We jumped on a train from Naples and arrived for a very brief stop in Pisa on our way to Venice. I remembered just how confusing Venice could be from my last visit and did not fancy trying to find our hotel in the dark as the train would not arrive in until dinner time. We decided to head to Pisa, get in late afternoon and visit Pisa, stay the night and continue on wards to Venice the next morning.
The leaning tower of Pisa is another one of places that has always been on my bucket list so the chance to visit it was too good an opportunity to pass up!
We were staying right beside Pisa airport which is only a 30 minute walk from the tower, we both noticed the dramatic change between the cities as Rome and Naples were very dirty, covered in litter and graffiti where as Pisa was spotless! We must have counted about 10 street sweepers cleaning the streets, the vibe was more relaxed and it was just a lovely place to walk around.
As we entered the area where the Cathedral and tower (Pisa’s Cathedral Square) are the first thing you notice is just how much the tower leans… I know this sound a bit silly as it is called the leaning tower but the lean on it is incredible and I didn’t expect it to be as far over as it was!
When it was built, it was built straight (obviously!) but due to the land below over the years it began to sink to one side. If you walk to the base of the tower you can actually see just how steep the gradient is of the base. Crazy!
We looked up and noticed people at the top and thought it would be quite nice to go up despite it actually being quite small, maybe 6 stories?! We asked at the front where to buy the tickets and the lady pointed in the direction of the building off to the side and casually added “Ticket for top 18€”…. Say what?!?!?! We both just stared in disbelief at the price they wanted to charge, that’s MORE than a ticket up the Eiffel tower which is about double the size or almost double the price of the Colosseum!
Needless to say we decided to give climbing the tower a miss… However even if you don’t decide to pay to get into the area is free and watching the tourist’s is almost as much fun as trying to get the ‘picture’
As you start to walk around you are surrounded by people doing the ‘invisible high 5’ pose, then you have the people crouching down trying to ‘balance’ the tower on their head, some are doing hand stands, some are having a tug of war with friends while some are pretending to pick up tower with their hands…. It is quite something to see!! You also have the copy-cat tourists who will see someone’s picture then try to recreate it in the exact same spot with the same pose! There was also a group of teenagers who were running around ‘photo-bombing’ as many pictures as they could or giving a high 5 to anyone with their hand out, which amused us quite a bit! Here are some of our best ones….
Although Andy hates getting his picture taken… Especially when there is a pose involved…. Even he got into the mood and was up on top of poles trying to get the best shot. The whole experience was good fun and the cathedral and dome were also very impressive.
We sat down in the grass and just enjoyed the scenery and sun before setting off again through Pisa taking in all the quaint streets and fancy buildings. We had a spot of dinner before heading home to book our tickets to Venice for the next morning.
All in all a great wee detour on our way to Venice.