Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Pisa was an easy day trip from Florence via train. We purchased open-ended tickets the day before. The train station was a short walk from the main attraction - just across the Arno. We discovered that Pisa also sported a few icons and a good bit of graffiti.

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Street cafe

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Arno River

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Madonna and Child

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Mosaic Madonna and Child

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Hidden Face

We were thrilled that we could climb the Leaning Tower. The Opera Primaziale was in charge of all of the monuments in Miracles' Square and sold timed tickets to the bell tower. About 30 folks were allowed to climb at one time. In the height of the tourist season buying tickets ahead of time is a must. The tower offered a great view of the surrounding area. Due to the lean the climb was most interesting. We also enjoyed seeing the bells.

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Approaching the Leaning Tower

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She does indeed lean

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View from the Leaning Tower

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Well worn steps

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Pisa Stadium

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Bell Gathering

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Big Bell

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Leaning View

Upon our return to ground, we sought out lunch at Osteria La Toscana down the street away from the souvenir vendors. A quiet place where we enjoyed roasted pork and potatoes and rabbit ravioli.
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Osteria La Toscana

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Pork and Potatoes

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Rabbit Ravioli

After lunch we marveled at the Cathedral. Even if Pisa did not have the Leaning Tower, the Cathedral itself would be worth seeing. The building used recycled marble and we could see leftover chiseled words. The artistry inside amazed.
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Recycled Marble

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Cathedral Interior

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Art over the altar

The Baptistry was not as ornate as the one in Florence on the inside but still interesting to see.
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Baptistry view from above

The Monumental Cemetery is still in use today. It sustained heavy damages during World War II and the Opera continues to work on the restoration of the frescoes.
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Monumental Cemetery

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Permanent Pillow

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Decorative Arches

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Fresco Restoration

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Contemporary Tribute

A museum gave more information about the fescoes and also had a costume exhibit.
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Fresco Sketch

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Period Costume

The last museum contained some of the more delicate paintings and sculptures that used to be housed in the Cathedral. The courtyard also gave us the most dramatic views of the lean in the Leaning Tower.
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Madonna and Child

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Painted Panel

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Pisa was well worth the trip and we spent all day visitng the structures and museums within the square.

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