Our first adventure

We rode our first train and took our first trip Saturday — to Pisa!

The CCI cohort (the 15 communication students in Florence) decided to take baby steps out of Florence and plan a day-cation in Pisa, which is about an hour west by train. Some of the veteran travelers teased because they said the ONLY thing in Pisa worth seeing is the leaning tower — but it was beautiful. Once we were out of the narrow streets in Florence — which are always covered in shade from the tall buildings — we were finally able to enjoy the sunshine. We even ate lunch outside.

The leaning tower actually accompanies a cathedral built during the 11th century, which I never knew. The entire Piazza dei Miracoli (or “Square of Miracles”) holds the cathedral, leaning bell tower, a baptistery and a holy cemetery.

Most of the day was spent doing photo shoots with the tower, of course. It was fun to watch the other tourists, too. Some had pretty creative ideas, including hugging and even licking the tower.

Fun fact: The tower was built in three stages across 200 years. Famous architect/sculptor Bonanno Pisano began in 1173, but he abandoned it after three stories because unstable soil caused the tower’s characteristic lean. Giovanni di Simone tried to fix the lean 100 years later, and built the tower to its 6th story. Around 1350, Tommaso di Andrea Pisano built the belfry where seven bells reproduce the notes of the scale.

Some CCI girls (Caitlin, Bethany, Kate, Yelena, me, Amy)

My lovely roommates (Lydia, Caitlin, Kate, me)

Fun fact: In 1598, Galileo conducted his famous experiments on gravity from the top of the tower.

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