Pisa was another delightful destination on our 1987 introduction to Italy bus tour. Our visit was short, only a few hours, but we had a beautiful sunny day and were able to climb up into the famous Leaning Tower to catch the view, and just to say that we had been there.
Everyone posed for the usual pictures, some trying to suggest that the tower was leaning on them, but at a very safe distance.
We all climbed the tower and felt very brave, looking out through those huge pillars and, for some, hugging a tower as if for dear life.
Not long after, because of fears about the tower’s stability, a ban was placed on letting people into the tower, so we were lucky.
The tower was closed to the public three years later in 1990 when engineers began a major project to stabilize the structure. It took ten years and millions of Euros, but the project was completed successfully, allowing the tower to reopen in 2001.
Construction of the tower began in the year 1174 but was halted when only three storeys had been built because it was sinking into the ground. The building was completed 90 years later. A spiral staircase of 294 steps rises to the top at the eighth storey.