Our trip to Italy 2010 travel blog

The classic view of church and bell tower

Betty and Bill

The Baptistry, church and tower. No, the Baptistry is NOT falling too.

It was Lill's fault; she pushed too hard.

Another view

Lill and Betty

Entrance from road to our Sienna apartment

Our apartment

The pool out front

Sunday, October 17, 2010. One of the nicest days we’ve had yet for our 140 mile drive to Siena with a stop in Pisa to see the Leaning Tower. The church is the cathedral for Pisa. Work on the tower, which is the bell tower for the cathedral, started in 1173. They got 3 floors built by 1178 and noticed that it was starting to tilt already. Fortunately?? work was delayed A CENTURY because of all the wars being fought in the region. But, for the tower, that was good because it allowed the poor substrate of the foundation to settle otherwise it would have toppled. Work started again in 1272, the 7th floor was completed in 1319 and the bell chamber in 1372. 200 years to complete the project. (How old is the USA?) The upper floors were built with one side of the space taller than the other to offset the illusion of tilting which actually makes the tower curved but not perceptibly.

After a nice visit to the Leaning Tower we were on our way again to Siena where we will stay for a week. We are staying in a very nice apartment called the Porcelaia which means Pig Pen because in medieval times that’s what it was. But, obviously, it’s been wondrously redone to a modern, attractive accommodation, complete with large swimming pool (too cold right now for that), private courtyard and landscaped grounds out in the countryside about 10 kms from the hilltop town of Siena.

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