Our slant on Pisa

Trip Start Feb 23, 2010
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Trip End Jul 15, 2010


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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Wednesday, June 2, 2010

We left Hamburg and flew via Munich to Pisa. Fortunately, we had a three-hour wait before our bus to Siena was scheduled to leave, and we took the opportunity to visit Torre Pendente di Pisa (Leaning Tower of Pisa, or LTP).

Unknown to many tourists, I suspect, is that the LTP is the camponile (bell tower) of the Duomo di Pisa (cathedral), which stands right beside it. Construction of the The Duomo began in 1093 and the campanile in 1173. Both were built in the Romanesque style. Although the Duomo is by far the dominant structure in the Piazza di Marcoli, the Leaning Tower is the prized photo-op of most tourists. However, the Duomo,which is an active church, is definitely worth visiting.

The Tower was constructed on what turned out to be a very inadequate foundation on unstable soil, and it began to list toward the southwest a few years after construction commenced. Some have exploited the Tower's slant – Galileo Galilei allegedly dropped two cannon balls from the Tower to demonstrate his ideas on the relationship between the mass of an object and its speed. During the Second World War, the Nazis used the tower as an observation post; the Allies apparently thought about bombing the structure, but, thankfully, reconsidered. There have been several creative attempts to set things straight, the last of which was in 2008. Unnamed sources claim that engineers decided that further costly attempts to stabilize the Tower were unnecessary because of the hundreds of thousands of tourists who travel thousands of miles just to hold up the Tower (see photos). After taking our turns propping up the Tower, Lesly and I were too tired to climb the stairs to the top of the Tower. Besides, we had to get back to the bus station to catch our bus to Siena.
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Comments

Mom on

This blog was so great - as all your other ones. You are such a good writer Karl.(my favorite son-in-law) Keep up this good writing. Where will the next trip take you and Lesly?
Love Mom

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