"San Nicola" Pisa Off The Beaten Path Tip by leics

Pisa Off The Beaten Path: 104 reviews and 203 photos

  The leaning tower
by leics
  • The leaning tower - Pisa
      The leaning tower
    by leics
  • A mish-mash of building styles - Pisa
      A mish-mash of building styles
    by leics
  • The llama-herders outside the stable - Pisa
      The llama-herders outside the stable
    by leics
  • The Nativity - Pisa
      The Nativity
    by leics
  • 14th century crucifix by Pisano - Pisa
      14th century crucifix by Pisano
    by leics

There are three leaning towers in Pisa. This one, at San Nicola, leans quite a lot but it's not so easy to see in photographs because of the adjoining buildings. From the street, though, it is very clear.

The 13th-century tower itself is strange: it begins as a cylinder, then becomes an octagon, then a hexagon. I wonder if the lean was obvious as it was being built and the change of styles was an attempt to prevent the whole thing collapsing?

The exterior is an intriguing mish-mash of marbels and bricks, clearly demonstrating the changes made over the centuries.

I understand the tower contains a magnificent spiral staircase, though I was unable to gain access. There are works by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano ( the wooden crucifix in my photo), as well as a couple of interesting paintings. I particularly liked the modern Peruvian nativity scene (I think it was made by a Peruvian community supported by the church). I loved the guy with a fag in his mouth, and the llamas lurking on the hillside (instead of sheep).

othercontact: Via Santa Maria

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 27, 2008
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