February 27, 2016

Pisa pit stop

Pisa is a bit of a paradox.

The leaning tower is probably the most iconic landmark in Tuscany. Yet, as a destination, there’s really not much else to explore in the city.

But how can you NOT visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa?!?!?

My days in Florence are coming to an end, but I just couldn’t say no grazie to taking the one-hour train journey to the Square of Miracles in Pisa. A short ride from Pisa Centrale train station on the red LAM bus (getting off at the Torre stop) drops you a few hundred yards from the tower that leans. And it actually leans a lot!

You can climb up the tower for a small fee, but my legs/feet needed a rest. Instead, I chose to take a few snaps and a few moments to enjoy all the folks contorting to “hold up” the tower.

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This is what I love so much. You’ve got people from all over the world, but they’re all united in doing the same thing and having a great time doing it. I think that’s what I treasure most about traveling … the constant reminders that we’re all so much more alike than different.

It also reminds me of another thing I love: the static camera that’s pointed 24/7 at the famous Abbey Road “zebra crossing” in London. Again, no matter where they’re from, everyone who visits is a Beatles fan (yeah! yeah! yeah!), and they all cross the road and pose for their photos in the exact same way. TIP: It’s actually a very busy road!

BONUS: If you’re a Beatles freak like me, listen for the nat sound on the camera feed on Tuesday and Saturday mornings at approximately 7:00 a.m. CT. There’s a man named Richard Porter who leads a fab-ulous Beatles walk, and the camera’s microphone usually picks up his audio as he leads the tour through that part of the city. If you’re ever in London, I think his group tours are so much fun, and they only cost 10 GBP per person.

As for Pisa, I’m glad I devoted a few of my remaining hours to visit such an iconic place. I may never return to Pisa, but I sure hope this visit to Florence isn’t my last.