buildings surrounding it. Now it was time to climb. Being over 300 hundred very steep steps up, it is a monster? - we see people staggering out of the tower huffing and puffing? and working up a sweat? - they are making us feel nervous? as we don't know what to expect......... It is now our time?.......

We start the climb - the passageway is so small and thin and it is about 26 degrees‼️. Hot☀️. It is only half a metre wide and you are having to duck? on every stair to mind the brick ceiling. We are half way up and a bunch of people start making their way down⏬......... I panic? as there is no room, but wait there are some holes in the bricks so I start to scale the walls to make room and I am up before the herd of tourists rush???? their way down⤵️.

One more flight and we are there... And we're up finally? - the view is amazing? (Check out the photo gallery for action packed photos?)....

Thanks to everyone who has posted a message on my blog. And a special shout out to room one at BIS if you can see this.... Is it really quiet in class now.

Posted by saltydog4481 17:00 Archived in Italy Comments (9)

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