Traveling through Italy on Busabout is a great experience, You get to meet interesting people, see amazing places and pretty much have an awesome time. You will do some of the more Touristy stops though. Sure they have to be done, but you cant help but feel like a camera toting tourist at Pisa.
The famed Leaning Tower of Pisa, and not Pizza as some travelers thought, is an architectural phenomenon. located in the Cathederal Square (Piazza Del Duomo). Up until the 1990 restoration work began the tower leaned at 5.5 degrees, Once the work was complete in 2000, it was at an angle of 3.99 degrees. It’s a good thing that construction that began in 1173 was halted in 1178 when Pisa was at war with its neighbors (a far cry from Ramsay St.). If they hadn’t halted construction, the tower would have surely fell over, and If that happened, I probably wouldn’t be writing about my visit now. When construction resumed a century later, the buildings fundamental flaws by that time known, they built the subsequent floors to compensate for the lean. Maybe they should have named it the curving tower of Pisa?
The tower or Campanile, is not alone and in my opinion is not the most attractive structure in the square. There are three other structures at the site. The Baptistry, the Campositano and by far the most beautiful being the Cathedral. The Santa Maria Asunta. It seemed to me that the Duomo and the Baptistry were also on a slight tilt. I didn’t have a close look at the Campositano so if I find myself here again I will try to see it.
So here I am in Pisa trying to elbow my way to the best vantage point to take some photo’s of the tower, when I remembered my photo challenges. I was challenged to get a photo with the tower as my “member”. Thankfully I was not the only person doing it (“Yes mum, I know that doesn’t make it okay!”). One cant help but start taking the usual shots of holding up the tower, leaning on the tower etc.
Here is a tip for any venturing travelers. When you get to Pisa, walk to the back of the tower. For some reason crowds get in and stop, all crowding around the same area. Make your way to the back of the tower where the grass isn’t cordoned off, and there are fewer people.
Another thing worth mentioning, there are lots of vendors selling just about everything Pisa you can think of. Most of whats on sale can be purchased in other cities. If you absolutely have to get it at Pisa, be prepared to pay a bit more for it.
Last tip. There is a McDonalds at Pisa, just at the main entrance of the site. If you are traveling by bus with a group and want any possibility of eating, do this first, THEN go and get your photos. There is often a last-minute rush for food just prior to leaving. For me it was necessary since the next stop was Cinqe Terra!