Wow! Look at these colors! Seeing this photo of the Leaning Tower of Pisa at sunset – by Dhara Nargundkar of It’s Not About the Miles – makes us rethink our preconceived notions of Pisa.
We’d never really thought Pisa warranted a specific visit (not, say, compared to Florence).
But perhaps some places are worth visiting just for their stunning sunsets alone. Take Santorini. Or Stone Town in Zanzibar; it’s hard to beat dhows silhouetted against an orange sky. (Hmmm… Wonder if there’s such a thing as “sunset tourism”?)
Anyway, if you visit Pisa and its iconic leaning tower, you’ll probably want to time your visit for sunset…
Dhara’s story of snapping the Leaning Tower of Pisa at sunset
“Did you know that the Leaning Tower of Pisa started tilting even as it was being built?
The earth was very soft on one side of the build site, and the builders failed to take note of this fact when they created the foundation for the tower. Little did they know that their error would cause Pisa’s campanile to become a famous landmark, recognized instantly all over the world!
Pisa was a “by the way” stop for us on our first visit to Italy.
We already had a full calendar in Tuscany, and we didn’t want to add more towns and then not be able to do justice to the ones already on our itinerary. And we’d read time and time again that Pisa gets the short shrift from travelers who regret not devoting the time to really experience everything on offer – and we didn’t want to make that mistake. But when we learned that our train from the Cinque Terre region to Florence would actually stop at Pisa, my husband and I looked at one another and said, “Let’s go for at least one look!”
Our B&B hosts in Florence were gracious and agreed to have us arrive really late in the evening, so we arranged our train tickets to accommodate a brief stop at Pisa. We deposited our bags at the Pisa Centrale train station and walked through the town to the Piazza dei Miracoli (sometimes called the “Field of Miracles”), arriving just as the sun was setting. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s home to four masterpiece monuments, including the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The magical light of the golden hour had bathed the white buildings in a mellow glow. We watched, enthralled, as Mother Nature put on a special show for us that evening, turning the skies above into fiery orange and then flashy pinks and purples.
It was the most spectacular sunset we would have the good fortune to witness on the entire trip. Not even the hundreds of tourists milling about, taking selfies, could detract from the drama of the scene. The gracious white tower looked stunning as it reached up to the sky against the made-for-photography backdrop.
Just like the tower’s unintended tilt, our visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa at sunset was unintended. But it resulted in my most memorable photo from that trip.
Mille grazie, Pisa. We will be back!”
About Dhara Nargundkar
Dhara Nargundkar is a bean counter by profession, but she loves all things related to the right brain. Her blog It’s Not About the Miles is an outlet for two lifelong passions, writing and travel, and one relatively newfound obsession, photography.
On weekends, she loves to explore her beautiful home state of California with her husband. Europe is her favorite destination for longer trips, and a longtime dream turned into reality when she stood before Michelangelo’s David in Firenze. Whether chasing wildflower superblooms all over California or trekking up tall towers in Tuscany, she is always up for adventure.
Dhara’s photography focus is landscapes, and nothing excites her more than fiery skies at sunset when she is out on a shoot. After she missed an exciting opportunity to capture a family of twelve turkey chicks crossing the road behind their mother, she never leaves homes without a camera.
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