Skip to main content

#LightTheWorld

Tuesday Travels: Pisa is More than Forced Perspective

Photo: Through the magic of forced perspective, it appears that John is holding the Leaning Tower of Pisa in his hand
"Did you see the Leaning Tower of Pisa?" more than one person has inquired upon hearing that I recently visited Italy. The tower is an iconic symbol, but before my vacation, I couldn't tell you too much about it, other than the fact that it leans. 

It is the bell tower for the cathedral in Pisa. 


Photo: Il Duomo, or cathedral, in Pisa, with the leaning bell tower behind it
Photo: The inside of the cathedral features black and white striped columns and religious artwork

A baptistery stands across from the cathedral, or duomo. Our guide told us that in the early years, a person needed to be baptized before being allowed into the cathedral. 


Photo: The domed baptistery in Pisa
Photo: An aerial view of inside the baptistery. The octagonal font is in the center.
Built in medieval times, the tower started leaning almost immediately after construction started. Several attempts were made to straighten it, but to no avail. In recent years, the tower has been stabilized, and visitors are allowed inside to climb the crooked stairs. 


Photo: The well-worn stairs inside the tower of Pisa
We climbed many different bell towers and duomos during our time in Italy, but the experience of climbing the Leaning Tower of Pisa was unique. About half of the time, the climb felt extraordinarily difficult, and the other half, it didn't even feel like an uphill climb. I found myself naturally wanting to walk toward the inside, or toward the outside, depending on which part of the lean I was on at the time. 

Once at the top, we arrived in time to hear the bells chime twelve. Rather, one bell did all the work, while the others stood silent. That surprised (and disappointed) me a little, but it was still interesting to hear. 





Though the tower, duomo, and baptistery rightly command attention, the entire square is surrounded by an interesting wall. Once we had climbed down the tower, we took some time to notice the wall and gates. 

Photo: A high stone wall with an arched gate. A stone lion stands on top.
Now, when I hear "Leaning Tower of Pisa," no longer will I imagine a tower just standing by itself. Nor will I only think of photos that show someone "holding" the tower, or "pushing" it up. I will remember it as part of a complex of buildings. My legs will remember the climb, and my ears will remember the reverberations of the chiming bell. 

What place have you visited that was much "more" in person? I'd love to hear about it!

Comments

  1. Beautiful architecture! Thank you for giving more background on the tower. I didn't realize it had a specific purpose and was associated with other buildings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't realize that, either, prior to my vacation.

      Delete
  2. All of Italy is "much more," although i believe i enjoyed Florence the most.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Conversations are so much nicer when more than one person does the talking. :-) Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts; I'd love to hear from you!

Popular posts from this blog

Ten Things of Thankful: Home Edition

This has been a take-care-of-things-at-home week, and I'm thankful.  It feels good to tackle the mundane, yet necessary, tasks of home.  




I've done loads and loads of laundry.  (1) I'm thankful for clothes, sheets, and towels.  

I've paid bills. (2) I'm thankful for sufficient money to meet our needs.

I've de-cluttered. (3) I'm thankful that still-useful items can be shared with others.

I've done some aquarium maintenance. (4) I'm thankful for beautiful fish that provide a calming influence.

I've dusted, vacuumed, and cleaned. (5) I'm thankful for the joy that comes with a clean house.

I've tackled paperwork. (6) I'm thankful for the satisfaction that comes when tasks are completed.

I've received my ballot, and will soon vote. (7) I'm thankful to live in a free country. 

I've washed dishes.  (8) I'm thankful to have plenty of good, healthy food to eat. 

I've spent time reviewing commands with Drexel.  (9) I'm thankful …

Ten Things of Thankful: Post-Thanksgiving Edition

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. I'll jump right in:

1. I'm thankful for cooperative return policies. Several weeks ago, I mentioned that I had to return a range that I had purchased, and I hoped that the particular range was just a lemon and that the replacement wouldn't have the same problem. Well, unfortunately, it did. On the bright side, the store quickly picked up the second range and refunded my money. I'm putting appliance purchases on the back burner (!) for the moment. 

2. I'm thankful for temples. I went one morning this week to the temple. I'm always amazed at how much insight comes in just an hour or two of reflection. 

3. I'm thankful for my sister. She and her family came to Utah to spend Thanksgiving with her in-laws, and I got a chance to see her and her family on Wednesday. The last time I saw her was in January at our grandma's 100th birthday celebration. We feel lucky to have two visits in one year! 

4. I'm thankful for my brother. …

Ten Things of Thankful: Another Action-Packed Week, but in a Good Way

Last week, I was thankful for bruises that weren't breaks.  This week wasn't quite as adventurous as last, but I'm still a bit dizzy in the Wow has it just been a week since. . .  sort of way.