First Stop in Italy: Pisa

Pisa is a little city in the west of Italy. It is, of course, famous for the leaning tower of Pisa…

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Some idiotic architects decided to build a building on swampy ground. As can be expected, the tower began to slowly sink into the ground. Pisa became famous for this leaning tower, and the city (I expect it is the city) has paid millions in order to keep the tower from falling completely down. They have drained the ground around the tower, and excavated the earth from under one half of the tower in order to encourage it to fall back in the other direction (or at the very least, to keep it from falling more in the wrong direction).

My goal in visiting Italy was to visit Florence because it was on the list of the things I want to do before I turn 25. I found out that Pisa was near Florence, and I decided to go there for a few nights to look around.

Bad idea. Pisa is tiny. The only thing to see in the city is the leaning tower. It takes approximately one hour to see the tower. You don’t need two days. Trust me.

Regardless, I enjoyed my stay in Pisa.

You have to understand that I’m not a hard core tourist. Really not.

Travelling is awesome. But it is not only a trip for me. It is vacation. Yes, I am studying, so as a student, I have a lot of free time on my hands. But I also work 17 hours a week, and am going everywhere all the time. I don’t cut myself any slack. Usually directly before I take one of my trips, I am stressing out at work trying to get everything done that I need to get done so that I can take the time off.

This trip was no different. The week before, I was super stressed out with work, finishing an programming project for a course I am currently taking, and applying for a scholarship. Besides the fact that when I got up at 6 a.m. to leave, I ended up missing my train connection to the main station, and therefore missed the train to the airport. The next one came in half an hour, but a half an hour means a lot when you are going to the airport. Of course, I was flying out of Düsseldorf Weeze, which is just about the smallest airport on the planet. I ended up getting through security in ten minutes (might be a record) and got to the gate just in time to get in line for the flight.
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Go me! I was off to Italy! Flew into Bologna, then four hours in the train (first to Florence, then a really really really slow train to Pisa), and THEN I went to see the tower. After an hour, I went back to my hostel and spent the evening in my bed.

And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thoroughly.

Pisa is really a nice little city, especially when the sun is shining.

The next day I had a great time being a very atypical tourist. After grabbing a quick coffee/croissant breakfast and stopping at a grocery store for snacks and water, I went and scouted out this old Roman ruin

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I’ll be honest. I didn’t research the history of the building. In fact, I couldn’t even find it when I googled/wikipediaed it (the name on the map was Fortezza Nuova, Giardino Scotto).

I just looked at the free map I got from the hostel and found the largest green square and headed in that direction. It was probably thirty degrees out and sunny, so I found a nice place to sit and spent four or five hours reading (except when I took a coffee break/gelato break)….

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This was my view from my pirch:

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Bliss…

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