Pisa wasn’t a major stop on our itinerary, but driving so close by and not see the Great Attraction simply wasn’t an option. I am of course talking about the Hordes of the Tower Supporters. This amazing phenomenon gained the significance it has today with the growth of consumer photography technology and especially in the recent years when the social networking became widespread. Ok, enough with the mockery. But seriously, the idea of appearing in photographs as some amazing giant supporting the Torre Pendente with his bare hands while smiling idiotically at the viewer – how cute is it when the entire street is doing this?
What is cute though is the Tower itself peeking shyly around the corner of the cathedral like an overgrown kid hiding behind his mother. The mother being very short, stocky and made of marble. It is unbelievable how distinctive is the look it gives to the city, even when you are just approaching its outskirts.
We were able to find a parking lot fairly easily and were motioned in by a couple of energetic fellows pretending to help find a free spot. In a voice lowered to suggest the exclusivity I’m being offered a parking ticket “for the whole day, my friend”. “Well, can’t I buy it myself at the machine?” “Oh, okay” – in the same confidential voice of some inner circle of the local parking beau monde.
Speaking on behalf of all the engineers not responsible for any major publicly noticeable eerrr, how should I put it… mistakes, I should say, I feel genuinely sorry for all the architects putting lots of good work into the buildings of Pisa, specifically making sure of their uprightness. I mean, look at the cathedral and the baptistery next to it. Both of them are fine worthy pieces of architecture. But.. you know – you hear “Pisa”, you think, that’s right, the inclined tower. I think it should be possible to hear the sound of grinding teeth if you stand next to some architects’ graves on a quiet evening.
But it was time to move on, as the clock was ticking getting closer to seven in the evening with us having more than two hours to drive deeper into the mountains.