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A Pisa stopover

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June 12, 2013 by Dan

Pisa is one of those places. Well, Italy is full of those places, but Pisa is really one of those places. Pisa is, of course, famous for the leaning tower, which was first a screwup, then a weird series of makeup attempts, and now one of the Must See It Attractions in the area.

We had no plans to go to Pisa at the outset. But then we were leaving Florence on our way to the Cinque Terre, and it was a beautiful day with no real need to head all the way to the coast at the outset, and so…we decided to stop over. One quick trip to the incredibly convenient and absolutely open left luggage later, we were wandering our way through the small streets of Pisa, lost, hoping to find the Tower. We were laughing and joking around, not entirely sure where we were, when this suddenly reared up in front of us.

Leaning Tower. Holy Crap.

It is awesome. And I mean that in the stop-in-your-tracks way, not the normal California way where a great meal can be awesome, or finding an extra five dollar bill in your pants can be awesome. No. The tower is something else. Photos don’t really do it justice – it’s beautiful and strange and really not like anything I’ve ever seen.

Just as impressive, and somewhat overlooked is the Duomo. One hundred years of building effort and dozens of remodels later, it was our favorite of all of the Italian cathedrals.

Duomo ceiling

Again, pictures are pointless here. Just go, and let your mind be blown.

Of course, the place is completely full of people doing things – the Campo dei Miracoli is full of t-shirt vendors, tchotchke shops, souvenir hawkers, and hundreds of tourists, all doing the perspective hold-it-up thing with the Tower.

All the people, doing the thing

But who cares? the area is one of those things that’s absolutely, totally worth seeing.


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