Pisa, Italy

Day 65, Wednesday November 8, 2017

The train to Pisa takes about an hour and Bob is happy to relax and watch the scenery instead of concentrating on driving. We cross the Arno River walking into the old town.While trying to decide which way we needed to go I looked up and figured it out. We could just see the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa over the roof tops.It really does lean a lot! It is interesting to see how one side of the tower has sunk into the ground.On our way to get tickets we pass this very large sculpture called The Fallen Angel by Igor Mitoraj. There are windows in the tower as we climb and it is rather disorienting to see pillars at a slant.The marble steps have worn away with more than seven centuries of use.251 steps later and we are at the top of the Tower with the seven bells that chime in the morning and at noon every day.The views from the top of the tower are wonderful.  We spend quite a bit of time up here, just enjoying the views and the fact that we are sitting on top of the ‘Leaning tower of Pisa.’ I remember feeling like I was more tilted when we were here so many years ago and I just realized why. The tower was still tilted at 10 degrees off vertical then and now it is only 5 degrees. The lean was decreased by 14 inches in 2010 so that it was once more safe for the public to climb. We were here in 1981 when it had more of a tilt.
Follow the horizon line along the fence grid and you can see how much of a tilt the tower has.I am surprised that I don’t feel at all uncomfortable even standing so close to the edge of the tower!Here are the steps leading down from the top, just 251 of them!The Pisa Duomo is very impressive as well.This shadow on the pillar caught Bob’s attention…
and I once more marvel at stone pillars that have are polished smooth and shiny from countless hands over the centuries.The church walls are lined with enormous old paintings. The big image of Jesus is actually a covering for an area where restoration work is taking place. It is a replica of the real image that it covers.We always need to remember to look up, and here we are rewarded with a view of this incredible ceiling.I needed to take at least one photo of some of the tourists getting their picture taken “holding” up or “pushing over” the tower. They do look quite comical. We were way up at the railing just at the base of the narrower area where the bells are located.
There is a shop near here called Il Papiro, that sells marbled paper and hand made books. Their paper is pretty but the marbled paper my friends and I make is really just as nice. That was a bit of a surprise and made me feel pretty good.It is starting to get dark as we head back over the Arno towards the train station for our trip back to Firenze.  

We take a bus home from the train station but somehow managed to get on one going the wrong direction!  So the ride home that should have taken a half hour took almost two hours!  We are blaming our mistake on all the construction around the train station, but we really have to be more careful checking we have the correct bus direction before it is too late. Oh well, if that it the worse thing that happens on our holidays I guess I won’t complain.