Friday, December 9, 2011

Day 191 - The Leaning Tower of Pisa and Lucca

I took a quick day trip out to the cities of Pisa and Lucca today to get in some other Tuscan sites while staying in Florence. Many people told me that Pisa could be done in half a day, so I added Lucca to the schedule since it was only another 45 minutes away from Pisa by train, and I could take a direct train back to Florence.

Arriving in Pisa, I went directly to the campanile, or more famously known as the leaning tower. Again, like Michelangelo's David statue, you really have to be here to see how incredible and strange it is stand in front of a tower that is leaning noticeably far from vertical. The leaning towers I saw in Bologna about a week ago were nothing close to being as extreme as this tower.

The construction of the tower began in  1173, but interrupted numerous times throughout the years. The first 4 galleries were first constructed, and then the next 3 afterwards. The tower started leaning due to environmental conditions (shifting soil, rainfall) as well as decay of the materials used to build the structure. Efforts were made to bring the tower to a safer position through biased weighting, soil drilling, and restoration of the structure itself. By 1998, it was deemed safe to visit, but is only limited to 30 people at a time.

I opted to just take pictures next to the tower like the rest of the tourist around, thinking of fun and creative ways to stand near it. Some people stood next to it like they were pushing it to the side, some pretended to position it like it was phallic, but I decided I would karate kick like I kicked it into it's current position. It took a number of tries, but I got one picture that was close to being perfect.

It was in the afternoon when I decided it was time to head to Lucca. The sun sets early in the Winter and I wanted to catch the city while it was still daytime. The city is located behind 12-meter high Renaissance Walls which are now tree-lined and very green. Locals used the perimeter to jog and exercise or just take a stroll at night. Again, the area perfectly showed the changing seasons from summer to winter. The leaves were all changing colors and the sunset was a mix of hues of oranges, pinks, and yellows.

Visiting two cities didn't leave too much time to explore either of the cities, but I took an hour to just walk around the small streets in Lucca, lined with shops and restaurants, before heading back by train to Florence.


The Walls of the city of Lucca

Lucca Sunset

No comments:

Post a Comment