Oct 09

The Check-In/Check-Out Diaries: PISA

by in Destinations


Running late from the Tuscan road trip we run into the train terminal, hit the “fast” something ticket machine and sprint to find the track empty, having to wait another 30 minutes for the next train that is delayed because it is a local train and regardless of the country you live in, if you have a “local” train it is always going to be delayed. Once we board it gets worse. There is no heat, the people are loud and angry and HOT, and it is looking like we are going to miss our reservation to go up into the leaning tower. As soon as the train starts, it stops. Starts again, and then stops again. It is getting darker which also means the “get a picture of the leaning tower like you are holding it up” may no longer be an option. Apparently this is not an option for Beth as she is willing the train to keep moving. Each time the train stops the conductor speaks something in Italian which leads to “Mama Mia!” chants and we can tell by the tone these are not good Mama Mia’s. Going forward I will always associate the phrase “Mama Mia” with shit going down. With seemingly everything working against us the story actually has a happy ending.

The train arrives one hour late, we hop into a taxi who takes us right to the leaning tower of Pisa and accompanying Duomo that runs parallel to a large park like field and a street of restaurants. It’s still light out when we take our “holding up the tower of Pisa” photos and then go to the ticket area to inquire about our now expired tickets. No problem, we are put into the next group where we go up into the tower and look out.

More pictures and then a quick dinner at a restaurant called the New York Café where we eat Pizza in Pisa with tower in view despite the asshole neighboring restaurant’s attempt to block the view with umbrellas. Here’s a Secret: Even in Pisa there are douche bags.

The train back is rather uneventful which is to say there are no Mama Mia’s and we are back in Florence within an hour, clutching onto the camera containing the photos of us holding up the leaning tower of Pisa.

David S. Grant is the author of several books. His latest, BLOOD: The New Red will be available 11-11-11. For more information go to http://www.davidsgrant.com. Follow David on Twitter @david_s_grant

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