Since I’ve already seen so many photos of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, it didn’t come as a great surprise. The towers itself was actually smaller than I had imagined it to be based on the pictures I had seen, but it was still awesome to see it and climb it.
In order to climb the tower, you have to go to a ticket office nearby and book a time to climb. Tickets are not cheap and they only allow a certain number of people up for a certain time period, although I don’t remember seeing anyone enforcing the time limit at the top. We could really feel the lean of the tower as we climbed, and found ourselves leaning against the wall on one side and then the other as we went around and up.
We enjoyed the view from the top, and amused ourselves watching the many people taking the typical ‘I’m holding up the Tower of Pisa with my hand’ photos. The first person to ever take that photo must feel pretty special.
After that we visited the cathedral next to the tower. Then, since there wasn’t much else to do in Pisa, we caught the train to Lucca, an old walled city nearby.
Lucca was very pretty. The historic center is surrounded by high walls with entry points at various locations around the walls. The walk along the top of the walls, especially the tree-lined pathway, was so beautiful. We had a bit of a walk around the city center and then caught the train back to Pisa to walk through the Christmas lit streets and visit the tower again in the dark.
After this we bought some amazing gelati from a place recommended to us by our host and walked along the Arno river at night.