Pisa Self Guided Tour – Campo Santo
Next on our Pisa self guided tour, we visited the sculptures and crypts of the cemetery in the Campo Santo, which is a walled cemetery on the piazza grounds. This too was amazing, not only for the intricate carvings, but because again we were the only ones there.
Campo Santo Cemetery
Pisa Self Guided Tour – Leaning Tower
Next we went to our appointed 9am tour of the Leaning Tower. There were only 8 of us who showed up in the rainy weather. The ascent is by a stairway within the exterior wall, so no problem for those with a fear of heights. The continuously winding narrow stairway up was very disorienting. When you walk on the side that leans out the most, you shift your feet toward the outside and your head leans toward the center of the tower. You feel like you are going to slide out through the narrow slits in the wall. The marble steps are worn and dug out from all the pilgrims who have made the climb through the ages. The walls are worn smooth by the hands that have reached out to maintain balance.
Leaning Tower, Pisa, Italy, Tim
At the top, there is an open area of bells and then one final small ascent to the very top, which was too much for my vertigo. The views extend over the Campo dei Miraoli piazza, the church, the baptistery, the town of Pisa and the country side.
Pisa Self Guided Tour – the Cathedral
Our last visit on our self guided tour was to the Cathedral Santa Maria Assunta. By the time the church opened, the rain let up and the tour buses had arrived. The cathedral was full of large groups being led by different tour guides in a variety of languages. The art on the walls is gigantic, but has a very dark wall paper appearance. The structure and alcoves are gigantic and impressive. I couldn’t help thinking how lucky we were up until then to have had the place to ourselves.
Our Pisa self guided tour was fantastic. If you want to avoid the crowds at Pisa, get there well before 9am or try the late afternoon when the tour buses have departed back to their hotels.