What do most of us know about Pisa? We know that the tower leans dramatically, even comically to one side. Pictures of the leaning tower have made us laugh in disbelief; we wonder how this phenomenen could possibly be true. Compounding the mystery are the images of visitors in stances that make them seem to attempt to keep the tower from falling. Personally, I always vowed that if I ever went to Pisa, I would have my photo taken in such a way…hummmm, just for fun, you know!! Something like this.
Well, I went to Pisa today and took many photos, but none of me trying to hold it up. Take a look at the photos below, and I hope you will discover that the Pisa Tower is quite beautiful. In fact, the quartet of structures there are all beautiful. That’s correct, there’s more to Pisa besides the noteworthy tower. There’s the Leaning Tower, a domed Cathedral, a Bapistry, and the Campo Santo Monument Cemetery. This is the 900th anniversary of the dedication of Pisa, and the grounds look stunning. Note how sparklingly white the Pisa structures are. This is because they are located in a place where the public cannot drive, and thus are not victims of pollution.
But, just like all the other historic sites in Italy, Pisa is in constant restoration mode.
All the structures welcome visitors. Visitors are allowed inside the tower. It is scary when you realize where you are and what is happening to you in terms of physics. Yup…that’s fear that I am starting to feel.
All are encouraged to climb the 284 steps to the top…..which I did, carefully and slowly because the steps are worn and slippery with the use of the ages. Yes, these are the original steps, and I am going up.
That’s a smile you see, but I was sooooo scared. I had to hug the wall.
When you get to the top, you are rewarded with some spectacular views like this…
So let’s talk about the pride in the accomplishment of the climb. See the bell at the very top of the tower in the background.
Here’s Ashleigh and Jackie together at the top.
Many thanks to Ashleigh for donating these photos as my camera decided to delete the ones I managed to take. Also thanks to Ashleigh for coaching me to the top every ancient stair step of the way!!!!
After the walk down, we treated ourselves to the rest of the grounds like the Cathedral.
A golden image of Jesus adorns the inside of the dome.
This invitation is there too.
Pulpit of the cathedral.
Campo Santo Cemetary….so many ancient graves, most with names and inscriptions that can no longer be read. Frescos fill the walls.
Some frescos are being restored. This one is called Triumph of Death and Last Judgement. You can see the artist on the scaffold working on the fresco. This is a scary piece of art that was painted about 1330 and was damaged in the 1944 bombing of Pisa. It had to be restored in pieces. See the lined sections?
Visitors can easily climb to the top of the Baptistry. It is easier than it looks.
The view looking down into the hall of the Baptistry.
The baptismal font.
Here are a few final views if that iconic tower.
This Unseasoned Traveler learned some new things about Pisa….what a fantastic stop on the junket. See you soon.