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The artsy leaning tower in the not so artsy city of Pisa

Pisa Travel Blog

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The city of Pisa, Italy

We had a free afternoon and I asked my buddy Onur if he wanted to go and take a look at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I wanted to take a tour, but personnel from the congress said we didn't need to, we could just jump on a train and we would arrive directly at Pisa Centro. So, we took the chance and we did it. The train was very slow. It was very frustrating how it took an hour and a half to go 40 miles. It also looked very old.

One thing about Montecatini Terme and Pisa too is the almost complete lack of signals and posts to indicate where to do what. For example, there is no counter to get tickets to the train inside the train terminal, you must buy them in a convenience store nearby (!). I opened my Lonely Planet italian book guide to ask the clerk how much was the ticket to Pisa.

The famous Leaning Tower of Pisa
She smiled and said 8 euros round trip. We went back to the terminal but nobody checked out ticket anywhere. There were very few passengers inside, so it felt almost like a ghost train.

Pisa looked like a very ugly town to me. We had been warned that the Church and the Tower is pretty much all that there is to see, and I believe that. The tower and the church are magnificent, one needs to say. But it's funny because it's like if those exquisite buildings were inside a border mexican town lol. At least that's what it felt like to me.

We toured for about two hours the complex of the tower, the church and the other buildings. It was a really great experience! I was visiting one of the world's most famous landmarks! I think the whole site is very impressive and definitively worth the visit.

Church and tower
We learned that the tower was built as a bell tower for the church in 1174, and it actually started leaning onlt 5 years after its construction. The failure was due to soft ground conditions (that were obviously not assessed for the design). On its almost 1000 years of history, the tower has leaned in different directions, so now it is kind of curved on its top. It's current leaning angle is 3.3 degrees, but it has leaned up to 5.5 degrees in previous times.

We came back to the train station to head back to Montecatini Terme. Unfortunately we missed the connection and we needed to wait for an hour now. We decided to look for something to eat, but again, every place was closed since it was "too early for dinner" lol. I still can't believe how it's so hard to find places to eat in Italy even in these places with so many international tourists. There was a McDonalds open, but I wouldn't eat there in Europe even if I was starving, lol.

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The city of Pisa, Italy
The city of Pisa, Italy
The famous Leaning Tower of Pisa
The famous Leaning Tower of Pisa
Church and tower
Church and tower
Street of Pisa with the tower in t…
Street of Pisa with the tower in …
The Church and Tower site
The Church and Tower site
A funny scale
A funny scale
Pisan gas station
Pisan gas station
Pisan train station
Pisan train station
Pisa
photo by: jsuuronen