Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pisa, Italy

I bought this one during my trip in 2004 when we visited several European countries. A terribly tiring trip, yet, if i could, i would go through it all over again!
While most of people got back home with new clothes, Ana spent most of her money on music, mugs and....yeah, postcards :)
We stayed in Italy several days (in Rome, Venice and Firenze).
Our trip to Pisa to see the leaning tower was an experience, one of a kind. Due to traffic jams and all, we literally crawled on the motorways. We arrived in Pisa, believe it or not around 2am....dark as hell, and on top of that, it was raining. We got out of the buses and followed the ones who were leading us. For some reason the walk took rather long, even though i thought we had been parked near the tower. Anyway, it was quite creepy, that at 2am, when everything is absolutely quiet, we wander the streets of a place we've never been before, not to mention how tired and sleepy we were....and please, who the hell goes sightseeing at 2am in the morning??? or maybe it was 3am actually, i cant tell exactly. But since this was like the only chance to see it, there wasnt much of a choice. So after a decent walk in the rain, we turn at a corner and....tadadaaaa!!!! There it is!!!! And my instant reaction was: THIS is IT??!! For THIS we've been walking so long in the rain? You have no idea how poor and simple and plain and unattractive it seemed. From all the pictures i had seen of it before, what was in front of me was a great disappointment. Absolutely nothing could have been seen properly. The picture on the card below is a total opposite from what we saw. But, well....I blame it on the hour and the weather. Neither the pictures we took look any good. So, it is a "memorable" experience indeed :)))
The walk back to the buses was a group of chattered students at 3am, passing by houses of people who were probably already asleep and who probably wondered, who the hell are these people making such a noise at this hour? (just for the record, it was 3 buses full of students, where approx. each bus has 45-50 do the math :)

The Tower of Pisa is the bell tower of the Cathedral, situated on the Piazza del Duomo. Its construction began in the august of 1173 and continued (with two long interruptions) for about two hundred years, in full fidelity to the original project, whose architect is still uncertain.
In the past it was widely believed that the inclination of the Tower was part of the project ever since its beginning, but now we know that it is not so. The Tower was designed to be "vertical" (and even if it did not lean it would still be one of the most remarkable bell towers in Europe), and started to incline during its construction.
Both because of its inclination, and its beauty, from 1173 up to the present the Tower has been the object of very special attention. During its construction efforts were made to halt the incipient inclination through the use of special construction devices; later columns and other damaged parts were substituted in more than one occasion; today, interventions are being carried out within the sub-soil in order to significantly reduce the inclination and to make sure that Tower will have a long life.
Piazza del Duomo is on the UNESCO whs list.

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