Friday, January 7, 2011

Pizza in Pisa (and Happy Birthday to my big little brother)

Today we travel to Pisa.  We travelled by train from Levanto....the other family we were with head over to Portovenere as they had seen Pisa before.  On our train trip we passed by the Marble Quarries at Carrara.  Huge and amazing.  The train was full of students which were to discover were uni students.   They all hopped off with us at our Pisa stop and we just followed the crowd.  This did take us a couple blocks out of our way but we actually got to see a few buildings and people in Pisa and not just the 'tower'.  :-)  The photo above shows the entrance to where the leaning tower hides.  Yes, they are Polizia at the entrance...suddenly we were thinking we had to have tickets but no. We just walked on by.

I was totally in awe as we came through and saw these amazing and very white buildings.  I did not realise that the cathedral and basilica were anywhere near the tower.  They are make the tower look so tiny.

This is the fortress wall surrounding the Tower of Pisa.

And there it is lean and all.  Some quick facts as my friend Helen asked some info and I didn't have a clue.  The tower is a 'freestanding bell tower' and construction started in August, 1173.  The tower began to sink as they reached the third floor in 1178.  This was due to the mere three metre foundations set in weak soil. Apparently, not enough for all that beautiful white heavy marble. Construction stopped.  Once they thought the foundation had settled they fitted the bells on the third floor in 1198.  1272 construction started again and they purposely built one side of these floors larger than the other to compensate for the the tower actually curves.  Construction was stopped in 1284.  Started again in 1319 when they completed the seventh floor and in 1372 they finally completed the bell chamber.

Here you go my obligatory photo pushing the tower.  Kids didn't tell me my left hand wasn't even touching the building. duh!

This is the view from the seventh floor which all four of us made it too.  Mind you half way up I really had to convince myself to keep going, yes was getting a little claustrophobic .  The staircase is so narrow and the lean of the building was doing my head in.  One way you walking easy....round the corner you had to put effort into climbing. 

This is the smaller staircase to the very top....the bell chamber.  See how worn they are.  

This is the amazing view from the very top which only my daughter and myself made it to.  Mind you I was hanging on very very tight.

The top.

One on the many amazing doors on the Cathedral of Pisa.

We just thought the outside was amazing with all the architecture, carvings and sculptures.

One on the huge brass doors near the entrance of the Cathedral of Pisa.  Each panel told a story.

The ceiling.  Each section is inset.  So has about a 50cm lip on each edge.... if that makes sense.

Some of the amazing artwork inside the Cathedral of Pisa.  Would love to show you more but we have other towns to share.  You will just have to visit the real thing or visit me. :-)

Of course we had to have Pizza in Pisa.   Yes, as we sat and ate we could admire the Leaning Tower.  Very surreal.

My laundry update as I am sure that all you really came to find out.  Washing I am now up to do but now you should see my ironing pile. lol.  Thats where I will be today.

Take care.

Oh! Happy Birthday Mike......wishing you a wonderful day/s.


  1. Great pics, Merry
    am so envious of your trip ;-)

  2. How awesome!!!

    I especially love the cathedral pictures and the tower is so cool, love the pic, so nice to see you too!!!

    mmmm pizza!

  3. Thanks for your kind words, Merry. I will still follow your blog with interest. Sorry I don't comment much but I do like what you post.

  4. Lovely photos - I'm so very very jealous!! Thanks for the historical commentary too, it's really interesting!! The worn steps were fascinating, imagine how many thousands of people have used those stairs for them to wear like that. Awesome - thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi Merry, wow, what a trip, these pics are amazing, thanks so much for sharing, it must have been wonderful to see so many beautiful place.........good luck with the ironing, oh boy do I hate tht

  6. This is one place I have also been and I thought the same thing...the other buildings make the tower look small. I also thought there would be more of a lean to the tower! Love your pics! Keep them coming! :) Happy b-day to your brother too!!

  7. thanks for the interesting information

  8. Such fab photos you have taken, TYFS. I have been reading each day so far but at work and the commenting feature is blocked.


Thanks for much for visiting my little part of the world. I really appreciate the time you have taken to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you and if you are new I really like the fact I can now visit your blog too.


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