David Rocaberti

By David Rocaberti
Written on 17 May 2008
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Being just a few minutes away from its international airport, Pisa makes the perfect city break. Are you ready for the Pisian experience? I'd bet you are...

Placed in the heart of both Tuscany and Italy, Pisa offers the traveller a fistful of good reasons to spend there a couple of nice days. My experience in the boot country entitles me to assert firmly that traveling around Italy is a pleasure for the five senses. Of course Pisa is not an exception for that remark. Its welcoming people mix perfectly well with culture, gastronomy, winery, reasonable prices and one of the most well known monuments of the world, the amazing leaning tower, situated in a both unbeatable and incomparable frame, the PIAZZA DEI MIRACOLI.

The LEANING TOWER reaches 183ft above the ground level. Initially, it was meant to be vertical but due to the unstable sub soil in which it was built, it started to incline already during the beginning of its construction, in August 1173. Many efforts were made in order to correct the inclination but none of them totally succeeded. However, its rare leaning condition became surprisedly its sign of identity and at present days, it stays stable at almost four degrees of steepness.
The last restoration in order to preserve the integrity of this notorious monument took place between 1990 and 2001, period in which remained closed for visitors. Happily from that date on, the tower top is accessible again, so if you decide to get on the top, you should know that you are going to climb the 284 steps of a not only narrow but and a little bit claustrophobic inner staircase. Once you reach the observatory deck, you’ll find out that your suffering was not in vain. The view is too good to miss it.

It’s not secret that the ‘Campanile’ (bell tower), as the leaning tower is really called, became one of the most important landmarks not only for Pisa but for the whole Italy as well, but the rest of the monuments of the stunning Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles) well worth a deep visit.
This magnificent place hosts IL DUOMO, the cathedral made by grey marble, in which you can find among other precious things a very nice mosaic of Christ in Majesty located in the apse, THE BAPTISTERY, a peculiar round Romanesque style building, crowned with an absolutely marvellous gothic style dome, and the CAMPOSANTO MONUMENTALE, the monumental cemetery, with its gothic cloister decorated with sculptures, sarcophagus and fresco paintings, although unfortunately not many of them survived a II world war fatal bombing on 27 July 1944. Happily, some restorations allow us nowadays to see the cemetery the way it was meant to be.

On to a different matter, Pisa is not only a place for culture lovers. This one hundred thousand inhabitants town, gives the traveller the splendour of the Italian traditional cuisine in its cosy restaurants as the perfect combination with all its ‘grandeur’, and all the amenities that an university town with narrow streets of cobble stone can offer in order to make a nice staying either for night life lovers. In addition to all, whatever your reason is, Pisa makes the perfect destination for a couple of days full of activity. I'd like to encourage you to go and try yourself. Having a wonderful time is guaranteed!

Other photos in this article...

Mind your step! Baptistery Baptistery silhouette Christ in Majesty The leaning Tower The top of the leaning tower Quiet places lovers: Danger! Tourist area

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