Sample Chapter from Italian Pride: 101 Reasons to be Proud You're Italian

To read more sample chapters: click here

14. The Leaning Tower of Pisa

It's one of the most beautiful goofs in all of history. The bell tower, aptly located in the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles) in Pisa, Italy, is a stunning monument to the human will. This is a structure that literally struggled to be built.

On August 9, 1173, architect Bonanno Pisano began construction of the bell tower in the center of the square. A little over two years later, during the building of the third tier, its trademark lean was initially discovered. It wasn't the fault of the design -- the cylindrical measurements attest to its architect's integrity -- but the soil on which the tower was situated was too soft, and the tower's foundation tipped. This naturally posed a dilemma, and for ninety years the tower remained incomplete.

There must be something about the way it inclined that intrigued the Pisans. They attempted to straighten it, but after a few years of trying, they realized it was impossible. However, that didn't stop completion of the tower. Giovanni di Simone took over the project, and four loggette (stories) were added, stopping whenever war broke out in the volatile region. The belfry, residing on the seventh and final level, is attributed to one of Pisano's relatives, who completed the tower in 1350, one hundred and seventy-five years after its flaw was first discovered.

>>

 
 

HOME | BOOKS | MUSIC | WINE | FOOD | TRAVEL | EMAIL | ART | FILM
GUESTBOOK | LINKS | QUIZ | SAMPLE CHAPTERS | ASK | GIFTS | WEDDING | MEET

Copyright 2004, Federico and Stephen Moramarco. No part of this site may be reprinted without permission of the authors