To the north, Pisa

Day 4 – May22 – Pisa – It’s a long bus ride to Pisa, about five and a half hours. There is plenty to see on the way, however.

The country side is beautiful with flat plains and rolling hills and every color of the rainbow in the landscape.

The tower of Pisa was built as the bell tower for the Pisa Cathedral.

It was started on August 9, 1173 and finished in 1372. Construction stopped many times and for a hundred years at one point. There were wars and problems in Italy as it was being built.

It began to lean almost from the beginning. The soil was too soft for such a tall and narrow building.

If construction hadn’t stopped, the completed building would have toppled over. The walls at the bottom are over eight feet thick.

Ditisalvi is thought to be the architect. He designed the bell tower of San Nicola and the Baptistry at Pisa.

The tower is the third oldest building of the three great buildings at Pisa.

The height of the tower on the low side is 183.27 feet and 185.93 on the taller side.

The tower has survived four strong earthquakes.

There are 296 steps to the top and I can vouch for that.

My wife climbed it in high heel shoes. The railings are less than adequate as far as I am concerned and I was very happy to get down after some photos were taken by my wife.

The tower was closed for sometime in order to stop the leaning. It was a tricky job, but the tower was saved. For at least two hundred years, anyway, or so say the engineers.

It is open again for your enjoyment, but wear sensible shoes when you climb it, please.