In Italy Pisa to Florence

Italy Travel Blog

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Augusto was my host in Pisa. People www.couchsurfing.com is such a good thing- become a host and then I as a surfer will come to your couch and sprinkle my happy magic dust. But...Alittle worried that Italian men will ruin this for all CSer's. Italian men like to host, they like to have their profile picture topless, preferred gender is woman and negative references are a sign of masculinity. Fortunately, Augusto is not Italian, has allowed some 150 strangers stay on his couch!! He is a blessing to this world. He's a PhD student, from Brazil- working his way to being a professor I think but in the meanwhile and I suspect for many years to come he will touch many peoples lives. He is a romantic of life and every gesture is done with incredible enthusiasm.

The first night we just hung out in the square. In Pisa there are many squares to hang out in. Since there are 3 universities there are a lot of young students gathering and drinking. Since it is Italy there are a lot of kissing and affection.  Good merriment was had by all. The next day I was blessed to join a BBQ out of Pisa, held by a friend of Auguto – Paulo and his wife Mariana. A true Tuscany party like in the movies. There I got to know more of Augusto’s friends and enjoy a great time. We drank wine and laughed together all day. Later Mariza from the party walked me around Pisa to show me the sites I would visit again and again the following days. If you go to the leaning tower- you should go to the museum in front and go to the cemetery on the side.
  Climbing the tower is a bore. Mariza and her friend Mikala (?) are human rights advocates, actually attending "peace" post grad program to be crime fighting duos.  In Italy this is more common than you'd think. It is admirable. On my last day in Pisa I met (again through Augusto) Fabio and Maurizio. Fabio is actually friends with Frederico who is friends with … you guessed it Augusto. Frederico is cool in the sense he is a Physics PhD student in Pisa from Lucca (where I am headed next) and he is a laid back guy who spends his free time mountaineering and cave discovery. Maurizio owns a restaurant in Lucca and Fabio is helping him at the moment but also sings and jut moved to Lucca but like Pisa better.
Does have a soap opera feel to it but you got to realize that Italian life seems put together quickly and haphazardly. Everything is in disarray until the last second and then it seems to go smooth. Think of everyday being like vegetables in the kitchen of an Italian restaurant.      

Alittle Geography lesson, Pisa is in northern Tuscany which is mountainous. Pisa is by far the largest city. Northern Tuscany consist of small and large villages that dot the sides, scaling up the mountains. They were all once lookout points for invading Christian city states which divided Italy until some 200 years ago.  Large or small the church always sits the  on the most picturesque piece of land.

Another new friend did nothing to dissuade the Italian Stallion stereotype- Vincenzo, friends come easy in Italy.

Lucca is north of Pisa.  His personality is an excellent study of male Italian bravado. In English language it may sound like late night sit com material. For example:Vincenzo is in mid life crisis- lovable character and kinda the stereotypical Italian man. We hung out everyday and he tried ever so hard to pick up two girls, two British friends in their late 40's, he's in his mid 30's. They were traveling together, he tried picking them up each…in the same night. “Your breast are mountainous, like the shadows lying against the moonlight. “  To the other, “shall I help you in the bathroom.” To me, “I don’t really drink but may I… I don’t really smoke but may I… if you have extra… if you don’t mind….
“ You can't buy this kind of comedy! The girls loved it! They couldn't find enough to time to tell me the stories over and over. He may not sound lovely but he is, everybody needs some suave Italian man in ones life. In Italy, girls if you ever had a real Italian man, you really didn't believe all the gushy stuff about the mountains, did ya? It is common here. It is a numbers game and quite sincere are men in their thought of themselves.

a)She is not challenging equates to she has absolutely no interest in me. "She isn't challenging enough. I don't think she likes me."

b)To spend money and not get sex is considered  a regrettable evening. "can't believe I spent 10 euro"

c)To get turned down is nothing but another roll of the dice in a game where there are no losers.

It doesn't matter. I didn't like her."

And mothers!!! Deary me! They call at all hours of night.  The world revolves around their son. I always think I am going to see an Italian mother dry humping her boys leg.

All good fun. Vincenzo invited me to a party in the mountains. Lovely time some of the same people. More new wonderful people!  This time I met 3 woman who are in Botany classes and 2 guides for the area and a few more. The Botany classes are interesting cause I can’t even start to describe how beautiful northern Tuscany is. The environment is the number 1 industry. Walking tour groups, cooking classes and landscape painting classes form in every other village.  It is so densely forested… It is as green clumbs have fallen from the sky, piling on top and next to each other.

Where it isn’t green there is the marble industry. Michelangelo’s David was carved from this Tuscany Italian marble. At the party, language guessing work cannot be done so easily cause the hand gestures are essential, and yet means nothing without the facial gesture, the voice tone- you think the guy is serious and then the smile, the clap and laughter. Everything but the bow! So far I have this feeling Italians are as honest as expressive. It is a lovely country. Being it is a party, your part of the party, people no longer expect you to act as a guest but participate on full throttle. I got to learn to catch up to this naked display of emotion, I am a fuckin sensitive bastard.

Honesty here probably not my best move. I must admit something  strange… so do you know plentyoffish or meetup.

com? They are dating sites, but I travel and can’t really start a relationship (ever so sadly I am horribly attracted to women and in Italy they are so very numerous). But then... On CS I found a singles subgroup! Ooh lala!! I was so excited I jumped in the deep end, hurried, wrote about this wonderful (humbly I say) personal ad, about what I want to create after I retire from the road in 5 or so years and then… Damn it I got my first response! A man. From India thanking me for my honesty but said this site doesn’t work. Man answering man's personal ad- come on!!! It's like stepping on another mans penis- you just don’t do these things in the male dating site world (I hope). I looked at the member names, yes some girls who I now am pretty sure are inundated with thousands of perverted messages that the girls are either homely or submissive getting off thru internet sex.
I looked at the men who belong and 90% are either Hindi, Muslim, or Italian. Not picking here but... do I really want to group myself in this group? I may as well as started my letter… I am a wealthy widower from Nigeria and need your assistance to access my 10 billion in a foreign bank... So with my naïve little heart ripped out and beating, I poured gasoline on and deleted my profile from the singles group. 

