Tuesday 3rd July - Travel to Pisa
With a full day ahead of us we hopped on
the coach after a full breakfast and headed
for Pisa, 162 kilometers away.
We were given a one hour guided tour of the
famous tower and its surroundings.
Silly photos of people holding up the tower
From Pisa we then traveled across to Florence and checked into the Sheraton Hotel. After a short rest we boarded the coach
again and were dropped off at the outskirts
of the city. This allowed us to explore this
beautiful place on foot, before making our
way to the Boccadama restaurant for our dinner booking. Fortunately
the restaurant just happened to be right
in front of the Santa Croce church.
After a busy day and early start we were
all quite hungry. The food was certainly
well worth waiting for.
Wednesday 4th July
We we all eager to explore more of Florence
the next morning. After being dropped off
again, we went our separate ways to take
in as much as we could of this city's
famous attractions, including the Piazza del Duomo and Baptistry, the Uffizi gallery, and the Palazzo Vecchio to name just a few. And who could forget
the famous Ponte Vechhio with its quaint array of jewellery shops,
as well as the many magnificent sculptures
littering the city
Our last view of Florence was from the Piazalle
Michelangelo, a lookout affording a wonderful
view of the city, with the Duomo and Baptistry
clearly dominating the skyline.
After bidding a sad farewell to Florence,
we settled down for a few hours drive to
Ravenna. After booking into the Hotel Class, there was only time for a short rest
before getting ready to travel to the little
town of Castro Caro Terme for an evening performance.
|Castro Caro Terme
After a short rehearsal, we were wined and
dined by the local council who had graciously
arranged refreshments for us prior to our
performance. At first we thought this a very
sleepy little town, but once we had started
to play, the crowd continued to gather into
quite a large audience.
The concert was very well received. At the
end, someone requested that we play the Australian National Anthem. Following that, the crowd was surprised
and delighted that we also responded with
their own National Anthem.
|Ravenna - Thursday 5th July
The next morning a guided tour of this city's
famous Byzantine Mosaics had been arranged. The tour guide overwhelmed us with
the history of these constructions. However,
the intricacy and artistry involved in creating
them was certainly appreciated by us all
Following the tour we all dispersed to find
a bite to eat before boarding the bus for
the next leg of the tour. We set off for
Padova (Padua) and when we arrived we were all glad
to check in for a couple of nights.
Once again, after a short rest and freshen
up we were back on the coach heading for
the walled city of Montagnana
We were all completely blown away by the
arena in which we were to perform. As can
be seen by these photographs, these are some
of the best preserved examples of medieval
walls in Europe - almost two kilometers long.
This was by far, the most spectacular venue
that the band performed at. About 10,000
people live here. Inside the walls where
we played is the Castle of San Zeno, erected by Ezzelino da Romano, with its large rectangular courtyard and
rectangular towers. Here is also the Civic
Museum containing many artefacts from the
Bronze and Roman Ages.
After setting up, rehearsing and doing sound
checks, the sun began to fade, the colour
of the walls changed, and the people began
to appear for the concert.
Once again, by the end of our performance
a large crowd had gathered, and enthusiastically
showed their appreciation for our efforts.