Sunday, 31 August 2014

PISA (Other Than The Leaning Tower)

You've not been to Tuscany if you've not been to Pisa. 

Like a family member that you must pay a visit when you're in town, we spent one afternoon on the day we fly back to the UK admiring the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa and getting to know Galileo Galilei's and Andrea Bocelli's hometown.

Pisa is a quiet city whose major convenience is the international airport being just 10-15 minutes away from the centre of town. A close friend tells me that when he lived in Pisa, he walked everywhere, including to the airport.

Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), formally known as Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pisa Cathedral with the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the background

Pisa Baptisty of St. John (Battistero di San Giovanni) is the largest baptistry in Italy

And here she is, the most famous freestanding bell tower in the whole word: the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It took 199 years for the three stages of the tower's construction to finish.The tower was closed to the public in 1990 to straighten it to its year 1838 position. It was reopened in Dec 2001 after more than a decade of reconstructive work, and is now declared stable for at least 300 years.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa was introduced to me as a young girl though through Science, and not History. Galileo Galilei, the most famous son of Pisa, was said to have dropped two cannonballs from the tower as an experiment to show that the speed of descent would be the same despite having different masses. Sorry, I've got no photo to prove that.

Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, an elite educational institution in Italy where only 60 candidates are accepted each year from an average of 1,000 applicants. A normalista receive free housing, lunches and dinners, and a monthly stipend.

You're really a tourist when you're fascinated by such stunts. How many times have I walked past one in London?

The little twin bell tower is pretty

Pisa is a sleepy big town

Pisa skyline

I wouldn't have peeling paint in my home, but I always look for it in medieval towns and cities

Make it cookisses for me

Not the real deal, but certainly eye-catching on a gelateria's floor

I've stopped purchasing from H&M mainly for quality reasons, but I love the building that houses it in Pisa

And off to gloomy, cold, and grey via an airport that looks more like a shopping centre

Many thanks for joining me in this big trip to Tuscany! I hope you enjoyed or learned something from the features.

If you've just chanced upon my page, this is the final installment of the Tuscany series. Please click the following links for the rest you've missed: The Doors and Windows of Tuscany; Road Trip to Suvereto; Island Living at Isola del Giglio; and Nature Tripping at Giannutri Island.

See you next time for some more cultural and historical tours.


  1. I lived in Italy for years (Florence included) and so many memories came to me!

  2. Your Tuscany posts have been so informative and these photos show that there is much more to Pisa than the famous tower. I'm sure many people just take a photo of the tower and miss everything else! That must be one of the most attractive H&M façades!

    1. I can imagine. I think you have to know someone from the area or who has lived there so you can be taken to parts of Pisa that other tourists won't venture into :)

  3. I think that Pisa is worth seeing once but there are many places in Tuscany that I find more appealing, welcoming and would revisit.

  4. oh yes! some of these images bring back memories, especially Pisa. Hang on, I'm sure I recall you saying your photos of Pisa weren't that good, these are blooming amazing, much better than mine. They look like postcards. You were fortunate to have blue skies and sunshine when you went; it was a little overcast when I went but still warm. I only shopped in Cannes on my travels - only Mango I'm afraid but I got a lovely top. You are quite right, it's rare for me to buy in H&M now but that building in Pisa is stunning. Have a lovely weekend x

    1. Your photos were more of what I was expecting The Leaning Tower to be...older, darker, grayer and slightly foreboding. Just as how I imagined it from photos I've seen before. That's why I said yours were better. It was so hot when I was there, I didn't enjoy taking photos. Have a lovely week x


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