Monday, December 15, 2008


I was able to get an afternoon off while working in Florence and made a quick trip to Pisa.

I took the slow train which meant it made a few stops and took about an hour and a half. There might not be a fast train... I'm glad though - the scenery was great...

And we went through some very cool looking little towns and train stations...

I had a great calzone and some chiante at a little restaurant where they pointed me toward the tower. They only spoke Italian, so I pointed to a picture of the tower on the back of a map I'd bought... :-)

The walk from the train station goes over the Arno (same river that runs through Florence). I think this is a really nice photo - you can click on it to enlarge...

I liked these signs. Is it common for street signs to indicate the 'star' rating of hotels?

The route takes you through the University district. It looks like a cool place to go to school and a friend told me it's one of the best Universities in Italy. A girl almost ran into me on the sidewalk because she was walking with her head down studying the periodic table.

The medical school.

Now I'm sure I'm going the right way!

I was a little surprised that there was a big church next to the leaning tower. I think I've only seen photos of it alone so it looks like it is just standing all by itself. Actually there are 3 large structures in addition to the tower:

The Duomo... (A church. I embarrassed myself thinking duomo meant dome...)

The baptistry... (dome shaped in rear...)

And a walled cemetery I didn't get a shot of. The entire piazza (plaza or square) is walled, which you can a see a bit of behind the Baptistry in the photo above.

This shot really shows how it was leaning and then they built on to it later going vertical. I know what happened: The project manager said he wouldn't pay to fix what had had gone on before. Like project managers everywhere, he just wanted to get his part built as fast as possible so he could move on and leave the mess with the owners to clean up.

Engineer, "We can't build on this, the base is leaning."
P.M., "It won't lean any more. Just get to it."
Engineer," How do you know it won't lean any more?"
P.M., "You're not a team player. You're transferred to the quarry."

Good call.... lol
I walked up to the top of the tower...

The tower is the bell tower for the church (something else I didn't know), and the top is ringed with large bells (no pun intended!).

Some kid climbed on this railing (which I wouldn't even LEAN on) trying to get a better photo and the guide came absolutely unglued - screaming at him: Are you stupid? Do you want to die? I think the correct answers were yes and not really.

Nice views from the top. The walking surface is really noticeably slanted when you are on it.

Another beautiful place I should have spent a couple days at and had to pretty much race through.... There sure is a lot to see :-)

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