You are in Tuscany and a glance at the leaning tower of Pisa is absolutely compulsory! On your way to Pisa, take your time to stop in Lucca, a beautiful town right before Pisa.
From Villa Torricella: when you are downhill, after the bridge turn left and you will reach the roundabout where the highway starts. Follow the signs Pisa and after less than an hour driving you find the exit Lucca. The distance between Lucca and Pisa is very short.
From Poggio a Vento: take the highway Siena-Firenze and at the end of it you will find the roundabout where the highway starts. Follow the signs Pisa and after less than an hour driving you find the exit Lucca. The distance between Lucca and Pisa is very short, so after having enjoyed your day in Lucca, you can go to Pisa to admire the leaning tower.
Lucca, only one hour away from Villa Torricella and Poggio a Vento
Lucca has been a flourishing town during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, when the main business in town was the production of silk fabrics. The town is still surrounded by walls, built during the 16th century, enclosing many treasures of art and history: the tour on top of the walls, on foot or by rental bikes.is very pleasant. Not to miss in Lucca.
The cathedral, Duomo, in romanesque style, dates back to the 13th century: inside Jacopo della Quercia, Sienese sculptor of the Renaissance, has left one of his masterpiece, the tomb of Ilaria del Carretto, beautiful second wife of Paolo Guinigi, who died in 1405. The Guinigi owned also a group of well preserved medieval house in via Guinigi, and among them an amazing tower crowned by holm oaks.The piazza del Mercato will surprise you with its unusual oval shape: the houses that surround it have been built during the centuries on the ruins of the former Roman amphitheatre.
Last but not least, Lucca is the hometown of the famous opera composer Giacomo Puccini, born in Lucca on December 22nd, 1858. His home is now a museum where you can admire memories of his youth and of his career, marked by a number of very successful masterpieces: Manon Lescaut, Bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Turandot.
Pisa, the town of the leaning tower
Pisa is worldwide known for the Campo dei Miracoli, the cathedral square close to the town walls, covered by a green meadow stressing the white colour of the marble buildings. The Cathedral, Duomo, was started in 1064 by the architect Buscheto; around the mid 12th century Rainaldo completed the building with the façade and the apse. Inside, outstanding artworks are the pulpit by the gothic sculptor of the 14th century Giovanni Pisano and the mosaic decoration of the apse where the head of the Saint John the Evangelist is probably the last work by Cimabue, the master of Giotto, designed at the beginning of the 14th century. The bronze lamp hanging in the centre of the nave is said to have been used by the astronomer Galileo Galilei for his researches around the pendulum.
Facing the Duomo, the Baptistery is a beautiful construction designed by Dietisalvi in 1152, surrounded by gothic galleries with marble statues and busts attributed to Nicola Pisano who worked on the project in 1260. In the same year Nicola also erected the pulpit inside, a beautiful example of romanesque sculpture in Tuscany.
The bell tower, dated 1173, started leaning already when they were working on the third storey. The works stopped, to be finished only in the mid 14th century when the bells were placed on top. The legendary inclination of the tower, which has transformed it into one of the major attractions of Italy, seems to have been stopped from increasing thanks to a recent restoration. So climb up to the top or take your picture on the square with no risk: it will stand there for many more centuries!