Pisa, Italy

Just an hour by train from Florence, Pisa lures many travelers with its tipsy tower.  For many of us, the tower is one of our first images of Europe.  No photo tour to Tuscany would be complete without a quick stop in Pisa.

Pisa was a regional superpower in her heyday (11th – 13th centuries), even rivaling Florence.  Its Mediterranean empire, which included Corsica and Sardinia, helped make it a wealthy republic.  But today the port has silted up, leaving Pisa high and dry.  Today only The Field of Miracles and its university keep it on the map.

Canon 5DMKII w/ 24-105L @24mm 1/125 f11 ISO 200 Lexar Digital Film

Pisa has three key attractions — the Duomo (Cathedral), Baptistery, and the Leaning Tower — that float regally on what is universally recognized as the best lawn in Italy.  Even as the church was being built, the Piazza del Duomo was nicknamed the “Campo dei Miracoli,” or Field of Miracles, for the grandness of the undertaking.

Yes, the Tower still leans. Started in the 12th-century, this example of Pisan Romanesque architecture was leaning even before its completion.  Many efforts have been made to shore up the Tower and it seems to be working.  Once again, after being closed for several years, the nearly 300 tilting steps carry 30 people an hour to the top.

Canon 5DMKII w/ 24-105L @65mm 1/125 f11 ISO 200 Lexar Digital Film w/ Tiffen Circular Polarizer

The huge Pisan Romanesque church (known as the Duomo), houses a pulpit carved by Giovanni Pisano and is artistically more important than its more famous bell tower.

Canon 5DMKII w/ 24-105L @55mm 1/180 f6.7 ISO 100 Lexar Digital Film w/ Tiffen Circular Polarizer

Canon 5DMKII w/ 24-105L @24mm 1/125 f11 ISO 200 Lexar Digital Film w/ Tiffen Circular Polarizer

The baptistery, the biggest in Italy, is known for its great acoustics.  The pulpit, by Nicolo Pisano, inspired Renaissance art to follow.  Notice that even the baptistery leans nearly five feet.

Canon 5DMKII w/ 24-105L @32mm 1/250 f6.7 ISO 100 Lexar Digital Film w/ Tiffen Circular Polarizer

We always enjoy our stops in Pisa.  We hope you enjoy our shots of the best Pisa has to offer.

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