Tuesday, January 4, 2011

the tower, my souvenir & a history of footsteps.

pisa. i took a day trip out to see the leaning tower. it's funny, it's such a common image that i've seen all throughout my life and when i realized i'd be fairly close to it i was overwhelmed with excitement to see it in person. this really amused me. i was excited to see the leaning tower of pisa. i had no real idea.

so i drive to pisa and i get there easily enough, it was about an hour and a half from where i was staying. but the funny thing is, is that when i drive into pisa, i think "oh, i'll just look for the tower looming over the city and drive to it." wrong. nothing is all that tall in italy, well at least where i was. so, i drove straight by the tower about 3 times until i stopped and actually realized i couldn't see it.

but first i did just stop into town and grab a bite to eat. ravioli, delicious. pisa was cool. it was by far the most chic place i visited in italy. the women actually stood out to me there. it just struck me as fashionable unlike the other places i had seen. this is just my experience and opinion.

so, get to the piazza dei miracoli (the miracle square) and as i enter i realize how short this thing actually is. i mean, it's not tiny, i guess i was just looking for something reminiscent of the buildings i'm used to in philadelphia. but, nonetheless, it is absolutely gorgeous. i mean, it's clean, white. beautiful and in this square that houses a basilica, a cathedral and a huge crypt. the grass is beautiful and i find out later that this park is also known for it lush green natural carpet.

and all the tourists are lined up taking pictures of themselves pretending to push the tower over or pretending to lean against it. i opt to not do this. after all, i am alone.

so i get my ticket and go in and what immediately strikes me is how the stairs are worn away as each tourist walks up and down them and favors the side in which the tower leans. it's super cool to me, this history. a history of footsteps. not only do we have this beautiful tower with this great story (the tower began to lean during construction in 1178.-_it took 177 years to complete this bell tower-and it wasn't until 1990 that the tower was stabilized in the ground as to not tilt any further) but, we have this path we all walk as we ascend to the peak for an absolutely lovely and for those with a fear of heights (ahem...me) slightly nauseating view of the city of pisa and this miracle square.

and so i saw it & it was funny to me & it impressed me & i bought my first souvenir that day- a miniature leaning tower of pisa for 3 euro. it made me laugh, i was alone and i walked back to the rental car in hysterics at it all.

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