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personal - Italy Tour - 2006

Itinerary for Day 11 according to the brochure.

picture of my suitcase

Day 11: Cannara to Alessandria

This morning sees us journeying to the lovely, peaceful town of Assisi which enjoys a pretty location along the slopes of Monte Subasio and which is, of course, famous as the home of St Francis. After time for sightseeing at the stunning Basilica of St. Francis we continue to Pisa. Here we make a stop, with time to see the Square of Miracles and the curious Leaning Tower. We continue to Alessandria for dinner and an overnight stay at the Hotel Al Mulino (4*)

Personal Commentary

Day Eleven

I woke knowing that we were nearing the last leg of the Italian part of the holiday.  I had a little breakfast in this excellent hotel and entered the coach gingerly. We drove past Perugia - the capital of Umbria - past Florence, Paratto, Luc and then into Pisa

We caught what can only be described as a 'road' train into Pisa. Ummm Pisa. What can I say about this place. Let me stress that the temperature was in the 90's, I was ill and tired. So you may need to view my comments in that context. But...what a disappointment! We were met by vendors at every turn selling fake items of all manner and description. Most of the items on sale had nothing to do with Pisa.

It was great to take pictures of the towers and I did the touristy thing of getting Vicki and Pauline to look as if they were pushing the tower over. It was possible to buy a ticket for the tower, but it was far too hot. And to be honest, after taking pictures of the tower, the belfry, the surrounding buildings, someone holding up the tower, and someone pushing the tower over, we'd exhausted a full 30 minutes and were left wondering what we were going to do with the remaining three hours.

There are four other monuments to view I suppose if pushed,  including a church and a museum. There is also a large grassed area if you want to sizzle in the heat. Beyond the monuments there are cafe's and vendors. I sat in the cool with Phil and Steve who kindly paid for a coke, and busily waved away persistent vendors selling watches...all genuine fake Rolexes! One vendor approached me several times with the words 'lookie lookie!' The lace shawl didn't appeal to me. I have to say I later bought myself a genuine fake Rolex though!

So general opinion of Pisa? Visit, take pictures, get up the tower, take more pictures, bargain with some vendors if you must and then go. If you can get a fast time for entry to the tower, then you only need to be there for between 1 to 2 hours...tops.
[ Disclaimer: Advice given based on trips made in 90 degree temperatures and when ill may not be 100% reliable! ]

Once back on the coach, we travelled towards Lepestia, over the top of Genoa and through 109 tunnels. When we arrived at the Hotel Mulino, in Alessandria I went to bed, slightly shivering. Phil and Pauline arranged to get some Pepto Bismal to me and I curled up in a ball and fell asleep.

Interesting Facts

Fact 1: The height of the tower is 55.86 m (183.27 ft) from the ground on the lowest side and 56.70 m (186.02 ft) on the highest side.

Fact 2: The width of the tower walls at the base is 4.09 m (13.42 ft) and at the top 2.48 m (8.14 ft).

Fact 3: The tower's weight is estimated at 14,500 tonnes.

Fact 4: The tower has 294 steps.

Holiday pictures (10)

01: (link)  Pisa

02: (link)  Tower of Pisa

03: (link)  Vickie pushing over the Tower of Pisa

04: (link)  Bell on the Tower of Pisa

05: (link)  Tower of Pisa

06: (link)  Vicki

07: (link)  George

08: (link)  Ireen

09: (link)  Lucy

10: (link)  Allesandria - Hotel Mulino

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