As promised, a little post about Pisa.
On Sunday morning, The Musician and I left Viareggio early enough to get some time in Pisa city centre; we knew we had time for an hour with the Torre Pendente and a coffee.
Apparently when my parents brought me to see the tower when I was 2 1/2, I caused widespread panic by screaming at the top of my lungs, from my stroller, that the tower was falling down; South-East Asian tourists scattered at high speed as my parents fell about laughing. This time, as we approached it, I couldn’t stop laughing. It looks unreal, the lean is so significant. So after I’d laughed a bit and the Musician had recounted the story above (which comes out at least once every six months), we got ourselves due latti macchiati at a corner table in a cafe with a view of the tower; seriously, this was our view.
If it doesn’t look very slanty, it’s because our angle was all wrong from the cafe; were it to finally keel over, the top story would have squashed us. Deep thoughts for a latte. The top photo doesn’t really do it justice either. The thing is properly falling-over-slanted. Just believe me. According to Wikipedia, work has been undertaken, so when I saw it in 1990 it was 1.5 degrees more slanted than it is now. I’m sure the authorities don’t want to correct it too much though because it wouldn’t be famous any more! After all, what would tourists pretend to prop up then?
It’s a bit sad really, a beautiful – and it really is stunning – monument reduced to comedy prop in photos and laughing stock of towers worldwide. Big Ben, or rather St Stephen’s tower, to give him his proper name, should laugh quietly – he’s leaning too. Whoops – good thing I went to Wikipedia – this year it was renamed the Elizabeth Tower, in honour of Queen Elizabeth II in her Diamond Jubilee year. So she should laugh quietly.