Oversea, Travel

Rome + Pisa Day 5: Santa Maria Maggiore Church, Pensione Rinascente & Leaning Tower Of Pisa

My Europe travelogue so far…
London Day 1: Flying With MAS, Heathrow Connect & Piccadilly Circus
London Day 2: Covent Garden, British Museum, British Library & Phantom Of The Opera Musical
London + Rome Day 3: YHA Oxford Street, Gatwick Airport, easyJet & Tiring Rome
Rome Day 4: Six Beds, Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill (Part 1)
Vatican City + Rome Day 4: Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica & St. Peter’s Square (Part 2)

Ahh last 1/2 day in Rome. Morning breakfast is again the yummylicious croissant and cappuccino. We head out at 9.30am for a short walk around the neighborhood. Went to several shoe shops + stalls and shop selling household and baking items.

Beautiful building!

Then we visited Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore since it’s just the end of the street from Six Beds. There are a lot of gypsies selling goods in front of this church.

We went into the church with no expectation whatsoever. But again I was blown away by the sheer beauty and richness of the churches and basilicas in Italy and Vatican City.

How can a church be this beautiful? If I’m a Christian, I don’t think I would be able to concentrate on the priest’s sermon. Looking dreamily at the architecture is more like it! Hahaha I actually like this church more than St. Peter’s Basilica.

Lovely glass art @ Santa Maria Maggiore Church, Rome, Italy.

We checked out from Six Beds around 11.30am and took the Vittorio Emanuele Metro to Roma Termini (just 1 stop away). We’re leaving Rome and heading to Pisa!

Our Pisa’s train is at 1.30pm but we arrive early at Roma Termini so that we can look-see-learn as this is our first time taking an Italian train.
Photo by TZ-7.

We were approached several times by gypsies but we just ignored them. Lunch we bought sandwich from a shop at Roma Termini.
Photo by TZ-7.

Near departing time we went to the loo (which isn’t free; €1!!!) and almost misses the train. Hahaha

On board 9770 Frecciabianca (operated by Trenitalia) to Pisa. The journey from Rome to Pisa took 2.5 hours. Ticket cost €42 per person.

Italy’s countryside. Goodbye Rome. Will miss you and will come back for more!

We arrived at Pisa Centrale (Pisa’s train station) at around 4.10pm. We’re going to our lodging in Pisa by local bus which is just beside the train station. Sure we can walk but it’s gonna take around 30 mins and with our heavy luggage in tow, it ain’t a good idea. We missed 2 buses as we were a bit blur-blur. First time, we didn’t buy ticket, 2nd time we were too slow. LOL Bus ticket cost €1.10 per person.

We alighted at Pacinotti 2 and walked to Borgo Street (shopping street). We were a bit lost there and were thankful of the help we received from the local. That’s the best thing about travelling independently. Haha Finally we found our lodging which isn’t too far away. Pensinone Rinascente it is and it’s a very charming place. Too bad I did not take a lot of photos inside the lodging. It was tastefully decorated. We were greeted by a lovely old lady who speak more Italian than English. We mostly converse by sign languages and broken English! LOL.

Our room at Pensione Rinascente, Pisa, Italy. 1 night stay for a double room with share bathroom cost €52.00 + €2.00 tourist tax. Not bad as the room is huge! This is the biggest room we had in our Europe trip.

Love the decoration. There’s another extra bed there.

I’m not sure how old this hotel is but it sure is very old. It smell old (not that it smells) and looks old but it was an interesting place to stay. It’s more to antique than old. We had no problem falling asleep *tsk tsk abnormal activity? Nah Haha

After dropping our stuff at our room, we head out again. No time to sit and rest. We’re going to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa! It was a pleasant 15-20 mins walk to Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles).

Baptistry of St. John (left) and Duomo di Pisa (right) at Piazza dei Miracoli.

Duomo di Pisa (cathedral) and the AWESOME Leaning Tower of Pisa!
Do you know that the Leaning Tower of Pisa is the cathedral’s free standing bell tower?

My oh my… it was a sight to behold. Finally I’m here!

This is the base of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I’m not sure how this tower can lean so much and yet still standing!

Leaning Tower of Pisa and La Fontana dei Putti (The Fountain with Angels).
We did not climb the tower though. I think the best view is from below. 🙂

We sent postcards and letters home with stamps bought from tabacchi shop near the tower before walking back. On the way back we stopped at Piazza dei Cavalieri (Knights’ Square).

What the town look like… nice ya.

Palazzo dei Cavalieri @ Knight’s Square.

Palazzo dell’Orologio @ Knight’s Square.

Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri @ Knight’s Square.

Before heading back to our lodging, we stopped by for dinner at a recommended place from Tripadvisor. Read my review here of Il Campano, a restaurant that serve Tuscan food.

Near Il Campano is a small market.

Market at Via Cavalca, Pisa, Italy.

Zucchini flowers and zucchini. Here’s a look at a zucchini flowers dish we had in Rome.

Many types of beans.

After dinner, we had a nice walk by the Arno River. There we stopped at Gelateria De’ Coltelli for some gelato. Read my review of their gelato here.

Arno River at night. Romantic!

Building across the river.

We stopped by Borgo Street to buy some croissant for our breakfast tomorrow. Most of the shops were close as it was after 9pm.

If you read from the internet you will see that many go to Pisa as a short ‘day’ stop-over but we decided to stay for a night because lodging is cheaper and the place is so beautiful. It’s a quiet and peaceful town. Would have hope I have an extra day here to just laze around.

Anyway our next day destination is sure legendary… stay tuned for it!

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  • Reply Dawn July 9, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    The interior of the churchers are mind blowing!!! The awesome artistry skills of these ancient artists were one of a kind. I have to say without the crowds, the venue does look much more enticing, prettier. I can just imagine sitting in the pews enjoying mass in one of these churches/basilicas…like you said most probably looking up and around more than concentrating on the mass! Again, awesome pictures! 🙂

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 11, 2012 at 9:24 am

      Haha so it’s just not me eh. Kekeke

  • Reply Constance Ant July 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    ancient people memang more artistic eh?

    the interiors are all well errr architect-ed ?

  • Reply foongpc July 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Wow! Really beautiful church!

  • Reply foongpc July 12, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Oh! I did not know the Leaning Tower of Pisa is the cathedral’s bell tower! I always thought it’s a stand alone structure. Nice picture of the tower!

  • Reply jam July 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    We are not allowed to go into the leaning tower of Pisa, right?

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      They’ve completed the restoration so you can go up now to the very top floor (with flag).

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