The Leaning TowerJuly 16, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C
We had to be up early today to get to the train station. Seeing as that it was Sunday morning, the streets were quiet with the exception of church bells tolling.
We boarded our train to Pisa and had a nice hour ride through some small towns and the countryside. We got to see the mountains again and fields of solar panels along the way. It's so sunny here it's hard to believe there aren't more solar panels in use! We've had blue skies for our entire trip!
It was around noon when we pulled into the Pisa train station. We walked about half an hour into the city so we could see the famous Leaning Tower. Our tickets to climb the Tower weren't until 3:45, so we wandered the square a bit and tried to dodge all the people taking the "I'm holding the Tower up!" photos.
We decided to go off the beaten path for lunch and on our way, we ran into a Fiat parade! I don't know how many there were, but they were all colours and they were all honking their horns - quite the sight! We also happened across two Ferraris that we had seen driving earlier. Evan was pretty pumped to get his picture taken beside them!
Finally we found this hole in the wall restaurant that we'd been looking for. It's so tiny that you mostly just see people taking their food to go, although there are two tiny tables on either side. This places specializes in all sorts of charcuterie. They had over 50 sandwiches on their menu! I got a pistachio mortadella with smoked cheese and eggplant; Brad had salami with roasted peppers; and Evan chose prosciutto and cheese. They were huge meaty delights! We are ours in a nearby park in the shade.
We explored a bit more of the city, which is a university town. The University of Pisa dominates the central area, and it's be interesting to be there when university was in session. Instead of tourists everywhere there'd be students, I imagine. There were also tons of touristy souvenir shops selling the Leaning Tower in many forms (pencils, keychains, bags, you name it).
On our travels we came across a very Anglo coffeehouse, so we popped in and had iced lattes (these are basically non-existent in Italy) which was a nice break from all the espresso shots we've been having. Evan had a lemonata (lemonade) while he tried to catch up on his journaling.
Feeling refreshed, we made our way back through the tourist hordes to go into the cathedral that is next to the Tower. The alter was especially decorative, although I'm not sure you can really see it in my pictures.
Our time to climb the Tower neared, so we checked all our bags and got in line. We got into the base of the Tower and were given a very short history of the Tower, and then we were allowed to climb the steep 250 steps to the first lookout. The staircase was very narrow and winding as you could feel the tilt, so you had to be careful as you went. However, the view was worth it! It was neat to walk around because it was like being on a fair ride that undulates. Evan was less keen about going right up to the barrier, but Brad and I enjoyed the view.
You also had the option to go up to the very top level, so we climbed more stairs to get there. Here you were right next to the huge bells that reside at the top. This view was even more spectacular than the first level, though Evan might disagree! We walked around the top for a bit before making our descent. It was quite the experience!
After we collected our bags, we slowly made our way towards the train station. We stopped a few times to fill our water bottles at the public fountains and we also stopped for gelato. We took our time to enjoy the sights of Pisa, which is small but pretty.
We finally caught our train at 5:55 and headed back to Florence. Our train home was more of a milk run, so it took a bit longer to get home than it did to get to Pisa.Read more