Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Italian Extravaganza: Day 7

       I crossed another childhood dream off the list on day 7. Dad and I hopped on the train and headed over to The Leaning Tower of Pisa. I'm glad we made it a day trip instead of staying there overnight, because the tower is it. There is nothing else. Pisa took a big hit during World War II and most of the city was destroyed. Like a lot of European cities, the difference between the surviving city and the part that was rebuilt is striking. The part of Pisa that was rebuilt is very shoe boxy and uniform. The old part is beautiful and full of history and personality. Contrary to popular belief, the tower isn't the only historical site in the city. It is actually part of a lovely square that also includes a cathedral.
       It wasn't too difficult to find the square (just follow the tourists). Dad and I took the obligatory "holding up the tower" photo and then got ourselves paninis for lunch. Overall the trip took about 2 hours. So it was about as long as our train ride round trip, but definitely worth it. We ended the day at the Salvatore Ferragamo museum. If you haven't heard of this genius, shame on you. He is a famous shoe designer. I told dad that he could do whatever he wanted, but I was going to that museum. It was interesting to see the difference between the Ferragamo museum and the Uffizi. The Uffizi had very little sign of any curating, it seemed as if the paintings were hung on the wall in chronological order. And why would they need to do anything else? Botticelli speaks for itself. The Ferragamo museum was the opposite. It led us through rooms of installation art inspired by the shoes of Ferragamo. The theme was the connection between fairytales and shoemaking. I would have been content to browse through rooms and rooms of beautiful shoes, but instead I had to look for the shoes between the mess of art that had thrown up all over the museum. It was unfortunate. I did fall in love with the shoes I saw, though.
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