Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pisa and Florence, Part 2

The Leaning Tower of PisaOn our return to Florence by train, Nan and I shared the first leg to Pisa with Burton and Virginia from our Wayfarers hike. They were scheduled to fly out of Pisa the next day, Sunday, while we were set to fly out of Florence on Monday. So we spent the afternoon together wandering around Pisa until Nan and I boarded another train for the final leg to Florence.

Our time in Florence and the Italian Riviera had definitely spoiled us. Except for the area immediately around the famous Leaning Tower, Pisa was sorely lacking in charm. It is a modern, mid-sized port on the Mediterranean, and this function clearly dictates its form, which was evident from our taxi rides to and from the train station--factories, warehouses, wide busy streets, numerous traffic lights, and block after block of post-War two- and three-story brick buildings with shops on the ground floors.

One of the reasons we got off the train in Pisa was that I had convinced Nan we needed to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa as an homage to Galileo and his famous gravity experiment. Galileo is supposed to have climbed to the top of the Tower and dropped two different-sized cannon balls simultaneously. The reasoning of his time was that the larger, heavier ball would fall faster. In fact, they hit the ground at the same time, proving that gravity acts equally upon all objects regardless of mass.

Enough with the science lesson. As with the two previous posts, this one also contains a slideshow. Just click on the Leaning Tower photo if you already have Adobe Flash Player installed. And click here if you don't. The first ten pictures and captions are of the Leaning Tower and the area around it. The remaining ones are from our last full day in Florence. I had just finished reading Ross King's Brunelleschi's Dome, so these final pictures favor Brunelleschi and his work. Salve!

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