Pisa-The Home of the Leaning Tower
by Vera Marinkovic
Pisa, the beautiful Italian laid-back town, is located on the Arno River in the province of Tuscany, well known for its sunshine, fine wine, good food, lovely people and gorgeous countryside.
Just check these photos to see how beautiful Italy is – Italy Photo Gallery
Vera is holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Pisa's Piazza dei Miracoli (“The Miracle Square”) also known as Piazza del Duomo, located in the city’s centre is main cultural attraction and consists of the Cathedral-Duomo, the Leaning Tower, the Baptistry and the Camposanto (the monumental cemetery). The most famous building is of course, the "Leaning Tower" and going up the Tower will be one of those challenges that you are going to remember for a long, long time, of course if you are lucky enough to get the ticket.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
Beside the history, the town is worth a walk-around. It's a great place to have a famous “Italian gelato”, an afternoon glass of Chianti or slice of pizza.
Interesting facts about the Leaning Tower of Pisa:
-Official Name: Torre Pendente di Pisa or simply La Torre di Pisa -Bell Tower of Pisa
-Nick name-Leaning Tower of Pisa because of its tilt
-The tower is actually the “campanile”(the freestanding bell tower) of Duomo. It has seven bells tuned on the seven musical notes
- The construction begun in 1174 by the architect Bonanno Pisano and finished in 1350 from Tomasso Pisano. The reason it took so long to build was constant construction interruption due to wars
-Although intended to stand vertically, the tower began leaning to the southeast soon after the onset of construction, because its foundation was built on unstable soil. The ground beneath the tower first started to sink after the first three stories were built. It is leaning 5.22 meters when measured from the seventh story. Until 1993 the rate of fall was 1.2mm per year. After a decade of corrective reconstruction and stabilisation efforts the tower was reopened to the public on December 15, 2001 with tilt correction of 38cm. The tower has been declared stable for at least another 300 years.
-The height of the tower is 55.86 m from the ground on the lowest side and 56.70 m on the highest side
-The tower has 8 stories or 296 or 294 stairs and can be climbed only with organised tour (there is discrepancy in stairs because the seventh floor has two less steps on the north-facing staircase)
-Legend of the Leaning Tower said that from the tower’s summit Galileo Galilei performed his famous trial about gravitation. It is said that he dropped two balls of different masses, one cannon ball and one wooden ball from the top of the tower to demonstrate that their descending speed was independent of their mass)
-In 1987, Piazza del Duomo with its four masterpieces of medieval architecture, the cathedral-Duomo, the baptistry, the campanile (the 'Leaning Tower') and the cemetery was declared UNESCO cultural world heritage site
*Official web site of La Torre di Pisa: http://torre.duomo.pisa.it/index_eng.html
*Tourism in Tuscany: http://www.discovertuscany.com/
*Piazza dei Miracoli-360-degree view: http://www.italyguides.it/us/pisa/leaning_tower.htm
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