That iconic place - Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy - by Anika Mikkelson - Miss Maps - www.MissMaps.com
That iconic place – Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy – by Anika Mikkelson – Miss Maps – http://www.MissMaps.com

Just a few hours later I was there. As giddy as I’d been the night before while waiting for a sardine-based dinner to finish being cooked: Literally on the edge of my seat, I bounced back and forth as we approached, trying to make the first glimpse of the white tower come sooner. Thanks to our unexpected lunch taking up a few hours of the afternoon, I arrived in Pisa a few minutes after 5pm. The sun shone warmly upon the city and it was clearly the perfect time to snap photographs of this strange attraction. The streets were void of life and I couldn’t help but wonder how this tower became such an attraction. Who decided it was worth so much? Who had been its promoter? Its PR director? Why had others decided to start traveling here?

Click on an image to see the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa up-close:

“There’s nothing to see in Pisa,” I’d heard more than once in recent days. “Spend an hour there, two if you want to grab something to eat.”

That’s exactly what I did. Once near the tower, tourists hurried from place to place trying to catch the best view and trying to create the best pose. After taking a few of my own touristy shots, I took a step back and began to watch everyone else throw out their best poses. Several held up a finger, demonstrating their power to hold up the tower with little effort. One group lined up, supporting one another as the front man took on the tower’s gravitational force with all his might. Another man jumped into the air like a kung fu ninja. I don’t really understand why, but it was more than entertaining for a good minute. My personal favorite was the guy with the piece of pizza.

Click on an image to see Pisa Poses up-close:

That’s right. A piece of pizza in Pisa. It makes me laugh at the thought, and he made me laugh at the site, as he stood still with a silly grin on his face for several minutes. I kid you not. I spotted him from across the Field of Miracles, walked around past the cathedral, and came to his side of the lawn to find him standing in the exact same place with the exact same expression as before.

When I got a good eye on him up close, I noticed all the toppings were missing from the slice. I wonder if he got hungry after standing there for so long?

I eyed him carefully, and saw him blink maybe twice.
“That’s one happy man,”  I thought to myself, knowing full well he’d dreamed of this moment for a very long time.

Click on an image to see Lucca, Italy up-close:

Taking the advice not to stay in Pisa for too long, I took the road north to a lesser known town named Lucca. It was a town once again squirming with visitors and locals alike. An Italian town of charming old buildings, a canal cutting through the center and a gated old town with a park built along the top of the fortress’s walls.

A structure that has been able to withstand rotten conditions and all the forces conspiring against it for centuries, Pisa was worth a look and provided a few good photo opps and the most favorable conditions to people-watch. Still, reflecting on the trip in and out of town, I’m pretty sure Mr. Ralph Waldo got it right when he said, “Life is a Journey, not a Destination.”

Click on an image to see Lucca, Italy up-close:

4 Comments

  1. People watching in Pisa get us entertained for an entire afternoon! And I also remember the streets being surprisingly void of movement. I really liked it there.

    Like

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