So....Florence! I loved the city, beautiful river running through the middle. I saw a girl I met in the hostel in Venice and she, someone she met from Mexico, and I walked around the city. We went to the market, saw the Duomo, saw the David, it was a lovely time. That afternoon I took the train out to Pistoia to meet my host, Alice, and go to her house. I got to meet her lovely parents, and also her sister and nephew (so cute!). We had lasagna that her mother made :). The next day I went in to Florence for a bit and then took the train to Siena - I loved Siena. It was absolutely gorgeous, one of my favorite churches is there, a little one down a side street. That night Alice took me into Pistoia's city center to show me around. They were having some sort of summer festival where people sell crafts, play music, and the stores stay open late (Some Italian woman performed a nice rendition of a Natalie Merchant song). The next day I went to Lucca and Pisa. Lucca I also loved, definitely in the top two with Siena. It is surrounded by a huge wall where you there is a beautiful view. Walked around, loved the trees, wandered into my other favorite church - a medium sized one with tiny chapels all along the side and each was completely different. And the displayed body of a saint was cool too! I saw the tower in Pisa and went in the cathedral, which was cool, otherwise it was kind of a hectic city - and hot.
Next adventure was the farm! Martina and Fillipo have an adorable baby, Melia, and very cool little house. As Martina was driving me up the mountain I kept thinking "Oh, this must be the top, here we are." but we kept going and going. Needless to say the view was amazing. Fillipo has sculptures and pieces of marble everywhere, and a huge carrara marble sculpture he has been working on for ten years. They have goats, olives, grapes, fruit trees, and two dogs, Zuzu and Orca. I mostly helped Fillipo with the hay fields - turning the hay to dry, and the whole process of hay-baling. I stayed up in a little house up the hill with some doormice and a lovely view. Hard work and a bit of sun burn - whoa farmers tan.