So I started in Pisa, went north to Lucca (Lucca is also the only walled city in Tuscany and was the last city state, until the 19thC, has loads of churches and Pousini was born there), alittle further 60kms of winding, winding roads north... I am much deeper  in the mountains. Find Roggio on the map, a town of 20 buildings. Loving the serenity for 14 days, thinking aliens are going to steal the goats next door, counting village lights on the mountain across from our mountain there are 5 villages with a total of 134 lights.

I am helping my buddy’s parents lay a patio and doing some stucco work to the outside walls. A great experience (if my leg doesn't fall off) to enjoy the heart of Italian culture. Justin’s moms (great cook) family came from this region and there are still many relatives living about Roggio. “She’s my  second cousins daughter  who,…. “  There are hundreds of great WWII stories, family history, cool things like going to church to be social.  Just finished the mountain trip. The paving stones came in late so we did a bunch of work that wasn’t on the to do list. When the pavers came we had 2 days to do the work,  maybe 5meters by 3 meters. We brought down a hill upteen million slaps, wheel barreled sand down mixed the cement and laid them all.
I am a super hero when it comes to manual labor- liking the new muscle look! See the pics not the muscles but house. Oddest damn thing. Cool people really but seriously someone forgot a thank you.  I would do it again cause it was the nice thing to do. I am not in America to help my parents so I pick another old couple and help them- it is self gratification. "Thank you, Your welcome."

Next in Pistoia outside Florence.  This is Medicini country. The heart of the Renascence movement, not my favorite art but it is Florence and on my way to Rome, racing to beat the heat.

Pretty girls in Pistoia. You wouldn’t think so cause I would imagine they would leave for Florence (prettier city, maybe -est) but in actuality the girls are better looking than in Florence.  CS is wonderful for the host too. A good way to practice English and enjoy travel stories. My host were a young couple who very much want to travel like I but have come to the conclusion they never will. That thinking won’t win any awards but it sounds very adult for 27. Lovely couple. And then I met Francesca who is maybe 4'8" tall and just a dynamo. See the pics- the red head. Remember Mary Stuart Masterson is Some kinda Wonderful? Oh so yummy but the size difference is matched by our age difference- only 23. She is pleasant on the eyes. Her breast are so typical Italian, something in the water makes these breast so perfect.

Another geography lesson for myself I shall share, I rarely claim to be American ignorant in geography but I bet a beer and lost so here it goes, who knew  Israel and all are actually on the Mediterranean coast not the Red Sea. Who knew!

Florence is so god damn beautiful!!! So many darn tourist but the space is never too crowed, Medicini city planning? Long long lines for the 5 big museums and 2 most important churches. Because of the lines it is physically impossible to see all the sites nor think about the climb to the top of the dome in one day, if you prebook you still stand in a line but it can be done in 2 days by prebooking. But of course, unless you are handicapped! Did God know me or what! "Ah he loves art and museums we'll make him handicap Joseph.

He will enjoy the awards of losing a leg!" I got to the front of every line, closest thing I have ever come to feeling like Moses. 

Not all was good...I am finding many similar aspects of Christianity and Tibetan Buddhism through the painting. Notice pics of hell and pic of Christian mandala. I am getting sad- it may all be connected thru a continuum of philosophical and spiritual bull shit. None of which is real but sustained to be separate controlling entities of consciousness. 

Last night I stayed in a hostel, first time in Europe since my first night in Granada a long time ago. I still have magic! I made a bet with the folks from Pistoia, the girl Azzura I surfed with (with her boyfriend Mikele) said I would be a hero if I say to an Italian women “We should pomichara now.

” If it works I will be sainted ‘hero’. Once again Saint Michael! It hasn't happened that I french kissed a girl but I talked up one woman who dug me and should be a healthcare reform spokesman in America. Her kid is in university, she is hard working but because the kid has diabetes she has to be in so much debt it is ridiculous.  Because I don’t have (manners) much hostel experience I may be wrong but in this hostel… The kids were all early 20’s, well fed and bumbling conversations about their friends back home. They were grazing, walking so damn slowly and none talked to none except theirselves- it surely isn’t like the old days of getting high and making magic buses with new friends in the courtyard. Feeding of the youth, please don’t wear that t shirts showing the midriff and hunch over as you walk.
Bad for your posture.  Now I went to my room about 11pm, turned on the lights to get a working lighter and  I see youthful squinting eyes peering from their beds- yuk, yuk,yuk, yuk, yuk, then behold my eyes is a yummy bright eyed, lovely 34 yr old Argentinean girl sleeping (in my bed… and go to the goldilocks does porno story...). Unfortunately, sleeping in her own bed but so  beautiful. I had the good fortune to eat breakfast and then wait at the train station with Silvia.    I really want to pomichara with her- she is lovely. Hold the presses!! She is meeting her Irish boyfriend in Barcelona for a heart to heart, she loves him but maybe… who knows.. luck of the Irish. I am funny, in a very stupid way. I was looking at her and then blurted out how beautiful she would look pregnant.
Ugh, I am gifted with simplicity where you say whatever you think. See her picture. On the train to Rome, 4 hours and only 17 euros. Write more later, ciao.

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