Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Monday, 5 May 2014

Poisoning Pigeons in the Park

Lucca and Pisa

The sun's shining bright
Everything seems all right
When we're poisoning pigeons in the park
We've gained notoriety
And caused much anxiety
In the Audubon Society
-Tom Lehrer

We decide to do the train from Florence to Lucca, then ride to Pisa for the late afternoon after most of the tour buses are gone and come back to Florence in the evening.

The large circular piazza in Lucca was originally a Roman amphitheatre (2nd century). Eventually it was fortified by blocking up the entrances and later the masonry was dismantled and used to build houses.

Lucca is a walled city on a hill. The continuous wall is about three miles in diameter and you can walk or ride a rent-a-bike  around the whole thing.

This is the Pfanner Palace in Lucca  The building was commissioned by the Mariconi family in 1660 and changed ownership to the Pfanner family in the mid 1850s. One of the exhibits inside is of antique surgical instruments once owned by Peter Pfanner who was mayor of Lucca from 1920 to 1922.

The bank windows and ATMs in Pisa are colorfully decorated with paint splashes and very interesting Italian phrases. The Pisa people love their bankers...

Prior to restoration work performed between 1990 and 2001, the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but the tower now leans at about 3.99 degrees.This means that the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 meters (12 ft 10 in) from where it would be if the structure were perfectly vertical.

Pisa pig.

This statue, on a church in San Michele square in Lucca, caught my eye.

On the same church is a statue representing the archangel, Michael, killing a dragon. Michael
has a diamond ring on his finger. It is said that you can see it gleam from a certain spot in the square.

In both Spain and Portugal, wealthy families built towers to live in. This one in Lucca is part of the Gugliani Palace. It was built in the 1300s and has a garden with oak trees on top.

Mrs. Phred and I share a meal in Lucca.

Another Lucca church. The remains of Richard of Wessex, King of England, are inside. He died here in 722 AD. Richard renounced his royal estate and set sail on a pilgramage with his two sons from Hamblehaven near Southampton circa 721 A.D. They landed in France and temporarily stayed in Rouen. From there, they set off on the pilgrimage route to Italy, where they prayed at shrines situated along the way.He died unexpectedly after developing a fever in Lucca,

Church next to the leaning tower.

You raise up your head
And you ask, "Is this where it is ?"
And somebody points to you and says
"It's his"
And you says, "What's mine ?"
And somebody else says, "Where what is ?"
And you say, "Oh my God
Am I here all alone ?"

But something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mr. Jones?
-Bob Dylan

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