Our last day in Italy!
I was originally planned to take a day trip to Pisa when we were in Florence since that's the closest but due to the airlines strike in Athens, we lost one day in Florence. We weren't able to visit Pisa so now back in Rome, we decided to save the last day for a day trip to Pisa. How can we not visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa when we are in Italy!!!
I checked the train schedule from Rome to Pisa takes around 2.5 hours which is doable for a day trip. We woke up early in the morning and took the metro to Rome Termini and took the train to Pisa Centrale. Since we have the Eurail pass for 4 days travel, we only need to pay for the reservation ticket. When we arrived at Pisa Center Train Station, we crossed the street and took the bus to the Leaning Tower of Pisa! The bus was crowded with tourists like us, you can't miss the stop since the tower is the tallest building in Pisa! As the bus approaching the stop, I almost wanted to scream out "omg that's the Leaning Tower of Pisa"!
The area where the Leaning Tower of Pisa is located has two other beautiful and interesting buildings: the Duomo and the Baptistery.
Leaning Tower of Pisa, I didn't tilt my camera!
My first impression of the tower was that it was shorter than I thought but much leaner! Without wasting any time, we walked to the admission office and purchase our ticket to walk up the tower. They limited the number of people per time slot so purchase ticket right away! When we were there, the next available time slot was half an hour later which wasn't bad at all! The area has plenty to photograph so the half an hour wait went by quickly.
Got to have a pose like this with the Leaning Tower LOL!
Hubby and I and Leaning Tower! Now you can compare how tile it is with us standing straight!
We went back to the line to wait, we don't want to miss our time slot! There was a ticket guard at the entrance of the tower to check the time, I think it was only 50 people allowed per time. It was our turn to go in yay!! I heard the tower has 296 steps, hey I climbed 300+ steps in Vatican City so not a problem for me! At first it was perfectly fine like walking up normal stairs until we reached maybe half way through then we really noticed the difference. We really felt the tower is tilted! The spiral staircase, one side I felt like I was walking normal and then the other side I felt like I was being leaned toward the wall! What an experience it was! Warning....if you are an easily feel dizzy person, stop and rest in between!
Walking up the Leaning Tower of Pisa:
When I was about to feeling dizzy, the end of the staircase was a few steps away, phew!! Once we got out of the enclosed staircase, I felt better! The view from the tower which is the tallest in Pisa was incredible, it was worth my climb!
The bell on top of the Leaning Tower:
View of the Duomo and the Baptistery from the top of the Leaning Tower:
Nice view of Pisa from the top of the Leaning Tower:
After the 360 degree view of the city, we walked down; the walk down was so much easier! I felt like another mission accomplished: climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa!!!
Before we headed back to Rome, we walked around some shops and had our lunch. We chose a "Japanese" restaurant since it has been so long since we have Asian food. We totally regretted it! This restaurant is the worst restaurant I ever been in my life! The restaurant name is Zen, Via S. Maria, do not eat there! The price was outrageous (tourist area price which we expected already) but the portion was small and the quality was horrible! A dish of what they claimed to be "beef fillet teppanyaki" looked and tasted like overcooked-boiled beef pour over with Miso soup sauce! It wasn't even beef fillet, it was cheap beef cut into small cubes which cost 12 euros! And trust me the people who worked in this restaurant are not even Japanese!!!
Anyways, besides this bad restaurant, Pisa is a very nice little town/city!
We headed back to Rome afterwards and had our dinner at the hotel since we were tired and wanted to spend time packing.
Our flight back to the US was 10:05 am, we got to the airport at 7 am. I read that it was recommended to arrive at least 3 hours early for international flight! We went through customs to have our VAT refund form stamped and cashed our refund at the refund service desk like a breeze. There wasn't any line at all so we were lucky! The line through security was extremely long and took us 2 hours to get through! So the 3 hours suggestion is highly recommended! Good-bye Italy, we hope to be back later such a beautiful country!!