Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mediterranean ~ Day 4, Part II

From Florence we jumped on our ride and headed off to the long-awaited Pisa, Italy!
As you might imagine, the drive was quite scenic!

 This field caught our eye and brought a :-) to our faces
Can you imagine waking up to this everyday?!!
Almost there...
Greg's weekend car was waiting for us as we pulled in the lot...HE WISHED!
 One of many souvenir shops as we made our way into the city of Pisa
 Our view as we turned the corner
Standing to the west of the Duomo, the Baptistery is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It's construction began in 1152 and was not completed until 1363, so total construction time is 211 years. The Baptistery, which is Romanesque in design and appearance, was designed by DiotisalviThe Baptistery in Pisa is the largest in Italy.
The Piazza del Duomo, better known as the Campo dei Miracoli, translated from Italian that is the Field of Miracles, is Pisa's tourist centre and with good reason. It is home to one of Italy's largest cathedrals; the legendary Leaning Tower; the country's biggest baptistery; and the transcendental Camposanto, regarded as the most beautiful cemetery in the world.  The Square is a wonderful public place in which to stroll, admire the architecture, or enjoy a picnic on the lush green lawns. Have a good look at each "miracle" from the outside and you'll see that the Tower isn't the only leaning structure in the square: both the Baptistery and the Duomo also tilt. This is due to Pisa's trademark shifting subsoil, the bane of its architects since the city's founding.

The Duomo di Pisa, also known as Duomo of Pisa and the Cathedral of Pisa is a spectacular cathedral and one of the most beautiful churches in the world. Though overshadowed by the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, a free standing bell tower of the cathedral the latter is an architectural masterpiece which greatly influenced the monumental architecture in Italy from the 11th to the 14th century. The beautiful cathedral covered by white marble (some taken from older Roman buildings) was built by architect Buscheto in the distinctive Pisan Romanesque style between 1064 and 1092
The construction of the leaning tower of Pisa began in august 1173, but was interrupted several times by wars, debt and while engineers worked on solutions to correct the lean. We now know that without these interruptions that allowed the soil to compress under the tower, it would have certainly toppled over. Pisa Tower was eventually completed in the mid-1300s.he leaning of the Tower of Pisa comes into the story in 1173, when construction began. Thanks to the soft ground, it had begun to lean by the time its builders got to the third story, in 1178. Shifting soil had destabilized the tower's foundations. 
Over the next 800 years, it became clear the 55-metre tower wasn't just learning but Today, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is more than five metres off.

The lean, first noted when three of the tower's eight storeys had been built, resulted from the foundation stones being laid on soft ground consisting of clay, fine sand and shells.

The next storeys were built slightly taller on the short side of the tower in an attempt to compensate for the lean. However, the weight of the extra floors caused the edifice to sink further and lean more.
Its architect and engineer tried to correct this by making the remaining storeys shorter on the uphill side - but to no avail. It kept leaning more and more.

Back to Ship after a loooong day of sight seeing.
Time to dazzle ourselves up for the 4th night in a row throw on a pair of heels!
Dinner with our good friend Wendy & her hubby Mark 
A late night stroll around the ship's deck

And lookie what we found on this oh so lovely evening waiting for us in our room...
If you can name this animal without laughing, you win the prize!
p.s. Greg & I think it's a HYBRID! :-)

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