Siena Palio Day Trip - Pisa
There are so many incredible buildings in Italy that it is impossible to see them all. However, with limited flights into Florence and more direct flights landing at Pisa Airport, it makes sense to add Pisa into your trip, before moving onto the Siena Palio or Florence. Pisa is a small city with the main attraction being the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This can be done in 1-2 hours and then you have another box ticked on your wish list!
The Leaning Tower of Pisa site consists of the bell tower and the cathedral. The tower began its tilt during construction when the foundation was too weak to support the growing structure. It has been estimated at weighing 16,000 tonnes, and being 183 feet in height on its lowest side and 185 feet on its highest. The biggest tilt was an angle of 5.5 degrees - but repair work has been limited this to 3.99 degrees.
Historically the tower has taken 199 years to complete the outward structure, with a further 283 years before the seventh bell was installed. It was so long due to the various battles the town was involved in including against Genoa, Lucca and Florence.
During World War II the tower did not receive any bomb damage, despite the Germans using the tower as an observation post. An American army sergeant, who was sent as a scout to the region, was so impressed with the beauty of the cathedral and tower, that he neglected to order an air strike, and thus the tower survived where as many buildings did not.
For those who have a bit more time in Pisa, there are more than 20 historic churches, several palaces and plenty of bridges over the Arno River.
The tower and cathedral became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
All of this before you move onto your Siena Palio and/or Florence trip!