When people think of Pisa, they generally think of one thing only. Each year millions of tourists animate the town’s famous Campo dei Miracoli as they marvel at the famous leaning tower, creating a t-shirt buying, ice-cream-licking, photosnapping wasteland. The tower is undoubtably remarkable, and it would be impressive even if it were perpendicular to the ground. But if your journey to Pisa, make sure you budget a good morning. We visited the tower, cathedral, baptistery and other buildings that share the same piazza as the famous tower.

Pisa’s history has had its share of twists and turns. In the Middle Ages, when the unclogged Arno river flowed to the sea, the city earned its living as a port, and Pisa’s Mediterranean empire extended to Corsica, Sardinia, and the Balearics. When the Arno filled with silt, Pisa’s fortunes dried up. After the tower tantalized travelers and brought millions of lira to the waning town, Pisa began to recover. If you want to learn more about Pisa (i.e., where to stay, what to do, etc.), you can check out this web site: http://www.pisaonline.it/.

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Although Pisa is a nice quaint town, this is the ONLY reason to visit Pisa! The Tower of Pisa is the bell tower of the Cathedral. Its construction began in 1173 and continued (with two long interruptions) for about 200 years!! (*Makes the “Big Dig” in Boston, MA not that bad, huh?*). The local lore has it that the leaning of the Tower was part of the project ever since its beginning but now we know that was a lie!

The Tower was designed to be vertical but started to incline during its construction. During its construction efforts were made to halt the inclination through the use of special construction devices which continue even to this day! It was definitely worth a visit and contrary to the guide books, you can visit the Tower and walk to the top. Of course it costs you 15 Euros!!! If you want to learn more about the tower, you can visit the official web site at http://torre.duomo.pisa.it/.


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