The torre that is, I have written about the Leaning Tower of Pisa before, but it is worth more than one visit. This belltower or “campanile”, was built in 1173 until 1372…and it has been leaning ever since. The tower an be seen in the Piazza dei Miracoli in the City center of Pisa. You can visit by driving into Pisa following the brown signs to Torre (with picture of the leaning tower) as you get closer you will spot several parking areas.
This last visit was really fun because I got to climb it with the kid and several friends from home in Tennessee.
I took the normal “have to” leaning tower pictures of course. You have to stand wayyyyy far back to get the good ones and then attempt to dodge all the other goofy tourists doing the same thing.
I also took some great pictures this time of the steps (there are 296 of them by the way) leading up to the top, showing the marble worn from all who have climbed the torre. No wonder the thing is leaning…what is really funny is the “clean” side of the wall while you climb and the “dirty” side-one side is white and smooth, the other side is discolored and still rough to the touch…why? Because your body can not help but really lean on the wall as you walking, making it smooth marble over the years.
This was also the first time I was there with no construction going on! The poor thing has been restored so many times, I mean, really what would Pisa do if it just eventually toppled over? Well, for one thing they could market the incredible Cathedral! Pisa’s Duomo also called the Santa Maria Assunta, is really one of my favorites. The Romanesque style, bronze doors, and interior mosaics, carved pulpit and at last the cupola is just overwhelming. I am saddened by all the idols and wasted money but the artwork and architecture is breath taking. It is bright and lovely not so dark and dreary as others we have seen. Of course it also houses some bones, like most…here we have the Patron Saint of Pisa-St Ranieri, and the Holy Emperor Henry VII. It takes a while to take it all in. DO NOT miss it.
Buy the combo ticket so you can also visit the Baptistry! This huge round building takes awhile to enjoy JUST the outside before you even enter. It is the largest in Italy, dedicated to St John the Baptist whose statue stands on top of the dome. The inside is plain but the pulpit is very ornate and make sure you take the small stairway leading upstairs.
Ahh Pisa…historic torre, cheap trinkets, expensive lunch but yes, it is fun and beautiful.