Since I knew that we would do a trip in Italy, I had to put Pisa to our destinations. Why? Just because of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I have to admit, that I just want to see this main attraction and didn’t know anything more about this city.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
When we approached the Piazza dei Miracoli, I just couldn’t believe what I saw, the Leaning Tower of Pisa! It is just stunning to see this famous tower and you ask yourself “how is this possible?”.
Basically it is the campanile or bell tower of the Cathedral Santa Maria Assunta. When the constructions begun in 1173, everything was fine, but suddenly the ground didn’t support the structure’s weight because the foundation on the ground was too soft. And so one side of the tower sinked after the second floor was built. After a while, the construction continued. Engineers built more floors where one side is taller than the other. This explains the curving form of the tower. The 7th floor was built in 1319 and finally in 1372, the bell chamber was added.
In 1990, after more than 2 decades of stabilization studies, the tower was closed to the public to stabilize it. In 2001, the tower was declared as stable and in May 2008, after removing 70 metric tons of ground, the tower had stopped moving for the first time.
Because of the strike that day, we arrived late in Pisa and so our tickets weren’t valid anymore. After explaining to the women in the wardrobe that we were late because of the strike, she changed our entrance time and so we could get up on the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
As there is no elevator in the tower, you have to take the stairs. While climbing the tower, you feel that it is curved, because you tend to fall on the side. This is really strange.
There are two levels where you can stand and enjoy the view. The really upper top of the tower is closed for public, because it’s probably to dangerous. You have an amazing view over Pisa and the Tuscany from the upper floor. The only thing which annoyed me was that you only have a short time limit to stay up on the tower.
I recommend you to spend those 18 € to get up on the tower, because you won’t have everyday the possibility to climb up a leaning tower.
Cathedral Santa Maria Assunta
The heart of the Piazza del Duomo is the Cathedral Santa Maria Assunta. Its construction begun in 1064 and set the model for the Pisan Romanesque style of architecture.
The outside of the cathedral is made of grey marble and white stone set with colored marble. It has a massive bronze main door because their original door had been destroyed in a fire in 1595.
It is believed that Galileo developed its theory of the movement of a pendulum by watching the swinging of the incense lamp hanging from the ceiling of the nave (not the current one).
The cathedral is really stunning and absolutely worth it to visit. The entrance is free, but you have to get a ticket at the ticket office.
When we had enough of the Piazza Miracoli, we spontaneously bought tickets for the Botanic Garden in Pisa. It’s 3 € for students, so almost nothing in comparison with the Leaning Tower.
While entering the garden, everything seemed fine. There were beautiful trees and plants and everything. But as soon as we got more into the garden and especially to a pond, everything was full of mosquitos. They were simply all around us and they were not small! So we immediately quitted the Botanic Garden.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed the Leaning Tower of Pisa and its Dome, but the rest of Pisa, at least for what I’ve seen, is not so adorable. What do you think?