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Pisa - Italy

Leaning Tower of Pisa Plaza del Miracoli, Pisa

The world famous leaning tower is just part of a larger set of buildings set in the 'Plaza del Miracoli', the 'Plaza of Miracles'. The cathedral and baptistery lean as well as the bell tower, although to a much lesser extent.

The square really is lovely, with the buildings in white marble and tidy lawns. However the tourist crowds are huge, along with all the gift shops and hawkers selling fake designer goods. It's good to sit on the grass here and just enjoy the view; it is much less crowded away from the souvenier shops and has a less obstructed view of the tower.

Leaning Tower of PisaThe rest of the town is very quiet and peaceful compared with the tower area. The streets of the old town are narrow and make for a nice wander, although there is nothing else major to see its a good respite from the tourist hordes with its small squares and laid back feel.

The Plaza del Miracoli in the evening is a world apart from the tourist crush of the day. The tower, cathedral and baptistery stand silent, contrasting white against the darkening sky. There are no souvenir shops open and it is peaceful. There are a few places in town still open for a meal or a drink although most seem closed up once the tour buses leave. The cathedral square of Pisa is really beautiful by night.

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