Italy Extravaganza~ Day XIII

     Welcome to Lucca, the last major post of our little Italy recap. Lucca, which was the last time I took any kind of pictures, marks the true end of the trip, so far as I’m concerned. We went to Pisa today, and the part of the city we were in was again the old part, which lead to its own excitements. I was excited because the city retained its own walls.from the old Roman days. I really loved the church in town as well, or one of the churches anyways. The church is, ironically, what lead me to getting this church mixed up with the one from in Florence. That is, at the very first glance. It’s the green and white style that I’ve actually seen in more than one place, but this is far less ornate than Florence. So, today is essentially a double post, since you’re also getting Pisa. The last post of Florence was also a double post for all intents and purposes. I’m reaching my limit, as well, so it’s time to just get this done.


     Another do not enter sign. This one is being carried away by a stick man who has two pancakes sticking out of his shoulders. Oh, wait. Those are wings. Right.


     This was a random small church we passed by. As you can see from the gates, we couldn’t get in at first. The entire small little area outside it was literally covered with old pieces of art. The one that caught my eyes was this coat of arms.


     It really felt like these were pieces of history that got saved and preserved by some individual with a lot of time on his hands and a big heart.


     It reminds me of St. Ambrose in Milan, in the very first church we went to the whole walls outside were covered with these things as well. Each one of these coats of arms is so unique.


     That is so awesome. I am so very glad that we stopped here. I’m not sure if I noticed this place or my parents did, but I am so very happy to have gotten this shot.


     Oh, yeah. Words fail me. I’m not the kind of guy that’s just crazy about skull and crossbones and their own, but this design is so very awesome that it deserved a mention here.


     This was the small church we went into. I am so, so very sorry Miss Cobwebs. I wanted to get shots of all the icons, but we were going somewhere else and I got dragged away. I stopped just long enough to get a few shots. Out of all of them, this was the one that turned out well.


     And here’s some more graffiti.


     Still more graffiti. I felt very angry every time I saw graffiti in the old part of town, even when it was on a steel door.


     Somehow I feel like I saw that “Trash is Love” with the heart in a few other cities. Again, along with the stencils of the stuff outside stores and homes, like green or black hearts and the whole trash is love thing, if anybody knows what these mean please tell me.


     One last graffiti. I skipped the stuff right outside our hotel, because it was just kind of ugly.


     Here’s one of the churches we found in town. I really loved the coats of arms above the windows.


     I really do love these coats of arms. This is the last coats of arms we’ll see, pretty much. There might have been a few more in Pisa, but after Pisa there’s no more heraldry.


     I really missed seeing the larger ones, but the ones above the windows are a nice way to go out.


     This is why I’m not even cutting out one of them. I’m so very sad to see the parts of the trip go that I enjoyed the most.


     A shot for perspective. This church is just huge. It’s not enormous, but it is fairly sizable.


     Lucca was interesting because we just walked around. We never had a destination, we just wandered around and I took pictures of things. This lead to perhaps the most amazing moment in my entire trip. Oh, yeah. That is saying a lot.


     So I made my parents stand around while I took pictures of all the coats of arms because I was mad at them for making me leave the church with the icons.


     Just a couple more of these and we’ll be ready to go, I swear!


     Our hotel was right by a local square that actually had a carousel in it that drove my father nuts. That did mean we were right near the action, however, and it certainly made looking for a place to eat easier.


     …ok, so I broke and took a few pictures of the alley outside our hotel.


     Thank me for being selective. The whole walls were just covered with graffiti.


     More of the most basic writing imaginable.


     …words fail me.


     This is the parking lot. That was the church, I believe, right next to the parking lot. Because when you’re in the old part of town, you put parking lots where you can.


     And it has a tower!? I love towers!


     One more shot of the building next to the parking lot. I think I was just very amused by the hotel parking lot being next to this church.


     Now this is double the fun. It’s the snake eating the guy, or the dragon, and it’s got the brilliant white color and the green! You see how I got a bit confused, though, right?


     At first glance, it looks very similar and when I was trying to figure out where one day ended and another began, all I saw was the green and white. And this is another image I love.


     I had to briefly take a shot of the buildings near the church.


These designs were all on the underside of the church near the door. Just wait until I show you the front. It’s not on the level of the Duomo at Florence, but it’s pretty impressive.


     A relief? Goodness, this really was a good place for me to drag my feet.


     And they’re holding a coat of arms? Kind of…? I really loved this church. It was another of those much needed revitalizing moments.


     And this one has really old writing under it? Sorry, I’m remembering how amazing this church was. It’s flashback time!


     The plaque required a shot, but by this point I wanted to get a shot of the front of the church for scale. Little did I know the wonders that awaited me.


     You may have noticed that each of the little symbols has two little circles under each one. Those designs are coo, the pictures are awesome. Add to that the line below it, and you have something memorable on your hands.


     At least these aren’t the twelve zodiac symbols. I mean, come on people. If you had to choose between a giant snake eating a guy or Capricorn, who do you go for? Clearly, this church made the right choice.


     And some more stonework. I still like Florence more, but this is pretty damned impressive.


