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the leaning tower... I am finally going to climb it!!!

I have been to Pisa twice.

The first time was in 1999 during my very first trip to Europe. I stopped there on my way to Lucca after leaving Vernazza (Cinque Terre). When arriving at the train station, I locked my bags up in a storage locker, took the bus to the Piazza dei Miracoli, and saw la Torre pendente di Pisa (the Leaning Tower of Pisa) for the very first time. Although I was thrilled to see this amazing tower in person, I was also quite shocked by the *Disneyland atmosphere* of the area. The place was packed with tourists and silly little stands selling trinkets. I knew in advance that the tower was closed for climbing but I still had to at least see it in person. I did not spend much time in Pisa during that visit although I did take a quick peek inside the Cathedral and the Baptistery.

The following year, I returned to Pisa on a daytrip from Vernazza. During this visit, I spent more time inside the Cathedral, I heard the the custodian on duty demonstrate the echo effects inside the Baptistery, and I visited one of the museums (I believe it was the Opera Museum). I had a wonderful time that day. I still however did not veer outside of the Piazza dei Miracoli except to take the bus back to the train station. Again the tower was unfortunately not open for climbing.

This summer I am very excited about returning to Pisa for a daytrip while staying in Lucca AND I am going to finally climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the most famous tower in all of Italy!!

If I have counted correctly, I have climbed 23 towers in Italy. This is not counting the towers that are only accessible by elevator, the towers which in my book do not really count as towers to climb like the tower I visited last year in Genova. I have also climbed the church domes of the Duomo in Florence and St. Peter's Basilica. Someday, I will do a post about all of the towers I have climbed.

I need to make a reservation to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I am thinking of doing a 7pm climb. A climb at dusk was recommended to me by a few fellow Slow Travelers on the Slow Travel Board. I am hoping 7 pm will be a good time. That way, I can get back to Lucca for dinner and I won't have to worry about missing the last train back to Lucca that evening.

Not only am I extremely excited about climbing this very famous tower but I am also excited to finally explore more of Pisa. Gloria (fellow Slow Traveler) has written wonderful information about what to do in Pisa on her Behind the Tower blog. She has also written this great article: Pisa, More than the Leaning Tower! for Slow Travel. The best part is that I am also planning to meet Gloria the afternoon of my visit to Pisa for a gelato and a walk around Pisa. That is like the icing in the cake!!! I have so enjoyed all of Gloria's posts over the years on Slow Travel and am very excited to finally meet her in person.

This is a photo I took back in 1999 during my very first visit to Pisa (with a film camera). I must have tipped my camera to one side while taking this photo in order to make the tower level (like a good photographer should). I had no idea I did this until I returned home and had my photos developed! This is the scanned version of my photo, which I then adjusted to make the tower lean again using Photoshop Elements.

pisa2.jpg

Happy Weekend everyone!!!

Comments (12)

Hi - thinking of you. :)

I climbed the tower in '86 and again in '07 with Alessandro.

We have some great photos taken as it was during daylight. I could see clearly for miles. :)

And I was there for the day in '92 with my family. My boys were very young on that trip and the tower was closed but we still enjoyed the cathedral. :)

I am so excited for you! I didn't climb it when I was there and I wish I had. I too was surprised at all the stalls filled with cheapo junk surrounding that place. I loved hearing the acoustics in the Baptistery. 23 towers is amazing - can't wait to see your post about that.

Have a great weekend!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Girasoli, very cool that you will be re-visiting Pisa and will be able to climb the tower for the first time and get to meet another fellow Slow Traveler. You will totally enjoy the climb, which I thought was a unique experience. You can literally feel the lean as you climb up. It was very cool! The vew is spectacular from the top. I am so envious of your trip back to Italy...
Have a great weekend! :)

Barb Cabot:

I think this is what you would call a "monumental event". Happy climbing. Seems like you've chosen an ideal appointed time. I can hardly wait to see the photos. You're so lucky. I'm thrilled for you.

sandrac:

Wow -- 23 towers climbed in Italy, that's remarkable! And your trip is coming up fast, just 23 more days until you leave!

I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time when you get to climb the Pisa tower.

Third time's the charm, eh?!

I can't wait to see your post on all the towers you have climbed. Even though I'm an acrophobic, I do enjoy seeing other people's adventures in tower climbing. I wished I could get over my fear because I know I miss so much.

How great to meet with Gloria and have some time with her in Pisa. I enjoyed reading her very informative article on Pisa. Please say hi to her from me!

I am so excited for you! As I told you, we climbed it last year one morning. Climbing it at dusk is a great idea!You are going to love it!

Leslie, I remember your story about climbing the tower. Would love to see some photos on your blog.

menehune, thanks! It was a long weekend in the hot weather but also fun! My sister got two silvers and two golds!

Annie, I didn't realize you have been to Pisa. I have been trying to figure out just how to blog about the towers I have climbed. I have photos of quite a few of the climbs. Maybe i should do them one by one. Of course that could take a while! Glad you ended up participating in photohunt. I just couldn't pass it up either!

Kathy, thanks! I am excited to feel the lean. I really can't wait.

Barb, it will definitely be monumental! Could even be in my top 10 Italy experiences! I hope I will be able to take some great photos!

sandra, thanks! Yep, 23 towers although they were not all very tall towers. I need to break them down more into categories.

María,, my friend Katia has a fear of climbing towers although she has gone part way up with me for some towers. Guido usually goes to the top with me. I will be happy to share my photos so that you can virtually travel with me to the tops of many of the towers I have climbed.

candi, I am so excited also! I hope my climb is as fun as yours was. Did you take photos and how was the view in the morning? If it didn't cost so much, I would climb it twice. I still might though...

Oh how fun! I went to Pisa when I was 12, still remember it very well! The tower was closed then, too, I think. Great to hear it is open and that you will conquer it :)

Dani from Poland:

In Poland we also have a leaning tower. It's even more leaned than this in piza ;P Just watch for Yourself http://anglopolish.com/index.php/archive/7-architecture/134-the-leaning-tower-in-toru

Dani, thank you so much for your comment. I also appreciated the link. If I ever get to Poland, I will definitely want to visit this tower.

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