Italy: Turin, Florence, Venice


..and the last part of my Italy trip: Torino, Firenze and Venezia. In case you dont quite know Italian, the English names for these three towns are Turin, Florence and Venice respectively. See the similarities? Yes, you do.

Okay, here we go:

TURINThe first capital of Italy. 
Of course, one of it's tourist attraction being the Shroud of Turin, which is said to be used to cover Jesus Christ. Well, I'm not a Christian so I dont know much about the shroud. The original one is only open to public every 25 years, the last time being 2010. OHMIGAWSH! and not to mention the long queue to get in.

This, is the replica of the Shroud Of Turin
For more info on the Holy Shroud, please visit Wikipedia :D  mwahahaha.

There's also this place called Palazzo Madama which used to be a palace but it houses the City Museum of Ancient Art now. Well, I'm not such a huge fan of Turin history so.. I was just intrigued by the display under our feet.

The interior of Palazzo Madamo

The rest of the Turin tour was blurred to me. I was randomly snapping photos and when the local guido stopped for a briefing, I saw him. Well, I'm not much of a building person so.. I get sidetracked sometimes. [is there by any chance that this guy's supposed to be Napoleon?]

uhmm. I'm not totally sure as to who is he supposed to be

After a not-so-expensive-but-not-so-nice-either lunch at a marche [self-service styled], we had GELATO. This is one of my favourite food of all times. Guess what? The English word for gelato is.. ICE-CREAM x)

Lunch, which did not taste quite good
GROM- the gelato shop
The Turin tour guide mentioned that this shop has nice gelato and she wasn't kidding. There's such a long queue for gelato here and the gelato is not too expensive. The price of a two-scooped-gelato is cheaper than a scoop of Baskin Robins here in Malaysia.

FLORENCE- 2nd capital of Italy.

Statue of David, -picture from Google-

Remember this guy, David? He's one of Michelangelo's statue and a dang famous one too. This statue was originally placed in Palazzo della Signoria but was moved to the Accademia Gallery sometime later. The one in Palazzo della Signoria was replaced with a replica.

Yes, we went to Palazzo della Signoria but we didnt go to the Accademia Gallery. Well, I guess a replica will do.

Replica of David in Piazalle Michelangelo 
David in Palazzo della Signoria
Palazzo della Signoria has a lot of other statues such as Cellini's Perseus (Perseus with the head of Medusa) and the Fountain of Neptune

the Fountain of Neptune
Cellini's Perseus
 Anyway, we also saw where DaVinci portrayed Mona Lisa. It was a studio but was converted into something else [well, I wasnt paying attention, as usual ._.] 

Another thing about Florence is.. PINOCCHIO :D  don't tell me you don't know that story of Pinocchio's?!
Well, long story short, he is a puppet who turned into a boy and his nose will grow whenever he tells a lie. Ok, I obviously don't have the potential for a storyteller.

Stall selling Pinocchio toys

Back to the point, Pinocchio was written by Carlo Collodi in Florence. That's the reason why you'll see the streets of Florence full of Pinocchio merchandises.

If you are looking for affordable and durable leather goods, you should try this leather market here. The stuff here are not too expensive. They are not branded though. Bags, cases, wallets, coats..

the good luck piggy and the so-called "Piggy Leather Market"
Notice the good-luck pig fountain there. Hence, it is known as the Piggy Market. Cute, huh?

There's also another attraction at Florence. A romantic one, related to a bridge and locks. This, is Ponte Vecchio, aka Lovers Bridge

Lovers Bridge
Couples used to put their names on locks and attach them to the bridge. Then, they would throw the key down into the Arno river below. The couples will then be eternally bonded. Well, I didn't have a lock handy at that time so.. too bad. xD Now, it is forbidden to do so. So instead of the bridge, they attach their locks at some other place nearby. :O

Barberino Factory Outlet
After Florence, we took a quick detour to Barberino Factory Outlet. Well, although the stuff there are mostly 5 seasons back, there are still some cheap branded stuff which is not so conspicuous.
We had no choice but to shop. x)

and of course, who hadn't heard of VENICE?
Actually, Venice is not all water but just some part of it. It is a unique and beautiful city in its own way. 

It's such a great way to pass time, watching gondolas [those sampan-lookalike-boats] and small boats pass by. It is also quite relaxing. Feel the peacefulness of the waters..

The Bridge of Sighs
Right ahead, the Bridge of Sighs. Prisoners used to walk through the bridge to get to the prison. They said that the prisoners sighed at the magnificence of Venice and therefore, the Bridge of Sighs.

St. Mark's Basilica
Well, to be honest, I got bored over buildings sometime after the 2nd day in Italy. There are just too many! Cathedrals, basilicas, towers, palaces.. all in 5 short days. D:

Venetian masks 
The part I like second-most in Venice are the Venetian masks [the first being the lapping of the water]. They are like, so, awesome! They come in different shapes and sizes and are mostly beautiful and elegant. Not to mention that they came out in my art exams.

 Glass blowing also kind of originated from Venice, if I'm not mistaken. We visited a glass-blowing factory. They don't allow us to take pictures of their products, which are quite amazingly beautiful and almost unbreakable.

Demonstration of glass-blowing, from glass to masterpiece
And did I mention that the stuff sold there are quite expensive for someone like me? 

Fish soup
Oh yes, you've gotta taste the fish soup and squid ink pasta :D Seafood spaghetti too! There are quite a delish x)

Well, that's all for Italy. 
Next? Switzerland. mwahahaha

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