Pisa is world famous for its leaning bell tower. But, Pisa has a rich history of its own. Pisa used to be one of four marine republics in the olden times, competing against Amalfi, Venice and Genoa.
In typical Roman Catholic cathedral setting, there are three buildings built close by. One is the cathedral itself. Another is baptistery where people who have not been baptized should be baptized first before they can attend the Roman Catholic mass. Usually, there is a gate from the baptistery to the cathedral and it is called a gate to a paradise. The third building is called a bell tower.
Pisa's leaning tower is this bell tower. So there is a cathedral and baptistery as well right next to the bell tower. But people are not so interested in these two other buildings because the leaning bell tower is so famous and well known. The bell tower is almost 800 years old. The fact that it still stands is an engineering miracle.
It was packed with people who came on the bus group tours as well as on cruises. The parking lots were all full.
I spotted a lot of Africans selling goods in the parking lots as well as the merchant stands. Most of them are from Senegal, I was told, who took their life boats to cross the Mediterranean Sea seeking better economic life. I hope their decision was right.
We have already come and seen this leaning tower so the excitement was not as high. Nonetheless, how can you resist the temptation to make a little play with the leaning tower. We made our own tries. Here they are.
Trip to Pisa should be made, if possible at all, in the afternoon. If you go there in the morning, then it will be difficult to take a good photo of the leaning tower. It was fun to play with the tower. - Jeffrey