I’ve got one last place to share with you from our two week adventure in Italy (which was way back in April and it’s about time I get these blog posts wrapped up, isn’t it).
I don’t think I need to tell you what it was we saw there.
I can now confirm that the Tower really is leaning - a lot.
But it is also absolutely G O R G E O U S - even with a hundred tourists all standing along the walkway that leads back to the Tower posing as if they are holding the tilting Tower up as their travel companion stands a few feet away instructing them on where exactly to place their arms in order to get the perfect shot. I am not ashamed to say that we fully partook in this most cheesy of tourist activities in Pisa.
Did you know that the Leaning Tower of Pisa is really a bell tower? I didn't know that before visiting. See the building in front of it? It's the Pisa Cathedral and the Leaning Tower is it's freestanding bell tower.
Are you wondering why this great bell tower could possibly be leaning so much? Was it designed this way on purpose? Well, the tilting of this great tower definitely lends a unique beauty to it, but the answer it no, it was not designed this way on purpose. It was in fact a design flaw. The Tower actually began to tilt during construction back in the late 1100's due to an inadequate foundation that was placed on ground too soft on one side to support the weight of the structure. By the time construction of the second floor took place, the Tower was already listing to one side, but the work carried on anyway. Construction took nearly 200 years and as the Tower grew, the engineers changed the design to try and compensate for the tilt. In the late 1990s structural work was done on the Tower because it continued to tilt further and further and there was fear of it collapsing. It's now been stabilized and in 2008 engineers announced that the Tower had stopped moving for the first time in it's history.
Now, if ever you should find yourself in Pisa, please don't just stop to see the Tower. I beg you to get out and see Pisa itself because it's a wonderful and beautiful city.
The flower show and art sale that happened to be taking place in the streets on the day we were there added even more color to this already vibrant city.
The young lady who checked us into our hotel room was kind enough to map out a walking route around Pisa for us, complete with which restaurant we should eat at (which ended up being one of the best meals we had in all of Italy)...
and the location of her favorite gelateria.
It was also the best gelato we had in Italy.
Like so many others, we may have come to see the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, but we ended up seeing so much more.
And with that, we headed home. Even though we were leaving the stunning country of Italy behind, the views on the way home weren't bad either.