The leaning Tower of Pisa.
While being in Florence we took a day trip to Pisa. One hour and half later here we are standing in front of this beautiful tower. Last time I was in Pisa, we were able to go up and do a walk around each landing. Today for security and safety reasons now it is no longer that way. Furthermore, to alleviate traffic, only 50 peoples are allowed up and every fifteen minutes. You must purchase your ticket with a specific time to go up. I strongly suggest purchasing your tickets in advance to eliminate long lines.
The Leaning tower of Pisa is the freestanding church bell tower situated behind the Cathedral of Pisa. It is also the oldest structure in the city’s Cathedral Square. The construction started in 1173 and was completed in mid 1300s. There is no known record of the identity of the architect to this day.
Since the start of the construction in 1173, and the next 800 years, it had begun to lean by the rate of one to two millimeters per year. Ok! it may not be much when you look at a centimeter, but add 800 years to it and you can really see that it not leaning but falling. As of today, the Tower of Pisa is more than five meters or sixteen feet off perpendicular. It was discovered that the soft shifting soil composed of clay, fine sand and shells, had destabilized the foundations. Architects and engineers tried to correct by making remaining stories shorter but to no avail, quite contrary, making it lean more.
Looking at the Tower you can see that the upper floors are slightly tilted on the opposite direction and shorter than the first floors but not even all around,
It depends from where you stand and you will see more of a lean.
The steps going up to the bell tower are small and of course in a circular fan pattern which means that the step side against the inner wall is smaller than the outer wall. You can really feel your body pull itself either aganst the inner or the outer walls. It is a weird sensation. And when you have people going up and down at the same time, it makes for fun conversation. Timing your descent right, meaning 5 minutes before the next groups goes up the tower, and the tower steps are all yours.
While we were exploring the town on an empty stomach, our appetite lead us to this great local restaurant located in an hidden plaza. I must say getting to a late lunch was a great idea.
As the restaurant run out of most everything on the menu, we were asked if we did not mind if they put a lunch platter for us together. Yes, of course, we love the adventure of tasting new dishes. This great platter of delicious cold cuts, fresh mozzarella di buffalo and the most tasty eggplant parmiggiana we ever have tasted.
Another great dish was zucchini parmigiana. Melt in your mouth zucchini with basil and béchamel cream, topped with provola cheese. Another new and out of this world dish was Tuna with Chianti wine. Tuna marinated with Chianti wine for two days, then cooked for four hours in wine. Served alongside cannellini beans, white beans and fresh tomatoes. My mouth is still watering as I write this.
Let’s not forget that I do have a sweet tooth, therefore saying no to dessert I consider it a sacrilege. Emilio, one of the chefs brought us this wonderful platter of Melon soufflé with chocolate, plum cheesecake with ricotta, rice pudding with lemoncello and chocolate cake.
Don’t they look delicious? everything was gone short of licking the board.
Chef Emilio and yours truly having a great time talking food and sharing ideas and laughing.
The below picture is an old weight conversion chart. Products or raw good such as oil, wine, flour and such were measured and then sold. It is one of the oldest one in Italy.