Italy Discovery #2: Florence and the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Wednesday was quite the learning experience for everyone. We started the day off going to a pasta making factory where the kids were taught about the building’s history during WWII, how pasta originated and is made, and how to differentiate between different qualities if pasta. It was very informative and the teens definitely paid attention the entire time. We got to see some of the machines at work, took a picture with the family owners of the business, and everyone got a free bag of pasta. Later that day we went to Florence for sightseeing and shopping. The kids saw the city, got lunch, and a number of them decided to climb the local clock tower with 414 steps, meaning that in total they went up and down 828 steps.

Thursday was spent driving to Rome and exploring some of the more well known aspects of Italy. We started with a trip to the leaning tower of Pisa which, as we can now confirm, is leaning, is most definitely a tower, and is surely in Pisa. At the bottom we were greeted with the history of the tower and, as we climbed the slightly less impressive approximate 200 stairs, we were greeted with an increasing feeling of the world being off center.

After that the teens explored around the area and took many commemorative “holding up the leaning tower” pictures. Next we headed to a small museum where we learned the history behind the famous Roman shirt sword, the gladius, and the history of gladiators. The kids got to participate in their own little gladiator matches with foam swords and everyone had fun watching the battle between the male and female victors. The day ended with us arriving at our hotel in Rome and having a delicious and filling dinner after which everyone got a good, uninterrupted night of sleep.
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