Published: August 8th 2012August 8th 2012
Now this was an interesting excursion. I'm not sure what I expected, but the setting of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is unique. This was another of those "wear comfortable walking shoes" day. We must have walked a half dozen long blocks from the parking area to the tower.
Along the way we had to navigate numerous flea market sytle stands where hawkers accosted all us tourists with items for sale that very few of us were interested in buying. After successfully running the gauntlet we entered through a gateway in an extremely tall wall. To our left was the Duomo di Pisa (cathedral) surrounded by a large grassy area called the Field of Miracles. On our right were, of course, more flea market stalls. Just past the church is the reason we have walked so far today....the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The campanile, or bell tower, was begun in 1173 and completed nearly 200 years later. It stands nearly 60 meters tall, and has a spiral staircase with 297 steps, depending upon which guide book you read. Like riding the gondolas in Venice is a tourist must, stopping to have your picture taken "holding up"
the tower is required. After a dozen or so attempts we successfully the snapped the perfect picture of both of us keeping the tower from toppling over!
You can now once again climb the stairs if you have the stamina. Physically, today was not one of my best, so I left the climbing up to Karen. She braved 75 steps before deciding to return to terra firma. The tower, even though under renovation, was still impressive.
After a return walk to our tour bus, we had a relaxing rest during the drive back to the cruise ship.