I have heard so much about travelling solo in Italy and I was fortunate to experience it during my trip to Florence. And the first solo trip I take is a visit to see the inside of Leaning Tower Of Pisa complex.
“Ouch”, I hear when I step out of the bus in a hurry, I bump onto a woman’s walking stick, that then led to stomping her foot with the gelatinous sole of my sandal. I would be shocked only if I hadn’t been such a cognizant substance in the immense crowd at Santa Maria Novella Station in Florence on that particular day.
Truth be told, a few seconds before the above incident happened, I overheard somebody say that there would not be a bus to Pisa on that day. In my skeptical sense, I walked pass the station to the pattiserie behind it to enquire the bus timings and tickets. A one hour journey from here to the Pisa airport, feeling contented with this mere information, I collected my tickets and stood by the bus station in front of the pattiserie. To sabotage this, the bus that I had chosen seemed to arrive the last whereas the other buses departed and also arrived Pisa on time. My long wait came to an end after 1.5 hours of being attacked by the sun’s rays directly on my eyes.
The view through the journey from Florence to Pisa was a stunner. The one thing I thought I would miss seeing on my visit to Tuscany was the Tuscan barns but I could catch glimpses of it and the grassy rolls in the shape of barrels thrown onto the surface of soft grass. This is the typical Tuscany postcard picture and unless you have a car or somebody to drive you around the inner landscapes of Tuscany, it may not be possible to view this because of the inaccessibility of public transportation in any of these areas.
Pisa is a small city in Tuscany famous for its Leaning Tower and Bell Tower cathedral. Small, is what I believed before I came here which led me to be lost in a city not –that-small in real. I chose my instinct and walked up to the bus opposite the Pisa airport. Now because of the language constraints in all of Italy, the driver had no clue what I was asking nor did I, Nevertheless he too used his instinct and asked me to have a seat. In less than a few seconds, there were young girls and boys abounding into the bus, perhaps it’s the post school hours.
While I wonder this, I realised that I may have missed the stop of Leaning Tower because of my wrong perception that in a small city, the tourist areas should be close to the train/airport like Florence and Siena. With this brainy thought of mine, I wobble myself confidently down the bus, only to instantly understand that I was in the middle of nowhere with not even an ant mumbling. Soon I found myself trying to interpret the hand gestures of a sweet girl when I asked her in broken and literal English “what is the station of Leaning Tower called”? In vein, I waited for the next bus and this time my instinct helped me and after a few stops I found my destination.
There is a bus stand(Piazza dei Miracoli) just opposite the Leaning Tower making it convenient for people visiting Pisa for half a day and the bus tickets are available with either the bus drivers or if you are coming in from any part of Tuscany, it would be advisable to buy a ticket from any of the Tabacchi (any pastry shops, cafes and bars).
I strolled towards the entrance since the three Leaning tower, Cathedral and the Baptistery are within the same compound. The awe in me having to see the monument so famous that took 344 years to build was unbelievable that I took a tour around it until I figured a revelation that the tower does not seem so leaning on one side as much as the other. The marble white stone with which they are made compliments the beauty of each other. It’s said that unintended tilt of this 183 feet tower began during construction because of foundation used on soft ground which could not support the weight, gradually the tilt start increasing over decades until it was stabilized to fix the lean partially, such a restoration will stabilize the tower for another 300 years. Rumor has it that construction of the tower was stopped twice due to war and had it not been halted the first time, the tower would have toppled. However, meanwhile the tower became compact when it was let to sit for 100 years before restarting the construction.
The cathedral is in its typical Pisan Romanesque style and from afar one can see brown bricked dome at the top of the baptistery. I got a perfect postcard like picture captured on my camera from the west side of the entrance with a view of the cathedral, the baptistery and the Leaning tower of Pisa, a view in which you can see the perfect slant.
The way I love to travel is budget friendly, a feeling that I have not spend lavishly, but at the same time the feeling of carrying with me luxurious moments and thoughts of the people , place and its culture. Thanks to the brilliant sunshine today, I got some amazing pictures shot on my canon; in fact one of the best from all my travels. And honest to God, there has been no editions done to any of my pictures. Credits to the camera and the beautiful landscapes.
WAY TO GET FROM FLORENCE TO PISA
Since I stayed at the hotel named Quadra Keys , I took the bus no 22 from the bus stand ‘Via Di Novoli’ below the hotel to the Firenze station Santa Maria Novella (SMN). I took a two-way ticket (FLRXPISA) from the tabachi behind the station. The bus service in Pisa stops at every nook and corner and moreover is cheap and safe for solo travelers.Once you get the bus from the Pisa airport ,You can get down at ‘Piaza dei miracoli’ bus stand to visit the leaning tower of Pisa
My trip was about half a day trip to Pisa. If you have been to places other than the Leaning Tower in Pisa, Do let me know by leaving your comments below.