When people tell you to go somewhere to see a big tourist attraction but make a point of saying “don’t make it a day trip, there’s nothing there”, you tend to listen. Pisa was one of these, and one of the aforementioned ‘minor stops’ remaining in Italy (the other being Pompeii, before those plans were canceled). Thus we made plans to see it, but not spend too much time on it.
With travel time remaining on our Eurail passes, the whole affair was incredibly painless: hop onto a train (without the need to make a booking), hop off an hour and a half later, see the tower, look around for a few minutes, hop back on the train, head back to Florence. Only half a day gone and another Wonder Of The World™ under the belt: I call that efficiency. The tower is precisely what you would’ve expected: a little tower leaning on an angle. If it had never started to lean, Pisa would never have made it onto the map.
I made an official suggestion that they stop fortifying the foundation and just let it fall already, but I doubt anyone was listening. The risk of collapse would increase the value of the tower exponentially with every passing year it remains upright. Everybody would know that it’s gotta fall some time —and some time soon— so the thought of missing out would be too much to bear. Tourists would flood the country, eager to see a marvel of embarrassing engineering before its time is up. And just think how much money the t–shirt vendors could make with “I survived the Tower of Pisa’s collapse” swag. Honestly, you gotta know when to keep your landmarks standing and when to let them hit the ground; just look at what it’s done for New York and the World Trade Center.
What, too soon?