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pisa - june 12 - june 13

Amy came along for the ride to Pisa, about 90 minutes from La Spezia. Even with a local map and being locals themselves Amy and Dannino, a professional cab person, got lost! Yesss!   Maybe we gringos aren’t so hopeless after all. Misery do love company. But it was cool because we got a nice if unplanned, tour of at least part of the city.

Campo dei Miracoli

The “field of miracles” is home to the Leaning Tower, the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the Camposanto (a cemetery).

It is also home to dozens of souvenir stalls, but little can detract from the incredible sight of these four buildings rising from their green lawns.

The square and its surrounding area were the site of the original, pre-Roman settlements; later on, dictates of trade and transport saw the heart of the city move closer to the river Arno.

Pisa seems to exist for the Tower but, on closer inspection it was a pretty mellow place. A university town (remember Galileo?). A nice shopping area and the Arno River. The area around the Tower does have the best lawn in Italy, so said Rick Steeves and it must be so. The Tower sure do lean. On the downhill side, the top sticks out over 12 feet below the bottom. The structure is of two concentric cylinders……a paper towel roll inside an oatmeal container with the stairs in between. Walking up the stairs (294 of them) is almost nauseating due to the lean.   It just ain’t right.   Once on top I had the strongest urge to organize the other tourists so we would not all get on the downhill side at once and risk toppling the structure. (Only 30 or so people are allowed on the tower at any one time).  And walking around the top one notes a definite uphill and downhill side. That’s not supposed to happen. But the view was good.

headed home ...

We had a couple of pretty good meals in Pisa but, by now, were thinking of home. We successfully got to the airport with only about four hours to spare and hung around until little Air Dolomiti took off for Munich. I thought Air Dolomiti might be a bust but they were polite, on time and had a great lunch. The Munich airport is huge and new and clean and nice. We had time for a beer! The flight back was Business Class aboard Lufthansa and we can’t say enough good about the seats and the service. It was an 11’50” flight and it was about as painless as it could have been.