September 2018 – After our day spent in The Cinque Terre UNESCO World Heritage Site, I was’nt too sure what we would do, as we had planned to make it a two day trip, but in the end one day was enough. Husband had a plan, he had been looking at the map book and suddenly said …….do you fancy Pisa….I thought he meant pizza…..a bit early for one…..no Pisa, as in leaning. It was about 100 miles (about 2 hrs) away, but the motorways here are very good and he loves to drive, so the answer was…. yes please. Pisa was on my bucket list, as Florence had been, but Florence had been crossed off in 2016. As we came into Pisa from the motorway, you can see the tower in the very distance, and then I realised there were no really high rise buildings, or it seemed that way to me. There was a lot of traffic, and we couldn’t find anywhere to park, going around the block for the fourth time, I suddenly noticed down a side road what looked like a small car park. We did find a small half empty car park, you had to pay, but it was nothing compared to driving around looking for a free car space. So with husband happy again, we were tying to work out where we were, when I looked up and said….I guess we make tracks for that…..the tower was looming over the car park.
The Baptistry was the first building that we saw when entering a complex of a walled 8.87-hectare area, I had thought the square would be surrounded by buildings, as the cathedral was in Florence. I was quite surprised with how much grass there was, and how spacious it all felt. There were lots of tourists, but because of the space, it was a totally different feeling to that the Cinque Terre villages. Piazza del Duomo is also a UNESCO World Heritage site and is one of the finest architectural complexes in the world, and yes, when you see it for the first time, it does take your breath away. Walking past the Baptistry you then come to the wonderful Romanesque Cathedral. Luckily the large doors were open, due to the heat as it was over 36 degrees, and everybody was taking photos through the gap, including me. Unfortunately no cameras were allowed inside any of the buildings, although I did see a great many people using their phones, guess thats the way to get round it.
As we turned the corner of the Cathedral, we saw the tower. I was amazed, I didn’t realise have far it was leaning, you see photos, but actually seeing it, is totally different and it’s beautiful. The tower was already tilting when it was completed in 1372, but stabilisation work means that it’s leaning slightly less than it used to, but it still looks a lot to me. I have taken quite few photos of the tower, as the stonework is amazing, even if it is leaning 🙂 I have also added a few photos of the City of Pisa that I managed to take from the car window….. I have been promised a return visit. On our way back to the vineyard, the was one more stop….. another UNESCO site…..to continue.