Continuing on with last October’s Italian trip:
After leaving ViaReggio, we were taken to yet another UNESCO World Heritage site. On our arrival in the Tuscan city of Pisa, we boarded a cute little train which took us to one of the most famous towers in the world.
This is the sight which greeted us as we walked through the entrance to the grounds on which the city’s cathedral and bell tower stand. It was such a thrill to see the leaning tower for myself.
The beautiful Baptistry of Saint John, completed in 1363, the largest in Italy. The lower part of this 55m tall building is built in the Romanesque style, with rounded arches, while the upper registers are in the Gothic style, with pointed arches. It is made of marble, which was so typical of Italian architecture.
I had often wondered about the leaning tower, and why it leans sideways. Our guide told us that it was because it was built on unstable soil. Construction was started on the 180-foot bell tower in 1173, and the building began to lean as soon as the first three floors were completed. Building continued however, and the seven-story structure was finished between 1360 and 1370. The tower leans a little bit more each year and was closed for repairs in 1990, when it was leaning fourteen and a half feet to one side. Engineers worked to stabilize the foundation, straightening the tower only slightly to help prevent irreparable damage without taking away the uniqueness of the structure.
Hubby is a great DIY fanatic, and tried to push it upright with his finger, but without much success. 😉
The tower is apparently the only thing of interest in Pisa, so once we’d seen it, and wandered around for about forty minutes, we were back on the train, after running the gauntlet of the inevitable street traders, selling all the usual rubbish, mostly made in China.
Our next stop was to be in the beautiful town of Lucca, which I’ll tell you all about next time.
sold in Pisa, but made in China, perfecto! thanks for the cool pics, they never show you the actual buildings around the tower so thank you for that
You’re very welcome. Marco.
Seeing the leaning tower brought back memories, I think it was about 1968 when I was there. Thanks for the memory jog.
That was a long time ago, grannymar. As you can see, it’s still in place. 🙂
Very funny pic. Love your sense of humor on the leaning tower 🙂
😆 It had to be done.
Such beautiful images. The train does look cute. I particularly like where you were trying to straighten the leaning tower. Brilliant idea! Thanks for a fun post.
Thanks so much. We had such a great visit. 🙂
You cheated. That’s just camera trickery. 😀
Not at all, rommel. You have no idea how many shots I took before I got this one, 🙂
Lovely pictures 🙂
Thanks, Madhu. We had such fun. 😉
What a cute train and absolutely stunning photies!!!
Thanks, LIsa. 😉
Isn’t it funny how holding up the Learning Tower has universal appeal. We have a good one of my wife doing so, but at the time, I didn’t notice someone else in the background having a similar pose.
As I was reading I was thinking about how not much is there – and then you mentioned it!. We arrived by train, and had a long walk from the train station (which was a busy street that went past the university). Only to later notice that another station is near the tower.
By the way, this area is near my mother’s hometown where I still can find aunts and cousins.
Our guide knew that this was the only attraction there. We were lucky to be able to bring the coach very close, and our seats were already booked on the little ‘train’. 😉
Thanks so much for the visit. 😉
As always, loved your photo blog on Pisa. I last visited the place about 14 years back. Wonder whether the tilt has increased…
Thanks for your lovely comment. 😉 You must have been there before the work was done to straighten it up a bit.
I did not realise that the tower leaned quite as much as it does, amazing that it’s still standing. Lovely pix and very interesting as always.
It is a fascinating sight to behold. I find it amazing that they carried on building it, even though they realised that the foundations needed serious attention. 😉
your hubby’s finger holding up the tower is brilliant 🙂
Thanks, Ruth. It took quite a few shots before we got it right. 😀
Excellent photos and story… and I love that shot of your hubby’s finger. 😆
Thanks so much. It was fun. 😉
Wonderful photos and information. It’s s shame everything seems to be made in China. Very much enjoyed your post.
BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!
Thanks so much, Francine. 😉
Full of history. Very educational. haha. I love this post, really.
Just wonderful. 🙂
Thanks so much, indiGo. 😉
wonderful pics, and i love your header and background pics
Thanks so much, Brad. My header photo was taken in Bora Bora, and the background is of course, Machu Picchu.
Interesting about the Leaning Tower. Funny about your husband 😀
Thanks, Gemma. It was a giggle. 😉
you know when we were in Pisa I never even thought about taking the traditional shot of holding up the tower…. I regret it to this day! I gotta go back….
oh… and I loved Lucca… looking forward to your post… ahh the memories
Great reason to return there, sayvan. Maybe you’ll have more luck with straightening up that tower. 😉
Looks like you had such fun with this one! 😉
Yes we did, Gunta. One has to do all the touristy stuff. 😀
Some of your most interesting photos yet 🙂
Thanks, Tilly. Glad you enjoyed. 😉
Beautiful photographs dear AD, you took me too in this beautiful travel. Thanks and Love, nia
You’re so welcome, nia. Love to you. 😉
lovely photos ad, and there was no train or chinese junk when we were there long ago!
Well, you missed out on the train ride, but I would happily manage without the “chinese junk.”
I like the little train 🙂
It looks almost like a train that might be found in a children’s playground. 😉
LOL,I like your hubby,he’s of a kindred spirit in the way his mind works 😛 😀
I quite like him too. 😆
I never realized how beautiful the detail on the tower is! Lovely post!
Yes, me too. I was amazed at how lovely it is.
The one place in the world I would like to spend an hour or two would be the leaning tower… it fascinates me that it has as yet not fallen over… I remember seeing a documentary about the engineering solution to shore up the tower… yet I seem to remember that it was not that successful or have I got that wrong??? It sure looks a lovely building to study, maybe if hubby had used two fingers…????
No, he was afraid that if he used two fingers, he might push it over too far the other way. 😆 I think those engineers were obviously successful, in that the tower is still standing. 😉
Interesting tower. It certainly looks like it’s going to fall:-)
Well it’s been standing for so long now. I think it will last a while longer. 😉
Hi AD, great pics. 😎
Thanks, Chris. 😉