.@TeddyOutReady: Our Adventures in Italy Day VII: Pisa & The Leaning Tower

Monday, September 18, 2017

Our Adventures in Italy Day VII: Pisa & The Leaning Tower

Leaning Tower

We left Rome early morning on the board of a high-speed rail train and arrived in Pisa around 10am. We booked a hotel just few hundred meters from train station, left our luggage there and took a taxi to Square of Miracles. I booked our tickets  to climb The Leaning Tower in advance and were afraid to be late. Train station appeared to be less then ten minutes drive from The Leaning Tower. The Square of Miracles is dominated by four great religious edifices: the Pisa Cathedral, the Pisa Baptistery, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Camposanto  Monumentale (Monumental Cemetery). It’s partly paved and partly grassed. It was crowded there with tourists and people trying to sell something to you. We walked around The Leaning Tower first, absorbing view that we heard so much about. To be honest, we chose to spend vacation in Italy because we wanted to visit The Leaning Tower.

Pisa Tower View Pisa Aerial View Pisa Italy summer

Then we entered the Pisa Cathedral (or Duomo) through the massive bronze main doors. Its construction began in 1064, and set the model for the distinctive Pisan style of architecture. The mosaics of the interior, as well as the pointed arches, show a strong Byzantine influence. The facade made of grey marble and white stone set with discs of colored marble.

Teddy in Pisa Ted Museum Pisa

The Baptistery, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, stands opposite the west end of the Duomo. It is the largest baptistery in Italy. Its circumference measures 107.25 meters. Taking into account the statue of St. John the Baptist on top of the dome, it is even higher than The Leaning Tower. The Baptistery has remarkable acoustics and plain interior design with lack of decorations.

Pisa museum Huge Statue Pisa

It was time to climb The Leaning Tower. Unfortunately children before age of 8 are not allowed climbing and we had to take turns while Teddy had a lunch with other one of us in outdoor patio with tower view. You cannot take bags with you and have to leave all belongings (except camera and phone) in the locker. The tower looks from inside like a huge pipe with a covered top. The guide told us some interesting facts about building the tower and we started climbing 296 steps leading to the top. Construction of the tower began in 1173 and took place in three stages over the course of 177 years, with the bell-chamber only added in 1372.

Ted in Pisa Teddy Leaning Tower

The tower stands approximately 56 meters high, and was built to accommodate a total of seven main bells, cast to the musical scale. The tower now leans at about 3.99 degrees. This means that the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 meters (12 ft 10 in) from where it would be, if the structure were perfectly vertical. You can feel that you climb stairs in leaning position and have to touch the wall from time to time in order to keep the balance. It wasn’t so difficult to get to the top where seven bells of different sizes are located.  The Pisa is a small city without hi-rise buildings and it can be seen completely and clearly from the top of The Leaning Tower.

Pisa Market Pisa Bell

After visiting The Leaning Tower we found shade a cool breeze in The Camposanto Monumentale (Monumental Cemetery) that is located at the northern edge of the Square. It was a relief for us, considering 35C on that day. The Camposanto Monumentale once contained a large collection of Roman sculptures and sarcophagus, but now there are only 84 remaining. The walls were once covered in remarkable frescoes. On 27 July 1944, incendiary bombs dropped by allied aircraft set the roof of the building on fire and covered them in molten lead, mostly destroying them.

 Pisa History Italy Pisa Art

Since 1945, restoration works have been going on and now the Campo Santo has been brought back to its original state. Original drawings of the Campo Santo frescoes are kept in Sinopias Museum where we headed after Camposanto Monumentale. The museum is very small and it was good because we were so tired and ready to go to the hotel. Before going back we stopped at the local flee market and bought a few T-shots and souvenirs.

Pisa Street

We decided to go back on foot and see the city. We walked just several hundred meters and reached Knights' Square  where located a beautiful Palazzo della Carovana palace. Teddy liked the music local musician played on a guitar there and even dance with him. We walk through main shopping street in the center of Pisa and checked a couple boutiques. Within 30 minutes we got to the hotel squeezed like lemons. It was a very hot day; we woke up at 5am and had a very busy day.  A good rest was crucial for us. Next morning we had a train to Florence.

Pisa stroll

This is seventh post about our summer vacation in Italy.  Related posts can be found here: 
Our Adventures in Italy Day I: Rome, Piazza di Spagna, Spanish Steps, Fountain Trevi, Pinocchio Store
Our Adventures in Italy Day II - Borghese Gallery, the Pincian Hill, Piazza del Popolo, Dolce Vita Stroll #familytravel
Our Adventures in Italy Day III - the Vatican City #familytravel
Our Adventures in Italy Day IV - Colosseum
Our Adventures in Italy Day V - National Roman Museum, The Pyramid of Cestius & St Paul's Outside-the-Walls
Our Adventures in Italy Day VI Rome - Saint Peter in Chains Basilica, Capitoline Museum & Basilica of St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven #travel

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