     Just a couple more and we’ll be going to the front of the building. I hope you are sufficiently excited.


     Hey, hey! No cheating! You see the front of the building when I say so!


     Some of the details of this relief really have seen better days. Makes me wish this church had a little bit of lovin’ from the town would be nice.


     And here are the last bits of relief, I wanted just a bit more detail on the bottom.


     A lion!? This place has everything!


     And here is the last one. I’m not sure what this design is, so I brought it back for my resident art expert, Miss Cobwebs. Can you lend me a hand with this one too, dear?


     And here it is! The front of the building. Not too impressive, you say? Just wait. You’ll see.


     Getting a better idea of why now? Almost every column is different.


     Naturally, I started off with the sculptures on the side of the building.  At the top, you can see the each column is designed differently.


     And here’s another lion, I think and hope, one of the better sculptures on the building.


     Suddenly, I noticed the designs on the wall. It ran across the entire side from end to end, and I really loved trying to capture the entire thing.


     It’s still very different from Florence, on closer examination isn’t it? Each individual picture works in relation to each other, but there were no connecting bits as with Florence. And above the designs is another set of designs in darker colors that I actually just noticed.


    And here’s the last shot for this center bit.


     At this point, I realized every column was its own deal and I pretty much gave up trying to take shots of every single one.


     So I compromised and took a few closer shots just to illustrate my point. This is the only one I’ll torture you with.


     Anarchy! Because we haven’t seen that enough, yet!


     We’ve seen something about your reality. Now the Joker apparently wants me to use my illusion. Can do, sir!


     And here’s another do not enter sign being removed by the anarchists.


     A lion for whom it is too late for restoration. Lion, nooooo!


     The selling point of the old town is that it does maintain the old Roman walls around it. I took a ton of pictures of it.


     As you may remember, when I see walls I start thinking about how to break them. These walls would have been very hard to breach indeed back in the the day. The entrance leads into a hallway.


     What I tried to do in at least a few of the shots was to give you an idea of how much space there is to walk around on once you are atop the walls and how far the walls go.


     Here’s a shot of the church from a distance.


    I took this shot mostly because of the graffiti. Really? On the Roman wall?


     And now I wanted the scope of the wall. Note where it turns.


     All around the entire wall there are parts that jut out and create overlapping fields of fire.


     Same spot from the ground level. I only realized how high the walls actually were once I was on the ground.


     And that is where I just too the first pictures from, I believe.


     Here I wanted to back up and get a shot of the indent. It’s true that the wall is much lower there, but that one place has three fields of fire pointed right at it. But I’m inclined to  believe it’s tempting on purpose.


     And here’s the moat around the wall. Not the whole wall, I guess. It’s not that deep either.


     Oh yeah. Graffiti on the map of the city. Wonderful.


     And here’s another of the graffiti pieces that I really liked.


     One more piece of graffit and then we’ll hit the high culture, I promise.


     Truth be told, I was not a fan of the leaning tower of Pisa. Think of the church we just saw. Now look at this. It’s a tower. Hey remember that tower in Florence? Yeah. It’s a tower that leans. Yay. Stop the presses on this one, guys.


     Ok, now I’m hooked. The church was awesome. The tower was ok.


     Good God that church is awesome. I think it’s partially because there’s nothing else around it except the tower. Well. The tower and tons of tourists pretending to hold it up, with their friends telling them to move. And before you ask, I refused to do that shot. It’s a pain in the ass.


     While I did like this church, I think I had been spoiled by Florence and Lucca. I took some shots of it, but it was way too hot out to get excited about it.


     Ok, the designs were nice. I guess I was just mad about having to go to Pisa. Really, we’ve seen better towers.


     A closeup of the art just above the door. And the top of my father’s head.


     At this point we started making our way around the church. So that meant more artwork that I actually liked.


    The designs on the wall were quite nice, but my parents were eager to get to the tower.


    And here’s some more artwork above the door where the sun refused to be a team player, but this one is for you, Miss Cobwebs.


     I guess I should take a picture of the tower.


    Hey, Miss Cobwebs! Look what I found! I knew I had seen this symbol somewhere else!


     And here are some doors that I had to take a pictures of. In fact, these doors had my back to the tower. Go figure.


     This is me, not taking pictures of the tower of Pisa. The one that leans.


     I did really think these doors were really amazing.


     And here’s one last shot of the door.


     We better go to whatever this finger is pointing at. It has yellow fingernails.


     Here it is, the one thing I remember. The random bookstore we ran into that was out in the streets. Oh, how I wanted those books.


     And we ran into it entirely because I suddenly felt like I needed to change directions and head this way. My parents humored me.


     Ok, so I did make one more attempt to get the front of this church in detail.


     Good lord, that detail. Well, this is pretty much the end. Tomorrow, we just sat around and went out to lunch. The next time, Friday, I will be doing two small posts. One of them will be a seaside town, and the other will be the last shots I took in Italy. After that, I’ll take a break for a week and next Friday I’ll put up a post of the trees of Italy and I will entertain any requests for more photos from people interested in the places I went to, barring the stupid tower of Pisa. Well, I shall see you next time.


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