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Published: August 1st 2011
The obligatory 'push' picture
Nikki is stronger than me lol.
Now I hate to think of myself as ‘that’ type of tourist, you know the type, travels to a country and whilst there goes on a day trip to a place and then says they have “been there” when they haven’t really had any time to absorb the place or culture but with Pisa I was guilty of that sin.
After only a 1 hour train journey from Florence we arrived in Pisa, when we first set foot off the train there was a map outside the station, I had a look to try to find our route to the world famous leaning tower but someone had helpfully scratched off the names of the streets to get there, luckily for me it was pretty easy to find.
Pisa, near the train station anyway, is not the prettiest place I’ve ever been to. As you get near the leaning tower the crowds of people begin to grow so you know you’re in the right place, when approaching the tower from the south you can’t really grasp how much it actually leans as it leans to the south, it is only when you’re directly east or west of it that you
look at it and think OH MY GOD!
All around the tower are hundreds of tourists all trying to get that obligatory picture of them leaning against/pushing the tower, being a total tourist I obviously got involved too (see our main pic). For years you were unable to go up to the top of the leaning tower as they were unable to stop it’s subsidence but now, thankfully, they have found a solution and completely restored the tower. Entrance to the tower is in time slots and we had a couple of hours to wait until our turn so to fill the time we had a spot of lunch at Antonicia, which is literally opposite the leaning tower with great views of the tower and its surrounds.
As we entered the leaning tower, before you have even walked up any of the steps, you are instantly hit by the degree in which it leans. The steps inside are a spiral staircase which as you can imagine feel unlike anything you have felt before as your body is drawn towards one side of the staircase and as you walk around your body is magically drawn towards the other wall.
The last staircase at the top is partially uncovered at the point at which the tower leans, vertigo sufferers beware mine and Nikki’s legs were quivering so if you’re afraid of heights this bit will really freak you out.
Being an 80’s child I was bought up watching some great films (and listening to some amazing electronic music....I love the 80’s), As I stood at the top of the Leaning Tower I remembered one of, if not the first time I actually saw the Leaning Tower, it was in a Superman movie in which Superman turns bad, flies to Pisa and straightens the leaning tower making a souvenir seller very angry at which point he smashes all of his replica leaning towers. I always remember that bit of the film and when I was planning our honeymoon Pisa was definitely on the ‘must see’ list, it’s amazing how much impact movies can make on you.
Although our visit was brief it was well worth it, I would definitely recommend Pisa and I have heard that the nightlife in Pisa is quite good too, although we were not there long enough to find that out for ourselves.
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