Travel G-spots

TRAVEL DIARY: Pisa, Italy

Pisa – a city of just under 100,000 people is by far the most boring place I have been in Italy.

Besides the Piazza Dei Miracoli – a small square – that houses the Duomo, the Bell Tower (Leaning Tower of Pisa) and the Baptistery, there is little else on offer in Pisa. Hence, had it not been for the ridiculous photo poses by tourists who seems to adopt the safety by numbers philosophy of forgetting any self dignity and composure once in the grounds of Piazza Dei Miracoli, I would have had a tough time occupying my time there.

Face it, though it is the lowest tower in Europe that had gain notoriety, one MUST visit Pisa to assess with one’s own eyes how bad the lean is. The curiosity and of course for some the appeal of walking on a tight rope post the collapse the Civic Tower of Pavia has brought throngs and throngs of people to this 7 Wonders of Middle Ages.

Prepared the second time around (yes, admittedly I have visited the Leaning Tower of Pisa twice), I decided to peel my eyes for some interesting human behaviour other than the oh-so-boring I am either supporting or pushing the tower and not to be described crude poses… and it didn’t take much effort as it appears that some interesting culture manifestation was happening just outside the walls of Piazza Dei Miracoli – long live Warhol, Mao, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and Rastafarians, side-by-side!

But, if you must know … here’s some facts about the Leaning Tower of Pisa …

Pisa got its name in 600BC from the Greek word meaning “marshy land” … appropriate as not only is the tower leaning, the Cathedral and the Baptistery in the grounds are also sinking! {yep, it wasn’t your camera or the arch of your head}

Original height at 60.00m, now at 56.67m on the highest side and 55.86m on the lowest side.

Diameter (base) – 15.48m

Width of walls (base) – 2.44m

Weight – approximately 14,500 tonnes

297 steps from bottom to top

Architectural style – Medieval in Romanesque

Constructed between 1173 to 1399 in three phases; 1st phase by Bonanno Pisano and Gherardo di Gherardo, 2nd phase by Gioranni Pisano and Giovanni di Simone, and finally by Tommasa Pisano

on the Stabilizing Bloopers

1298 – 1st study is convened to determine the cause of lean, even before the full completion of the tower’s construction.

1838 – Alessandro Della Gherardesca dug out a walkway at the base of the tower to allow visitors to look at the intricate base. Workers hit a subterranean water channel causing water to flood the pathway and nearly topple the tower.

1934 – Mussolini ordered to stabilise the tower in his aim to regain national pride by drilling 361 holes at the base and filling them up with 90 tonnes of cement. The base of the tower shattered causing it to be one of the most disastrous attempts to stabilise the tower. No one dared to protest as Mussolini owned the cement factory!

1990 – Engineers used soil extraction to coax the tower back to perpendicular stated – Failed miserably.

1990 – Tower closed to tourists after the collapsed of Civic Tower of Pavia; bringing home the realities and danger of the leaning tower. $30 million was invested to stabilise the tower.

1995 – Engineers anchor tower to the ground with high tensile steel cable. Tower leaned by 4mm to the south!

2001 – Tower reopens to tourist and is today by far the most stabilised state the tower has ever been.

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This entry was posted on November 14, 2015 by in Europe, My Musing, TRAVEL DIARY and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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