Pedrosa had won the Italian GP but Rossi was still the news headline the next morning.

For me, it was time to explore central Italy!

I had seen this impressive group of buildings upon entering Firenze several days earlier. I planned my route out of the city to Pisa so that I'd see it again.
When I asked some pedestrians what the building was, I learned that it was the Palazzo di Giustizia (Hall of Justice).
I liked the mixtures of different stone and glass...
... and the differing shapes of the buildings!
I needed gas before venturing any further and I'm glad I stopped at this station because I met these four fellows from France who had been at the MotoGP and were all travelling on a R1200GS. I wondered if perhaps their bikes were the ones I'd seen at the track!
As I motored along down the autostrade, the scenery was very much like this the entire way. I decided to stop to let everyone see just how beautiful I ride I was having.

BTW... as I rode along, I passed the Yamaha factory trucks, obviously on their way to Great Britain for the next leg of the MotoGP!

When I arrived in Pisa, I found a skinny spot to park in across from this building which turned out to be a school of medicine, part of the Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Pisana.
And just down the street... I could see the Duomo di Pisa.
As I walked down the street, one of the stores had these silly mugs. Of course I bought one!!
And as I walked out into the square, there was (of course) the Torre Pendente Di Pisa.
This being an area restricted from motorized traffic, there were carriage rides.
I thought this young lady's choice of bonnet was spectacular!
Some different views of the Duomo...
... and of course of the slanted spire.
Camposanto Monumentale (Monumental Cemetery)
So... to see inside all of these wondrous buildings, I needed to buy a pass at THIS office.
I had to reserve a time to go to the top of the Leaning Tower (a couple of hours away) so when I came out of the office...
... I took a hike past the Duomo...
... and the Camposanto Monumentale...
... to the Battistero di San Giovanni.
A view from the Battistero of the tower "leaning" on the Duomo. :)
The exterior walls of the Battistero...
... gorgeous marble carvings everywhere!
I'd say this was a fairly impressive doorway! :D
This picture should give you a bit of perspective regarding the immensity of the entranceway.
Awesome! (Can you see the lady on the balcony?)
Again, perspective on just how big the entrance is.
Magnificent marble everywhere...
... carved into beautiful shapes.
Details from other angles...
While I was in the Battistero, a lady stood here and started to sing. The reverberating sounds were absolutely stunning.
Some windows were of stained glass...
... a few were closed in and decorated with gold leaf.
I climbed this stairwell to reach the balcony.
Looking out...
... looking down from the balcony.
The very tall balcony.
A view out a window as I descended from the balcony.
Many baptismal documents must have been signed at this very old desk!
Back on ground level!
Time to explore the Duomo!
Another set of magnificent doors...
... telling "tales of yore".
The doorway, just as magnificent in as out.
Gold leaf and frescoes in the ceiling...
... impressive arches...
... beautiful paintings...
... and stained glass windows.
Some of the fixtures in the Duomo were remindful of those in the Battistero...
... especially the lions at the bases of the columns.
I really liked the falcon.
A fresco near the front of the Duomo.
The altar. Look up as well as down when you study this picture.
An obviously modern addition to the Duomo. I couldn't decide whether I liked the eclectic look or not.
The pews were quite old (not known if they were original). Family names were carved into the backs of the pews.
Time to leave the Duomo and head for the Tower!
But not before getting one last look at detailing on another door.
Over the entranceway to the cemetery.
MAGGIE!! What the heck are YOU doing here? This cairn terrier looked quite similar to mine. I showed the gentleman walking the dog a picture of Maggie and he instantly understood why I was down on my knees petting his dog.
Whoops! Almost late for the Tower tour. Dogs looking like Maggie will do that to me! :)
Now for the climb up.
The next set of pictures were taken from the arched openings in the tower as I ascended.
When you get to the bell tower area, you are not quite to the top but the view is still magnificent.
You have to climb about 30 more stairs to get to the very top.
Here you can see the bells on the level below us.
You definitely know the building is on a "slant" when you're up at the top, but evidently, when they built the tower, they realized that it was leaning so the leveled the top floor.
On the way down, I peeked through an opening to see the interior of the tower. As you can see, there is an aluminum stairway leading up around a central pole which obviously adds stability to the tower.
So... counting the four steps which lead out of the tower, I counted 300 stairs.
A few extra snaps of some other nice things in the square...
... and it was time to leave Pisa.
So here's the real thing...
... and here is this artist's rendition. I regret not finding out how much she was charging for these ink drawings because they were well done and the sense of humor included would have made a nice souvenir.
On my way back to the motorcycle...
... I stopped for lunch at this barre.
I took a slight detour backward into the square...
... to visit the hospital newspaper stand and got to see some extra things like this...
... and this.
If I hadn't known already that it was a hospital, I don't think I would have guessed.
As I drove out of Pisa, I came across this interesting building. I couldn't find a sign to find out what it was but I'm guessing some kind of warehouse... much different than the type I'm used to, though!
It's just a hop, skip, and jump away to Livorno, about 30 km. This is the first place I noticed while driving along Viale Italia in Livorno.
There is a huge harbour in Livorno, but room for many pleasure craft. Look carefully to the left in this picture...
... you're looking at an Olympic sized outdoor swimming pool...
... complete with space to suntan!
If you don't want to swim there, just a stone's throw away, you can laze on the dock and swim in the sea.
Palm trees lead you down Viale Italia so I'm supposing this part of Italy is always fairly warm.
Further down the road...
... was an indoor carousel...
... complete with colourful things to ride.
Just to the left of the carousel is this lovely open area along the sea.
As you can see, the area is massive. I wonder if the area is used for local carnivals, outdoor markets, etc.
I might have stopped at the Fortezza Vecchia but as you can see by the multitude of cranes everywhere, they were doing a massive reconstruction in the area.
Near the castle was the coast guard and many commercial vessels. There were dozens and dozens of small transport vehicles parked at the docks, perhaps waiting for various fishermen to come in with their day's catches?
I took the Fi-Pi-Li (Firenze, Pisa, Livorno) Highway back to Firenze.
The road curved its way through some lovely countryside.
There were many vineyards and orchards...
... as well as the occasional "castle" on top of a hill.
Fortunately for me, when I arrived back at the school, this lovely lady was there to let me in. The gates were locked! I found out after the fact that I should have asked for a gate remote control since I would be coming back to the school later than "closing".
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