Gathering Graces 7/8/2017

*Today we traveled to the town of Pisa to visit the site of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
*One highlight of the drive over and back was the beautiful fields of sunflowers we saw.  I wish I could have taken a photograph of them.  I love sunflowers.
*I don’t think I ever knew what the purpose of the Tower in Pisa was, and when I found out it was a bell tower, I was surprised.  On the grounds are many things you can visit.  I chose to visit the Baptistery, The Cathedral and climb to the top of the tower.
*The Baptistery was beautiful, and I appreciated how quiet people were in the building.

The altar

Looking down from above at the beautiful stained glass windows.
Next we entered the Cathedral.  What a beautiful building, filled with paintings, sculptures and relics. It was the favorite building I saw today.

The front of the Cathedral

Madonna di sotto gli Oragani

A relic in this tomb
*April, Kellee, Tina and I got in line around 3:15 p.m. so we could climb the stairs to the top of the tower.  It was a very interesting climb.  You can tell when the gravity from the lean was working with you, and when it was working against you.  The stairs are marble, of course, and very slick and well worn.  Here are some of the views from the top.

One of the bells in the tower.

Pisa Soccer Stadium

The Town of Pisa

*Here is a photograph a nice gentleman from Dallas, Texas took of us before we left.

The group in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
*We stopped and ate at a sidewalk cafe with a view of the tower.  I enjoyed some fresh pasta and pesto.

Lunch stop.

*Shopping at the outdoor vendors is always interesting.  Men walk around trying to sell you watches, sunglasses, purses.  Italy is known for leather, and there are many choices of hangbags to choose from outside the square.  And lots of souvenirs as well. Some of the salesmen can get a bit aggressive.
*Pisa has an IKEA store so we stopped there to do some looking around and shopping.  I had never eaten the Swedish Meatballs before, so I gave them a try before we headed home.

Swedish Meatballs at the IKEA in Pisa.
*Pisa was very enjoyable.  There were many tourists visiting the site, but it wasn’t overwhelming, and you could get right into places you wanted to see.  And I was impressed by the way people were quiet in both the Baptistery and the Cathedral.  It made the experience much more meaningful.

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