» » A Charles and Mieko Simon Web Site « «

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Livorno is the coastal port that will allow passengers to travel to Pisa or Florence and other Tuscany cities and sights.   We elected the tour to Pisa.   There are three buildings at Pisa.   Of course there is the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the famous campanile that has been leaning since construction began in 1174 A.D.   The other two structures are the Cathedral, A.D. 1063—92 and The Baptistery, A.D. 1153—1278.   The first photograph below is of the Baptistery with the Cathedral and Campanile seen in the background.

We did not go into the Baptistery as it required standing in line to get a separate ticket with an appointed time for entry.   From all appearance, although it has never been written that I have read, that the Baptistery is also leaning.

The Cathedral is considered one of the finest example of the Romanesque period.   The exterior has bands of white and red marble and the detailing every where is beautiful.   The dome over the crossing of the nave and transepts is most impressive.   The interior is stunning in its detail, the play of light and magnitude

The Campanile, Leaning Tower, is 52 feet in diameter and rises in eight stories of encircling arcades.   It is something around 14 feet out of plumb.   Corrective measures to the foundation have been extensive and to some degree (no pun intended) has been successful.   Of interest also, the belfry was not added until A.D. 1350

While it looked really dumb, seeing all the people trying to position themselves to make it appear that they are holding up the Leaning Tower, we nevertheless did the same thing.   The biggest problem was seeing the composition.   The sun was too our back and very bright.   Those familiar with digital cameras know that seeing anything in the monitor is nearly impossible at best.   As can be seen, I was a little more successful than was Mieko.

We were walking back to the gathering place when I saw this little dog.   He had his bucket full of some of his toys and he knew exactly where he was to go.   If his owner stopped, he would set down his bucket and wait.

This was a crowded place.   People walking in both directions bumping into us.   There was a woman from our ship who was sort of lost so she walked back with us.   He bus, not a tour bus but a local, arrived first and we did not see her until we got back to the ship.   There she told us she was pick pocketed of her wallet with about US$250 and all her credit cards.   We did not have any problems but there were warnings given each time we went into a crowded area.

Day Three Port Call, Naples