The leaning tower of where?

The world famous, super spectacular leaning tower of Pisa was just a short drive south from 5 Terre so we figured we would drive down to see the tower and have lunch on our way home. The weather was not on our side, it was raining and cold, which I think set the mood for the day. When we arrived in Pisa the GPS was confused and did not have the exact location of the tower…The Leaning Tower of Pisa! So we had to rely on the street signs of Pisa to guide us to our destination. You would think that one of the most famous landmarks on the planet would have some pretty clear signs pointing to it…if you thought that, like I did, you would be wrong. There are huge white signs every two feet pointing you to this hotel or that hotel. Then every 3 blocks there was a tiny brown sign that pointed the way to Piazza del Miracoli (Miracle Square) it didn’t even say Leaning Tower of Pisa. So needless to say we drove around for a little while. While “driving around for a little while” is a nuisance in the states its downright life threatening in Italy. After about 45 minutes of near death experiences we grabbed the first parking space we saw and resigned ourselves to walking. All I can say is that the city planners of Pisa where smoking something! BUT we finally found it! The most famous tower on the planet. I must say, I was not impressed. Besides being cold and wet from walking in the rain for an hour there were Americans everywhere…I felt like I was back home. The beautiful square was lined with shady vendors selling every possible cheesy souvenir you can think of, and everyone and there brother was doing the “Look I’m holding up the tower” pose…

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All joking aside it really was quite cool to see the tower with my own eyes and snap a few pictures. I must say though that when it comes to Italy I prefer the “road less traveled by” I like the small towns and the little shops. I like the “real” Italy, not the cheesy tourist version. Maybe I’m spoiled…yes I’m sure of it.

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