Pisa is a legendary city in central Italy known worldwide for the Leaning Tower. But it has a great deal of other sites than the legendary leaning tower. Pisa has historic churches, palaces and bridges across the Arno river that it straddles. It also offers some beautiful scenery along the Arno River. “Pisa” means mouth and it is believed that it got its name as it is located at the mouth of the Arno river. It was originally a very powerful maritime nation.
From Rome , we drove to Pisa.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
This famous leaning tower is actually a campanile or bell tower of the Pisa Cathedral located adjacent to it in the Cathedral Square or Piazza del Duomo along with the Baptistery.
The Tower, Cathedral and Baptistery are UNESCO World Heritage sites. The architecture of the tower is beautiful with the six rows of stone arches and one can climb on top to get great views of the city.
The tower began to lean in the 12th century due to the soft ground which could not support the structure’s weight. It worsened through the completion of construction in the 14th century. However, this same soft soil helped it survive four strong earthquakes!
By 1990, the tilt had reached 5.5 degrees. Restoration work has reduced it to 3.97 degrees. Restoration work has also been undertaken to undo the corrosion and blackening due to exposure to wind and rain.
The average height of the tower is 56 metres and has 296 steps.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
The entrance to the tower
The winding stairway
The other important structure at the Cathedral square is the Pisa Cathedral. The real name of the Cathedral is Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. It very often gets over shadowed by its own bell tower which is the Leaning tower of Pisa.
The exterior of the Cathedral is ornate with a series of stone and marble arches and bronze doors. The ceiling is done in gold and the interior of the dome has a beautiful fresco .
The Pisa Cathedral
The beautiful arches
The entrance to the cathedral
The beautiful frescoes inside
The other structure in the Cathedra Square, the Baptistery was also built along with the leaning tower and has a great exterior design with statues, arches and decoration. The dome is half covered with orange tiles and the other half remains bare. It has never been completed.
Campo Santo ( holy field)
Located at the edge of the Cathedral square is this monumental cemetery said to have been built around sacred soil where bodies rot in just 24 hours. This structure stands where the original Cathedral once stood. It has a large courtyard bordered with artistic arches and inner walls are decorated with frescoes and sculptures.
The artistic arches
We had a short visit to the Cathedral Square in Pisa and headed to Milan.
But there was something interesting which we visited at Italy which has still not found a place in my blog. So , let me add that here. It might interest the car enthusiasts among my readers.
The Ferrari Museum
Located at Maranello, this is a Ferrari company museum dedicated to its sports cars. It has various race cars exhibited besides trophies and photographs related to car racing. Technological innovations in the field are also show cased here.
Some pictures :
Entrance to Museo Ferrari
Some displayed models
The Ferrari factory
With this, we move on to Milan, our final destination in Europe. See you next week at Milan. Till then do subscribe, comment and give your feedback.