After lunch at a small cafe on the street in Lucca. We got back on the bus and headed to Pisa.
This is the view that greeted us as we entered through the wall around the Piazza dei Miracoli.
Everyone talks about the leaning tower but the first building you see is the Pisa Baptistery of St. John. I was completed in 1363. It has a slight lean to it also.
There is a large cathedral between the baptistery and the famous tower.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral. I hadn't thought about this before but the tower leans in only one direction. As you walk around it the amount apparent lean changes to almost imperceptible.
It is harder to see from this angle but if you click on the picture above you can see that an attempt was made to straighten the tower after the first few floors were built. The results in the curved appearance. However the tower continue to lean more as the higher floors were built.
The tower used to lean 5 degrees but after some restoration and preservation work in the 1990s the lean is about 4 degrees. That means the top is about 13 ft off from the base.
We stopped for a break under this olive tree in a small cafe.
The tower construction start in 1173 but was halted for almost 100 years in 1175. The long break was because of almost constant wars between the Republics of Pisa, Genoa, Florence and Lucca.
In 1272 construction was restarted and the curve was added to compensate. Construction halted again in 1284 and the 7th floor was finally completed in 1319. The bell chamber was added in 1372.
This is the wall neat the entrance. There is Piazza dei Miracoli includes a huge lawn around the buildings.
This is the wall on the outside. I thought the plants growing out of the wall were interesting.
There is additional interesting history from modern time at Wikipedia.
If you missed any and want to catch up on the other postings in this series here are links.
Day 4 morning - Lucca
Day 3 - Cassis
Day 2 - Palma de Mallorca
Day 1 - Barcelona