Peace! Pisa…!

Leaning Tower of PisaWe excitedly started our journey to Pisa in the Tuscany region of Italy to see the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa! It’s one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

Well, I’d imagined the Tower be really gigantic, comparable to the Eiffel Tower we’d seen last year. But, no, this one was cuter and looked tameable! ūüôā

The Tower stands tall and attractive at 56 metres. A classic example of Pisa-Romanesque architecture, it¬†leans at 3.97 degrees from the verticle.¬†The construction work began somewhere in 1173 and went on for 200 years!!! ¬†Even now, some renovation work happens on and off – perhaps to ensure the Tower doesn’t lean way too much!

Cathedral-Pisa

Baptistery-Pisa

We decided to go to the top of the tower. We booked our slots for this (about two hours in advance) by paying 15 euros each. Meanwhile, we visited the nearby Cathedral and¬†Baptistery¬†that were built even before the Tower. We could see a zillion people at the Pisa’s Cathedral Square, some of whom were seen giving typical poses for the camera – a¬†striking pose was one of stopping the Tower¬†from falling using one’s palms/hands! (Optical illusion aside, that was quite a sight for us!) The souvenir shops, as always, attracted me. We ended up buying a few miniature Towers. ūüôā

View from Pisa Tower

It was time to pat and say ciao (hello in Italian) to the Tower. We waited in queue (a short one luckily!) to explore the monument from inside. A steep flight of stairs stared at us as we went in. We knew we had to climb some 297 steps to reach to the top. Ah, our excitement only increased! We enjoyed every view of the little city from varying heights of the Tower. The Tower seemed to lean and drag us sideways as we were ascending and later descending! Well, the climb to the topmost level (seventh floor) did demand all the attention, as the staircase was getting narrower and slippery. But the effort was well worth it as we enjoyed some of the best picturesque views the Tower could offer us!

Advertisements

Roaring Rome

True, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

It seemed like a very well planned city to me. The roads were broad enough for easy movement of pedestrians and vehicles alike. Majestic buildings greeted us in almost every street! Rome, the capital city of Italy, was indeed roaring with exuberance.

         The Colosseum (exterior)                       The Colosseum (interior)

The Colosseum, the Forum and the Palatine Hill form the formidable trio that possess a wealth of history Рhistory of over two-and-half-thousand years and not to be trivialized in any sense! We went back through the Roman times as we traversed these historical sites. The Colosseum was an elliptical amphitheatre and it was used for gladiatorial contests! The Forum used to be the hub of commercial activities and overlooking it was/is the Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome.These are unmissable monuments/sites for a curious traveller; two-three hours can be easily spent in each of them.

The Forum

Just one ticket bought either at the Colosseum or the Forum stands valid for 48 hours from the time it’s validated.¬†The Colosseum is usually crowded; it’s wise to buy tickets at the Forum instead and start your historic journey from here.

Piazza NavonaThere are several piazzas (city squares) in Rome where you could just hang out and relax. Piazza del Popolo; Piazza di Spagna; Piazza della Repubblica; Piazza Navona; etc are worth a visit. We found Piazza Navona to be very lively what with cartoonists, painters, stunts men/women, musicians, etc busy showcasing their talent.

Interestingly, every other street in Rome had a small-but-clean fountain!¬†The Trevi Fountain was indeed a crowd-puller. It’s believed that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they’re bound to visit Rome again. Needless to say, yours truly too fell for the belief, and the act was snapshot for posterity! ūüôā It seems around 3,000 euros are thrown into this Fountain everyday! Gosh!

Trevi Fountain

Every government office (governo ufficio in Italian) in Rome looked monumental and well guarded. Touristy areas were patrolled by the police at all times. Btw, we happened to see the President’s office too as we strolled into the several streets of the city!

We stayed for three days at a resort on the outskirts of Rome, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. We treated ourselves to some very good vegetarian Italiano food.

Well, I ‘believe’ we will return to this great place one fine day! Amen!