From Cinque Terre we took a train to Pisa where we enjoyed a leisurely Italian lunch in the shadow of the famous leaning tower. We walked from the station to the city, taking breaks for souvenir shopping before heading to the tower where we got a kick out of everyone taking their pictures holding up the wall before taking some of our own. We then enjoyed the spectacular weather as we dined on authentic Italian fare at the base of the iconic tower. I had an awesome pizza in Pisa!
We left Pisa and hopped another train to Firenze. On the way from the train station to our hotel, we realized that my sister had lost her phone. Distraught, we made our plan to quickly check into our hotel and retrace our steps.
We got checked in and made our way back to the train station asking at the ticket window if they had found it. There was no lost and found at the huge station and the phone was not there. We then ducked in to a local tourist info office where we were informed that items could be reported lost after twenty-four hours to the police but that as it was an iPhone, they assured us it was forever gone.
My sister asked by chance if they could make the international phone call to attempt to ring her device. They were kind enough to do so, and someone picked up and began speaking in Italian! We handed the phone to the locals who informed us that a security officer at the Duomo had the phone and would wait there to meet us! We began running through the streets of Florence with onlookers staring at us strangely as we made our mad dash through the streets in full stride while wearing street clothes. We found the guard who spoke zero English and were reunited with the phone! The phone was recovered several blocks from anywhere we had been and it was truly an incredible feat to have recovered the coveted device. We celebrated with dinner at the base of the spectacular Duomo.
The next day, we hung out at Signoria Piazza where we marveled at the art, and then made our way to the Ponte Vecchio bridge, a medieval stone arch bridge crossing the Arno river. We then wound up at the San Lorenzo marketplace. This “mercato centrale” is a two-level indoor food market with fishmongers, delicatessens, and butchers selling an impressive array of prosciuttos including wild boar, venison and goose as well as homemade candies, chutneys, sauces, vinegars, mustards and oils. I chose to eat some suppli (fried rice balls with mozzarella and slow cooked ragu inside). We next went to the Porcellino market in the center of town; known now for its leather goods, this was once a gold and silk market for wealthy Renaissance era shoppers.
For great food and shopping in the heart of Tuscany, visit Firenze.