Pisa Journals

Pisa-More than a Leaning Tower

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A July 1999 trip to Pisa by unorthodox traveler

Albergo Gronchi Photo, Pisa, Italy More Photos
Quote: I almost blew off tourist mobbed Pisa...whats the big deal about a leaning building that all of us have seen in pictures a thousand times? But for whatever reason I was drawn to this beautiful city and have no regrets.There is much for here than a leaning tower.

Pisa-More than a Leaning Tower

Overview

Quote:
The Leaning Tower, walking around this beautiful city, going through the duomo, the baptistry, the Camposanto,a cloistered cemetery, the Museo dell'Opera, the Chiesa di Santa Church.

Quick Tips:

This is a city in which to walk for you will discover all kinds of treasures beyond the Leaning Tower. It is truly a beautiful city to experience. I was pleasantly surprised that once I left the Tower area, there were virtually no tourists.

Best Way To Get Around:

I arrived by train from Florence...a one hour ride. I walked from the train station to the center of town...perhaps a 15 minute walk.

Albergo Gronchi

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Hotel

Albergo Gronchi Photo, Pisa, Italy
Quote:
Upon arriving late in the day, my first thought was finding a reasonable place to stay in this tourist-crowded city. But I had to first see the Leaning Tower. After being very impressed, I walked a block and suddenly came to this hotel within sight of the Leaning Tower. Although I expected the room rate to be too high for my budget,I NEVERTHELESS checked it out. Was I pleasantly surprised! The rate for a single was only around $12 and there was a room available. The manager joked that if the tower fell,the top would hit this hotel, so I had better be prepared for this possibility. Yes, this place is that close to the Leaning Tower. And this place was no dump...very clean and pleasant rooms with a qu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 5, 2001

Albergo Gronchi
P.Archivescovado
Pisa, Italy
(050) 561-823

Mensa Universitaria

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Restaurant

Quote:
After soaking up the incredible sites in Pisa, eventually you will have to eat. And if your on a limited budget, the place to go is the Mensa Universitaria...Pisa's university cafeteria. Directions: Walk through the Palazzo d-Orologio and turn right. You need to buy a meal ticket at the red-shutttered windows outside, then walk up to the second or third floor for very inexpensive food. One ticket, around $6, bought me two meals including fruit,cheese and a bottle of beer. This place can't be beat for a great meal at a great price.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 5, 2001

Mensa Universitaria
V. Martiri
Pisa, Italy

Leaning Tower of Pisa

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Attraction

Leaning Tower of Pisa Photo, Pisa, Italy
Quote:
The first sight of this famous Leaning Tower are the many huge cables that help keep this tower from falling down. There was deep holes around the base of the tower where heavy cement support beams were being placed.Tourists are no longer allowed in the tower and there is a fence preventing anyone from getting too close. However, none of this was a major distraction...this tower is really beautiful,far beyond the countless photos I have seen over the years. Intended as the campanile of the nearby duomo, this tower was begun by Bonanno Pisano in 1173 and had reached the height of 30 feet when the soil beneath enexpectedly dropped...due in part by the fact that this area was once und...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 5, 2001

Leaning Tower of Pisa
Campo del Miracoli
Pisa, Italy

Duomo Santa Maria Assunta

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Attraction | "Duomo"

Quote:
The famous black and white facade of the duomo is the archetype of the Pisan-Romanesque period. Do spend the few dollars to go into the interior of this church. You can get into this church for free if you can convince the guards that your only motive is to worship... I was not too convincing. The church was begun in 1063 by Boschetto (who had himself entombed in a wall of the cathedral after his death). You enter through huge bronze doors into a five-aisled nave. Although most of the interior was destroyed by fire in 1595,paintings by Ghirlandaio, and Cimabue's mosaic Christ Pantocrator,and bits of the Cosmati remain to be seen and deeply appreciated.The cathedral's el...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 5, 2001

Duomo Santa Maria Assunta
Campo dei Miracoli
Pisa, Italy

Battistero (Baptistery)

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Attraction | "The Baptistery"

Battistero (Baptistery) Photo, Pisa, Italy
Quote:
This is an enormous building which was begun in 1152 by a man known as Deotisalvi, which means God Save You. You can almost get lost in this huge place. The buildings archecture is a blend od many styles:the lower half has typical Tuscan-Romanesque stripes and the upper half a Gothic ensemble of gables and pinnacles. Nicola Pisano's pulpit, built in 1260, is really impressive. I was there during a concert and the dome's acoustics are astounding...the choir was clear from one end of the nave to the other.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 5, 2001

Battistero (Baptistery)
Campo dei Miracoli
Pisa, Italy

Roaming Around Pisa

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Story/Tip

Walking Pisa Photo, Pisa, Italy
Quote:
As I have shared, although viewing the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and going through the baptistery and duomo, is a must-see, there are hidden treasures in this beautiful city. The attached photos tell a story of my adventures while walking without a plan or script.With eyes wide-open, I came across incredible art work over doors,archways,and places that appear to have been forgotton.I am a 'door person'...ancient doors really turn me on,doord untouched, well-worn over the centuries. Check out the photo of the beautiful balcony above an old door. I Almost missed the angel artwork at the top of a building. and the baptistery,and the Duono, is a must-see, take the time to walk around this beautiful city wi...Read More