This morning we had planned a day trip to, you guessed it, Pisa. We jumped on a train and headed West to the end of the track. Lachlan slept the whole journey which was good for him, he must have enjoyed the train noise and vibrations.
It was a lovely day, nice to have a cool breeze. We pulled into Pisa Central train station and took the scenic route through the streets and over the Arno River to the main attraction at Cathedral Square.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa was leaning more than we were expecting, an alarming amount. There were lots of people doing you know what. A tricky one to explain to a one and two year old.
We grabbed some lunch and returned to the tower.
We had come all this way and Super Mum was concerned we were spending too much time chasing the robot and not looking at the tower. We let the kids free to burn some energy, Eloise and Dad were disappointed it was not on the robot lawn.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa, is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of Pisa Cathedral. It is known for its nearly four-degree lean, the result of an unstable foundation. The tower is one of three structures in the Pisa’s Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo), which includes the cathedral and Pisa Baptistry. The height of the tower is 55.86 metres (183 feet 3 inches) from the ground on the low side and 56.67 m (185 ft 11 in) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m (8 ft 0 in). Its weight is estimated at 14,500 tonnes (16,000 short tons). The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase. The tower began to lean during construction in the 12th century, due to soft ground which could not properly support the structure’s weight. It worsened through the completion of construction in the 14th century. By 1990, the tilt had reached 5.5 degrees. The structure was stabilized by remedial work between 1993 and 2001, which reduced the tilt to 3.97 degrees, [now 3.99 degrees]... The tower began to sink after construction had progressed to the second floor in 1178. This was due to a mere three-metre foundation, set in weak, unstable subsoil, a design that was flawed from the beginning. Construction was subsequently halted for almost a century, as the Republic of Pisa was almost continually engaged in battles with Genoa, Lucca, and Florence. This allowed time for the underlying soil to settle. Otherwise, the tower would almost certainly have toppled. On 27 December 1233, the worker Benenato, son of Gerardo Bottici, oversaw the continuation of the tower’s construction.
It would have been fun to climb the tower but it was fairly pricey and it would have been tricky to do together. Sophie doesn’t like stairs, not to mention slopey helical ones. We happily settled for the free Pisa Cathedral.
The Leaning Tower has put Pisa on the map, there is not too much else to do in Pisa. We took the scenic route back to the train station. The kids were asleep the whole way back to Florence. It was nice to have a quiet second on the train but worryingly their bedtimes are drifting later by the day. Perhaps we have found the trick, play Lachlan loud clangy train music to sleep? None of this white noise rubbish.
After their solid naps, we went to Gardens of the Fortress so the kids could crawl around before dinner, playgrounds are hard to come by in Italy. Eloise was enjoying playing fetch with Lachlan, although we were getting some weird looks. We had to remind her that Lachlan is not a dog and move on.
In Glasgow, “Anthony Ralston and Scott McKenna scored their first international goals as Scotland swept Armenia aside in their Nations League opener at Hampden. A week on from the painful World Cup play-off defeat to Ukraine, Steve Clarke’s side were utterly dominant”.