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Another wonder of the world - the leaning Tower of Pisa in

Pisa Travel Blog

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Random shot of the streets of Pisa

Seriously, who among us DID NOT read about the Leaning Tower at school?

Who among us DID NOT dream of someday wanting to go there?

And who among us DID NOT expect that dreams would turn into reality.... well someday?

Colour me AGREED on all 3 questions! It's been a dream of mine to visit this wonder of the world, although when planning the trip to Tuscany, that was the last thing on my mind. I always thought that the tower was named after someone named Pisa, and that the tower is in Roma, or the outskirts. So I was thrilled to bits during the trip planning when I found out that it is in Toscana after all, and that I will get my Kodak moment with it!

The day began as usual - a hurried croissant in my room, some God awful sarnies and coffee @ the McDs in the station and off I was on the train to Pisa.

Pisa
The journey took about 1 hour or so. Now, a word from the wise = the walk from the station to the Campo dei Miracoli is terrible. Directions aren't very clear and the walk by itself is a long painful affair during which you cut across commercial spreads, residential spreads, the trademark European river with a colourful bridge, a statue, lots of tourist traps including expensive coffee shops (where I treated myself to a biscotto) and you continue walking and walking and finally start seeing signs pointing to the place. Phew!

Finally reached the Campo dei Miracoli and there it was, in all grandeur - the LEANING TOWER! I didn't know what to make of it - it looked so small. So small! Even smaller than the Mona Lisa (well, not in terms of size, but I mean in terms of the shock I had).

And honestly, it didn't quite look as, well "exclusive" as I had imagined. Not a slap on the tower per se, but I always thought that the Tower was desolate and all alone in this big field as the books portray, but it's really right in the middle of a noisy neighbourhood, and the compound of the Campo dei Miracoli is by itself cramped, for lack of a better word (Crampo dei Miracoli, LOL!)

The place, as expected is a tourism trap of sorts. There's a tower, a church, a baptistry, museums of both drawings and the "dell'Opera", and each of those are so expensive, and you have the usual "combinations" that tourists can opt for, like what I saw in Siena. But the place did look beautiful albeit small. There was of course the trademark Romus and Remelus statues as well.

The church/Duomo was beautiful - nothing we've never seen before but I was highly impressed with the ceiling paintings.

A quick tea stop on the way...those biscotti!
Italian art is fabulous! It was designed in the 11th century. It's marked by 3 bronze doors. The highlight of this place had to be the polygonal pulpit created in the 14th century (forgot the architect's name) and finally rebulit again in the early 20th century (yep, you heard it right). It's held up by porphyry pillars and column statues showin the Virtues, whilst the panels all depict stories from the Bible. Another highlight here is Galileo's lamp used to create the laws of the Pendulum (which I frankly couldn't give a rat's arse about).

Next stop was the Museo delle Sinopie. This has some brilliant frescoe art, very impressive.  I spent about 30 minutes here, longer than expected but I had to wait till 1pm for the  climb up the tower.

Campo dei Miracoli approaching
..

That's right - the LEANING TOWER, or the Campanile was constructed in the late 12th century. It has about 8 stories, and was intended to be a free standing bell tower. There are so many tales on why this tower leans... some say it was done intentionally whilst some say that the soil it was built on wasn't solid but was water soaked. In any case, the climb up was fun. You can feel the tilt, no kidding! Once atop though, that was another story. Pisa really is a very boring town and absolutely nothing clickworthy from an aerial point of view. 

Anyway the day was done, I was dog tired and hot. For the return trip back to the railway station and seeing as I had to visit Lucca as well, I decided NOT to walk but take the bus #4 instead. Even that ride seemed confusing! LOL... riding on it, I realised how utterly redundant the walk was. It's one thing if Pisa were this cliched "cute" European town but it was actually very boring and very industrial....

The train to Lucca (many in frequency btw) was waiting, literally when I went. So caught the train, and off I went....

Liselore_Verschuren says:
I like your entry, it was a nice read! :)
Posted on: Aug 01, 2010
Vikram says:
LOL Vance... OK OK OK I'm guilty! Off I go to the gallows!
Posted on: Jul 23, 2010
vances says:
Great entry, but describing the Tower of Pisa as a "natural wonder of the world" is perhaps bending the truth, lol?

:^)
Posted on: Jul 23, 2010
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Random shot of the streets of Pisa
Random shot of the streets of Pisa
Pisa
Pisa
A quick tea stop on the way...thos…
A quick tea stop on the way...tho…
Campo dei Miracoli approaching
Campo dei Miracoli approaching
The Leaning Tower
The Leaning Tower
Baptistry @ Campo dei Miracoli
Baptistry @ Campo dei Miracoli
Inside the Camposanto
Inside the Camposanto
Inside the Camposanto
Inside the Camposanto
Inside the Camposanto
Inside the Camposanto
Inside the Camposanto
Inside the Camposanto
The ceiling at the Camposanto
The ceiling at the Camposanto
In front of the Camposanto
In front of the Camposanto
Me, and the Campo dei Miracoli
Me, and the Campo dei Miracoli
Museo dello Sinopie
Museo dello Sinopie
Frescoes @ Museo dello Sinopie
Frescoes @ Museo dello Sinopie
Frescoes @ Museo dello Sinopie
Frescoes @ Museo dello Sinopie
LOL, talk about touristy!
LOL, talk about touristy!
Steps up the tower
Steps up the tower
Campo dei Miracoli
Campo dei Miracoli
Aerial shot of Campo dei Miracoli
Aerial shot of Campo dei Miracoli
Pisa, the town
Pisa, the town
View from atop
View from atop
The horrible and rundown Pisa trai…
The horrible and rundown Pisa tra…
Pisa
photo by: jsuuronen