But while the Cattedrale di Pisa with its iconic Torre di Pisa is a beautiful sight, it was the city itself which caught me off guard. Pisa is a stunning city full of houses in all the warm shades of orange.
Cattedrale di Pisa
Pisa is best known for the leaning bell tower which is a part of the Cathedral of Pisa and stands at the Piazza del Duomo which from 1910 has been better known as Piazza dei Miracoli – the Square of Miracles and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The construction of the famous bell tower was begun in 1173 and took 199 years to complete. A fact which it seems has allowed for the tower to actually survive through construction despite the fact that it already began to lean after the first five years.
That it took so long was mostly due to unrest in the region and continuous battles between Pisa and the surrounding city states.
Since its construction the tower has continued to lean further and further and there have been several attempts to stabilise it or straighten it. But it was not until 2001 that engineers managed to stabilise the tower. The fact that it is still leaning is due to the Italian government wanting to keep the tower as the massive tourist attraction that it has become.
Today the tower has stopped moving and is held in its 1838 position.
The tower is stunning in its lopsidedness, but what really struck me was the complete impression of all the four monumental religious structures on this grassy piece of land. It seems completely at odds with the warm glow of Pisa’s narrow streets to enter this large area dominated with enormous white and grey marble edifices.
The contrast between the warm and welcoming Pisa and the harsh and cold presence of the Piazza dei Miracoli.