Gallery: Day in Pisa

After a week at the European University Institute and exploring Florence, I spent a night in Pisa. The city is known for its Leaning Tower of Pisa, where tourists flock to take pictures while keeping it uprise.

But while the Cattedrale di Pisa with its iconic Torre di Pisa is a beautiful sight, it was the city itself which caught me off guard. Pisa is a stunning city full of houses in all the warm shades of orange.

House facades in Pisa
House facades in Pisa
House facades in Pisa
House facades in Pisa
Windows with shutters in Pisa
Windows with shutters in Pisa
Window and shutters in Pisa
Window and shutters in Pisa
Santa Maria della Spina at the river Arno in Pisa
Santa Maria della Spina at the river Arno in Pisa
Ponte Di Mezzo in Pisa
Ponte Di Mezzo in Pisa
Piazza XX Settembre in Pisa
Piazza XX Settembre in Pisa
Houses at the river Arno
Houses at the river Arno
Piazza Dante Alighieri in Pisa
Piazza Dante Alighieri in Pisa
View of tower from Piazza Dante Alighieri
View of tower from Piazza Dante Alighieri
Palm trees at Piazza Dante Alighieri
Palm trees at Piazza Dante Alighieri
Small alley in Pisa
Small alley in Pisa
Monti + Monti + Monti = 3Monti
Monti + Monti + Monti = 3Monti
Facoltá di Lettere
Facoltá di Lettere
See you on the barricades
See you on the barricades
Piazza Francesco Carrara
Piazza Francesco Carrara
Via Santa Maria
Via Santa Maria
Italian transportation
Italian transportation
Via Santa Maria
Via Santa Maria
Towers of Pisa
Towers of Pisa
Cattedrale di Pisa

Pisa is best known for the leaning bell tower which is a part of the Cathedral of Pisa and stands at the Piazza del Duomo which from 1910 has been better known as Piazza dei Miracoli – the Square of Miracles and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Putti Fountain in front of the Cathedral of Pisa
The Putti Fountain in front of the Cathedral of Pisa

The construction of the famous bell tower was begun in 1173 and took 199 years to complete. A fact which it seems has allowed for the tower to actually survive through construction despite the fact that it already began to lean after the first five years.

That it took so long was mostly due to unrest in the region and continuous battles between Pisa and the surrounding city states.

The famous Pisa photo
The famous Pisa photo

Since its construction the tower has continued to lean further and further and there have been several attempts to stabilise it or straighten it. But it was not until 2001 that engineers managed to stabilise the tower. The fact that it is still leaning is due to the Italian government wanting to keep the tower as the massive tourist attraction that it has become.

Today the tower has stopped moving and is held in its 1838 position.

Family fun in front of Battistero di San Giovanni
Family fun in front of Battistero di San Giovanni

The tower is stunning in its lopsidedness, but what really struck me was the complete impression of all the four monumental religious structures on this grassy piece of land. It seems completely at odds with the warm glow of Pisa’s narrow streets to enter this large area dominated with enormous white and grey marble edifices.

The contrast between the warm and welcoming Pisa and the harsh and cold presence of the Piazza dei Miracoli.

The Cathedral of Pisa
The Cathedral of Pisa
Relaxing at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Relaxing at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Via Carlo Fedeli
Via Carlo Fedeli
Chiesa di Santa Caterina d'Alessandria
Chiesa di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria
Via Giosuè Carducci
Via Giosuè Carducci
Houses at Via Giosuè Carducci
Houses at Via Giosuè Carducci
Stone detail in Pisa
Stone detail in Pisa
Bust on the corner of house in Pisa
Bust on the corner of house in Pisa
Palazzo della Carovana
Palazzo della Carovana
Chiesa di Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri
Chiesa di Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri
Pathway in Pisa
Pathway in Pisa

Zofka

Gallery: Florence and Fiesole

While writing my thesis on European Identity, I joined a seminar on the issue at the beautiful European University Institute which lies a short distance from the centre of one of Europe’s most famous cultural capitals, namely Medici’s Florence in Tuscany.

The European University Institute

The European University Institute or just EUI is a unique international centre for doctorate and post-doctorate studies and research and one of Europe’s leading social science research institutions. The idea for the research facilities were developed as early as 1948 as the institutions we know as the European Union were beginning to form. However, the idea of a shared research institute which would “foster the advancement of learning in fields which are of particular interest for the development of Europe” did not open until 1976. Since then the EUI has spearheaded studies into European affairs and brought together researchers from across Europe. It does, however, also hold seminars for young and aspiring grad students.

The institute lies not far from Florence tugged into the Tuscan hills. It consists of several old Tuscan villas – many of which date back to the Renaissance. As such, visiting the EUI is not only a chance to explore where some of the top research on European affairs takes place, but also a step back in time.

