The Boss, Botticelli and a Fawlty Tower

For our last getaway weekend in Europe we tried to make it full of firsts, of things we'd both always wanted to see and do.

It started in Milan by going to see Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street Band doing their Wrecking Ball Tour at San Siro Stadium. Spending the night with 'The Boss' and 130,000 passionate Italian fans, a thirty three song play list over three hours and forty minutes is something Jo and I will never forget. According to his website it was the second longest concert he has ever done but you can thank the punters for that, because they were relentless and Bruce continued to succumb.

The only down side for us was that on the ticket it said that cameras and video cameras would not be allowed in so we left ours at the hotel. This is what happens when you live in Switzerland too long, but we forgot we were in Italy and and when when the concert started everyone there but Jo and I had cameras and video cameras. So thank God for youtube that's all I can say. We can now relive just about every moment of the night in High Definition at the click of a Google. That was definitely a big box tick for me. And to see The Boss at San Siro was pretty special.

Florence was a quick 350 k's down the motorway. Forever, or at least since high school art classes, Jo has wanted to see Botticelli's famous piece, 'The Birth of Venus'. It was a special thing to stand back in Uffuzi Gallery and watch Jo admire every stroke of paint in detail of this magnificent tribute to the innocence, beauty and spirit of woman. And I could readily see why she loves this painting so much.

Image The Birth of Venus.

We had a day and night in Florence and she captivated us with her antiquity and charm. By day and twilight we wandered back streets, found neat cafes in which to sit and talk and take risks savouring the currency of the local flavours. Our hotel in the old town complemented our Florence experience. Early Sunday morning we got up at dawn and crossed the Fiume River and meandered our way up to the zenith of the landscape, Piazzale Michelangiolo. And here we experienced what lovers and poets have written about for centuries and we were instantly 'Florenced', vowing to return again one day.

Our last first was the leaning tower of Pisa. The tower brought my Grade 6 Social Studies book to life in a way I'd never imagined but sadly the surrounding town of Pisa is a tourist (I know I was a part of the problem) flea pit. Sad plastic towers and equally sad plastic food. My pizza in Pisa was memorable but for all the wrong reasons. My advice for a leaning tower visit is to do a drive by. A couple of quick happy snaps out the window and keep heading for Cinque Terre.

I have two blogs left before we head home for a surf at Little Cove. That experience will be equally as memorable in many other ways.


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