PISA – DAY TWO – pt 2

The Camposanto is Pisa’s Monumental Cemetery.  Some say that it is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world.  I would have to agree.  There is a sense of peacefulness and tranquility that takes over, once you enter this space.  It is basically a cloister, with most of the tombs built into the walkway.  Legend has it that it was built around a shipload of sacred soil that was brought to Pisa from Golgotha, in the 12th Century, during the Crusades.  The walls of the Camposanto are lined with frescoes, the cartoons of which you can see in the Museo del Sinope.  To be able to look at the cartoon and then actually see the finished fresco is fascinating!  I love the Camposanto.DSCN3430DSCN3431

Many of the tombs incorporate the coat of arms of the family of the person buried there.  DSCN3437DSCN3435DSCN3443DSCN3453DSCN3445DSCN3459DSCN3463DSCN3476DSCN3486DSCN3518DSCN3522DSCN3531DSCN3536

It was time to head over to the Campanile – or the leaning tower, as most people know it.  As with any important monument, in this sad day and age, one has to go through a security check before entering the tower.  This doesn’t take as long as one might think, because you are allowed to take NOTHING up with you.  Women must check their handbags, and everyone must check backpacks, shopping bags, and any other type of item that you might carry.  There is a good reason for this.  The stairs are very narrow and go around in circles, and since the building is leaning, nothing is level!  Carrying something up with you, even on your shoulder, could be dangerous.DSCN3568DSCN3569DSCN3575DSCN3585

The climb to the top is made up of 296 steps.  Boy, is it ever worth it!  The views of the city and the surrounding countryside are amazing!DSCN3600DSCN3619DSCN3620DSCN3627DSCN3628

Going down was a little tougher than going up, especially when having to pass people going in the opposite direction!DSCN3658

Since the Museo del opere del Duomo was closed for renovations, all that was left to see in the Campo was the Duomo, itself.  This is Pisa’s main church.  It was built in 1064 by Bruscheto.  The bronze doors are by Giambologna.  Inside of this church, Galileo came up with his theory about the movement of a pendulum by simply watching the swinging of the incense lamp which hangs from the nave of the church.  Among the celebrated personalities entombed inside of the church are St. Ranieri – Pisa’s Patron Saint, and Henry VII.DSCN3661DSCN3663DSCN3695DSCN3711

Chances are that if you are in the Campo dei Miracoli, there will be tourists pretending to hold up the tower, for a photo.  If only they knew how crazy they all look!!!!!DSCN3916DSCN3712DSCN3716

Naturally around the Campo are venders selling everything from miniature towers to masks.  DSCN3718DSCN3721DSCN3724DSCN3733DSCN3736

The Cafe Ristoro Miami is a great little spot for lunch.  They serve hot plates, salads, pizza, and even have live music on occasion!DSCN3745

Nearby is Largo del Parlascio with it’s ancient ruins.DSCN3746DSCN3759DSCN3767DSCN3773DSCN3779DSCN3797DSCN3798DSCN3804DSCN3821

Nothing is nicer than an afternoon walking through a park!DSCN3827DSCN3841DSCN3846

Back by the river, a group was demonstrating their dancing skills.DSCN3867DSCN3870DSCN3901DSCN3953DSCN3951

And on that note: it’s goodbye to Pisa!  Next stop: the lovely Tuscan hilltown of Massa Marittima.


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