As a tourist we are often in a rush to see as many sightseeing spots as possible in any city. We have less time, more to click, more selfies to take, more to absorb, more to tick off from our list. Though my travels are mostly unstructured and impromptu, I too do some of the touristy trips and one such trip last year to Italy.
On a sunny afternoon enroute to Montecatini, in a group of 45 odd interesting fellow tourists, we halted at the world famous city of Pisa in Tuscany. Our lovely tour guide announced we have 45 minutes to see around. We were dropped off at the entrance of Piazza del Dumo. Well, yes even I was confused as every ‘Square’ in Italy is ‘Piazza’. My excitement had no bounds as I came to know this Piazza houses the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, but 45 minutes??
I knew it has to be a Marathon now. As I stepped inside the premises of the Piazza del Dumo, I was completely awed to see the Leaning tower from the entrance. Apparently this is not the only monument in the Piazza. The square formerly called the Pizza del Dumo is known more popularly as Piazza dei Miracoli. There are four monuments in the Piazza, which are an example of brilliance of human engineering are a part of World Heritage site under UNESCO: The Pisa Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Leaning Tower and the Camposanto Monumentale (Monumental Cemetery).
The monuments are a ‘Marble Wonder’. Dazzling white as the sun kissed every inch of the grand medieval Pisan prodigy. I started with the much obvious Bell Tower or Leaning Tower. With the paucity of time, I decided not to climb up the spire but admire it from a shady vantage point. This lopsided tower was built over 199 years. The construction stopped after completion of its Third floor as the tower began to lean; and it resumed only after a century. There have been several attempts to correct the angle of the Tower and they say it leans lesser now, but if you ask me, its beauty and fame is only in its crookedness, so, we love it leaning.
Next was rushing to the Church which was just about to close and the last admission was done. The lady at the gate refused to allow me. I begged her saying I have come all the way from India just to see this and I cannot come again. And she smiled and admitted me inside. Wow, I was already in love with Italians!
Well with that my time was over to catch my bus back to Montecatini.
I could not enter Baptistery and the Cemetery. However I had no regrets. The fact that all monuments are in a single periphery made it so easy to have a good view of each of them and even pick some good shots.
I will strongly recommend spending some more time, probably a full day in Pisa. It definitely deserves more love and attention.