After 3 days exploring Cinque Terre's towns and hiking trails, we decided to head out of the region for a day trip on the last day of our 4-night visit. After visiting Lucca, we still had time for another stop at Pisa, which is within a stone's throw away, about 30 minutes by train.
Pisa is probably on every first time visitor's itinerary, and many make a day trip like I had to see its most famous attraction, the leaning tower. Upon leaving the train station, I noticed a stark contrast to Lucca with far more visitors roaming around.
From the main train station, it was quite a long walk through the town to Campo dei Miracoli.
Campo dei Miracoli is located at the northwestern edge of town right along the city wall. Construction started on the cathedral in the late 11th century, and the piazza became a religious centre. The famous Leaning Tower was intented to be the cathedral's bell tower.
The tower's construction began in 1173 and the tilt started to show when 3 out of its 8 storeys were built. Rescue works in the 1990s tried to save the tower, including wrapping steel bands around the lower section, using lead ingots at the base to counterbalance the stonework, and removing water from under the foundation. The tower re-opened with under 4 degrees of lean in 2001 and can still be visited by climbing 294 steps.
The Duomo's 4 levels of colonnades in dark grey and white colour mix is an example of Pisan-Romanesque architecture. Construction started in 1064 and took about a century to finish.
The Baptistry is the largest in the country and was completed in the 14th century.
With lots of open space around the buildings, the many visitors could space out to take their weird and querky photos. I didn't have enough time to go up for a view, but preferred to stay a bit further away and enjoy its tilt from afar.