Field near European University Institute
Field near European University Institute
View from road near European University Institute
View from road near European University Institute
Statue on the veranda of Badia Fiesolana
Statue on the veranda of Badia Fiesolana
Courtyard and bell tower of Badia Fiesolana at EUI
Courtyard and bell tower of Badia Fiesolana at EUI
15th century church of Badia Fiesolana
15th century church of Badia Fiesolana
A spot in the sun
A spot in the sun
The veranda of Badia Fiesolana
The veranda of Badia Fiesolana
The beautiful garden in front of Badia Fiesolana
The beautiful garden in front of Badia Fiesolana
Badia Fiesolana
Badia Fiesolana
Statue in the garden of the European University Institute
Statue in the garden of the European University Institute
Stairs in the garden
Stairs in the garden
Fountain in the garden of the European University Institute
Fountain in the garden of the European University Institute
View towards Fiesole
View towards Fiesole

Fiesole

The European University Institute lies the in the vicinity of the small and picturesque town Fiesole. The town lies seven kilometres from Florence on a hill top overlooking Val d’Arno and Florence. Since the 14th century it has been a getaway for the rich and influential upper class.

View of Val d'Arno from Fiesole
View of Val d’Arno from Fiesole
Kiosk in Fiesole
Kiosk in Fiesole
Church door in Fiesole
Church door in Fiesole
Fiesole
Fiesole
Italian parking
Italian parking
The Encounter of Teano at Piazza Mino da Fiesole
The Encounter of Teano at Piazza Mino da Fiesole
Stairs in Fiesole
Stairs in Fiesole
A worker's truck in Fiesole
A worker’s truck in Fiesole
The road to the church and convent of San Francesco
The road to the church and convent of San Francesco
Overlooking Florence
Overlooking Florence
Arriving at the church and convent of San Francesco
Arriving at the church and convent of San Francesco
Mother Mary
Mother Mary
The church and convent of San Francesco
The church and convent of San Francesco

Florence

Florence is a magnificent city and the birthplace of the Renaissance. It has been a cultural epicentre through centuries of European history and it remains one of the most beautiful and majestic cities of the continent. However, it is also as so many similar places a tourist hotspot and it is nearly impossible to enjoy the city with the hoards of similar minded tourists and the massive amounts of souvenir shops and entire markets full of souvenir stands.

I am happy that I have seen this wonderful piece of European history, but I miss the peacefulness of the Tuscan hills and the pleasant Fiesole.

Doorway to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Doorway to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Smoking break
Smoking break
Respect the silence of the neighbourhood
Respect the silence of the neighbourhood
Tiny car in Florence
Tiny car in Florence
Souvenir stand in Florence
Souvenir stand in Florence
Ice-cream break
Ice-cream break
Basilica of San Lorenzo
Basilica of San Lorenzo
Houses in Florence
Houses in Florence
Walking the dog at the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Walking the dog at the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Piazza della Repubblica
Piazza della Repubblica
Lion statue at Loggia dei Lanzi at Piazza della Signoria
Lion statue at Loggia dei Lanzi at Piazza della Signoria
Statua di Andrea di Cione di Arcangelo at Piazzale degli Uffizi
Statua di Andrea di Cione di Arcangelo at Piazzale degli Uffizi
Police presence at Ponte Vecchio
Police presence at Ponte Vecchio
View from Ponte Vecchio to the West
View from Ponte Vecchio to the West
Jewelleries at Ponte Vecchio
Jewelleries at Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio seen from the West
Ponte Vecchio seen from the West
Beautiful doorway in Florence
Beautiful doorway in Florence
Florence street
Florence street
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
The time
The time
Book stand in Florence
Book stand in Florence
Evening stroll in Florence
Souvenir stand at the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Souvenir stand at the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Hotel sign
Hotel sign
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore at night
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore at night
The Baptistery of St. John at night
The Baptistery of St. John at night
Giotto's Bell Tower
Giotto’s Bell Tower
Giotto's Bell Tower
Giotto’s Bell Tower
Side door of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore at night
Side door of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore at night
Belts
Belts
Emily the Strange Rules
Emily the Strange Rules
Tourists at the Baptistery of St. John
Tourists at the Baptistery of St. John
Florence souvenirs
Florence souvenirs
Lunch time
Lunch time
Artists at the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Artists at the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Fountain of Neptune
Fountain of Neptune
Statue of David at Palazzo Vecchio
Statue of David at Palazzo Vecchio
Palazzo Vecchio
Palazzo Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio seen from the East
Ponte Vecchio seen from the East
Locals
Locals
Weird
Weird
Church of Santa Maria Novella
Church of Santa Maria Novella
Tourists
Tourists
Locals relaxing over wine
Locals relaxing over wine
Details on building
Details on building
Street Lamp
Street Lamp
Narrow streets in Florence
Narrow streets in Florence
Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence
Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence
View across Arno to Piazza dei Cavalleggeri
View across Arno to Piazza dei Cavalleggeri
To be continued in Pisa
To be continued in Pisa

Zofka

Gallery: Venice

Photos from my day trip with Alesandro and Duarte to Venice during the 2005 Venice Carnival.

Venice from the water
Venice from the water
Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute from the water
Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute from the water
Campanile di San Marco
Campanile di San Marco
Carnivale
Carnivale
In Venice with friends
In Venice with friends
Rio di Palazzo
Rio di Palazzo
Lights of Venice
Lights of Venice
Ponte dei Sospiri
Ponte dei Sospiri
Venice parking
Venice parking
Venice canal
Venice canal
A hidden corner
A hidden corner
Hotel Gabrielli
Hotel Gabrielli
Calle al ponte de l'angelo
Calle al ponte de l’angelo