Saturday, October 27, 2007

La Torre di Pisa

Torre di Pisa

If I see another person pretending to hold the tower up while a friend is taking a picture, I’m going to…. scream, I mean smile.

We took a mid morning train to Pisa today. (Hint: there seems to be no difference between first and second class on this regional route so don’t bother.) As soon as we exited the train station in Pisa we started heading for the Catherdral Square of Pisa (see below) in the north of town. Pisa, like Florence, has the Arno running roughly east/west and cutting it in two. The cathedral complex is north of the river and the train station is south. It takes about 20 or so minutes to walk from the station to the cathedral complex. The town is pretty flat so it’s easy if you are up for a walk.

The day turned out perfect at about 70F and blue, blue skies.

Once at the tower, we went straight to the ticket office (just behind the tower) and got tickets for 4pm later in the day to climb it. We arrived at the ticket office around 11:45am and we could have had tickets for 2pm onward. Access to the tower is tightly controlled in terms of the number of people that can go up and the time they can spend in the tower. No loitering in the tower or backpacks (which you check 10 minutes before you go up). Cameras okay.

If you go in the morning on an average “tourist” day, you will probably be able to get tickets for a few hours in the future. If you are a good planner you can buy tickets for no earlier than 15 or so days in the future, on-line, here.

There are six things to see in the Cathedral Square:

  • the cathedral/duomo (2 Euro/person)

  • the leaning tower of Pisa (the church’s bell tower) (15 Euro/person on the spot, 17 Euro online)

  • the baptistery (6 Euro / person combo with cloister)

  • the cloister (monumental cemetery)

  • the Opera museum

  • the Sinopie museum

We did the top four items but bought our tickets in several trips to the ticket office which wasn’t very efficient. Buy one of their combo ticket packages to pay a little less. You could easily spend 4+ hours easily seeing just the first four sites above. We saw the cathedral first, then went to lunch and came back and did the other three.

1 comment:

  1. i just browsed your photos. First: i love the marble sink! tres fancy. and your red highlights are just right for the sun. But, gosh, the gallery with all that FOOD! holy cow! Are you guys going to grow some moobs now? rent yourselves some bikes instead of taking a bus. that'll keep the moob growth to a minimum. And finally, who is the statue of with the alogrythem: 112358, i get the sequence (next #=13)...but i don't know who did that.

    i'm so jealous. wish all i had on my to-do list was some italian home work and deciding which sausage to cook for dinner.

    and no, they can't build anything straight in Pisa. i mean, they're italian. they cook and eat.


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