Italian Vacation: Pisa

The way I figure, if you’re going to Italy, and you don’t take a stupid looking picture in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, have you really been to Italy? It’s only an hour train ride from Florence, and so we decided to do it as an afternoon trip on one of our days there. It took a bit to decide just how long to stay. You can get tickets to go up the tower, and to visit the church and baptistry there. In the end, we decided to just stick with seeing the outside.

The plan, when we left, was to head out of Florence at 4:30, get to Pisa at 5:30, walk to the tower, check it out, grab a bite to eat, and then come back on the 8:00 train, which should have theoretically given us plenty of time at the tower and to eat.

In practice, it ended up taking more time at the tower than we had anticipated. For one thing, you just underestimate how much time it takes to get a really good goofy tower pic. Everyone wanted their own, and when there are 11 of you, it doesn’t matter if you have multiple cameras. It’s going to take some time, especially because everyone wants to make one with their own style. It’s kind of like carving a pumpkin in that respect. You don’t all want to be identical.

So there were pics of people hugging the tower, leaning on the tower, stealing the tower, eating the tower, jumping in front of the tower, running from the tower. You get the idea. Meanwhile, there are hordes of other people doing the same thing, so you have to make sure to time your pics to have as few in them as possible.

Of course, there’s a ton (ton) of people taking pictures right where the main path leads out to the tower. It seemed like the perfect angle for it. We took a bunch there, but then we walked to the other side of the tower, and you could actually walk on the grass there, it was in the shade, and there weren’t nearly as many people. So if you go, remember that there are more angles to take a good picture from than just one.

Just as we were finishing pics, some of the group decided to see inside the church and baptistry, which took additional time. Long story short, we were too low on time to grab food in Pisa and make our train. This meant we were forced to just buy gelato, instead. I know. The sacrifices we make sometimes. I will say that there are much worse things than gelato for dinner . . .

Honestly, there isn’t much else to do in Pisa than what we did. Yes, we could have walked up the tower, but then you’re just looking out on Pisa, and it’s not like the town itself is famous. There were a few restaurants there, but there are many more in Florence. I think we timed things just about right, all things considered. Very glad we didn’t take more time in the city.

Of course, this begs the question, “Was it worth the trip?” I would say yes. The tower is world famous, and it’s not that much time to go see it. Would I go again? No. But once was far from a waste of time. Your mileage may vary.


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