When I was a child, I remember seeing pictures of this extraordinary looking tower. It was something magical. Nothing like this existed in Australia, so it was a purely fictional setting in my head: an image from a storybook. I imagined myself on the top of it, being able to feel the sway of the tower with the wind, knowing that it could come crashing to the ground at any moment.
The other day, I found myself on a flight to Pisa. At long last, I was going to see the infamous tower! Arriving late afternoon, we made our way directly to the main square. Rounding the corner, there it stood on an even bigger lean than I had imagined in my head. It was a surreal kind of experience, as the picture book image came to life in front of my very eyes. This was real and I was there standing in front of it!
The camera had a field day! I didn’t think to do all the silly poses until I saw a whole lot of other tourists doing them. Highly recommended fun!
Being winter time, it was easy to get tickets for the climb, though the slots filled up rather quickly so I would still recommend booking in advance, especially at a warmer time of year. On entering the tower, it felt instantly crooked. However, it is amazing how quickly the body adjusts and soon, it felt like walking up any other tower. The views from the top were lovely too!
The rest of the day was spent exploring the Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), where you can wander in and out of all the buildings, including a cathedral, baptistery, cemetery and hospital. Throughout the visit, we learned the complex process of how engineers have been working on keeping the tower on the perfect lean, so that this beautiful monument doesn’t topple over completely.
I would highly recommend checking out the tower at night time too, where you can wander around the old square underneath the starry night sky and have the place completely to yourselves!
Have you ever been to Pisa? What were your highlights?