There's plenty more to Pisa than just a leaning tower! As we flashback to the sunshine, gelato and laughs of our summer in Europe, let's start with our smallest but most iconic stopover - Pisa, Italy.
Campanile - Leaning Tower of Pisa
The famous tower itself is actually just the bell tower of the adjoining Cathedral and Baptistry. Construction started in 1173 and as they built, the supporting ground sank. Over the 200 years it took to build, they tried correcting the lean by building it back toward the opposite side. Try and spot the correction as you take your bucket list pics.
Piazza dei Miracoli - Square of Miracles
The Tower, Cathedral and Baptistry are located inside a 4 wall fortress dubbed the 'Square of Miracles'. A lovely area of pristine grounds, camera flashing tourists, museums and all the pizza and gelato you'll need to fuel your instagram photoshoot! Unfortunately you are no longer allowed to walk on the grass, and paths are fenced off. Iconic picnics wth stunning 'leaning tower' backdrops have now been replaced by sculpture displays. Quite impressive, these displays are bringing a taste of modern art into a frame of incredibly rich history.
In the centre of the grounds is an incredibly stunning cathedral. Full of rich history, it is now home to a museum. Unfortunately you do have to pay to go in, but if you're so inclined, it is well worth it!
As impressive as the views are, looking up, don't forget to look down! On all the main pathways within the plaza, you'll notice that the stunning natural stone has been chipped. This is so the paths are not slippery when it's wet. Walking along them you can feel why this was necessary, with so many people walking on them everyday. But it seems unfortunate to destroy such beautiful stone.
The Baptistry, located in front of the Cathedral, is the largest in Italy! Impressive is size, the architectural design inside is sometimes criticised as not living up to its impressive title. I'm not an architectural critic and found myself standing there in awe as it dwarfed the leaning tower, making it seem second best.
Ultimately, your goal is to get that iconic leaning photos! As the grass is now off limits, it's gotten pretty difficult to get a clear shot. Be prepared to stand on railings, climb on shoulders and get creative! Bucket list item - tick!