A quick detour to Pisa on our way to Florence turned into a really fun memory. The place was packed with people in ridiculous poses, pushing, holding or supporting the leaning bell tower. It took some teamwork and a few dozen tries, but we got a few shots in too.
When we ascended the tower, I could tell it was leaning. It only takes a few degrees to throw off your equilibrium. I had to stop for a break midway up. The marble steps were also worn from all those who came before me. I liked this, like I was on a pilgrimage to finally see the famous tower I learned about in my sixth grade social studies class, a tower that I had long forgotten but suddenly remembered with urgency.
From the top, we had an extensive view of the area. The town of Pisa, the mountains, the top of the Pisa Cathedral. There was a lot more to see and do than I anticipated and we didn’t make it in time to tour the cathedral. We stayed until dark, bought a leaning tower trinket and then took the train to Florence.
Ultimately, I’m glad I took the detour and ignored my suspicion that Pisa would be a cheesy tourist trap. Besides being fun, it was really beautiful, a perfect little green lawn with a bell tower and churches and some of the most lovely architecture I’ve ever seen.