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(Old) Mask of V Day 6: Pisa

(Originally posted on January 5, 2011)

Just one day right now. I have a million Venice pictures to edit before I talk about that…

Day Six: Pisa

The search for a free hop (military flight) had begun. Because of this, we really needed to get on the internet. We also really needed to do laundry. Both these things had to be done on base, so we accepted the fact that we wouldn’t get out till the afternoon. Mom did laundry while the siblings and Dad did internet stuff. We ended up leaving around noon.

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Pisa! Picture taken by me.

We went into Pisa, which actually isn’t as exciting as you would think. There are a handful of cool things and then just graffiti and small-confusing-city stuff. We decided to hit up the cool things, which included the Baptistery, Duomo and the leaning tower.

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The Baptistery! Picture taken by me.

The Baptistery is a medieval building where people used to get baptized. This one is just like a big dome plopped on the ground. It’s one room, with stairs in the walls for people to go up on the balcony and then back down again. These stairs are very small and curved.

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The curvy stairs. Picture taken by me.

What makes this Baptistery particularly interesting is that it was designed so that any time anyone makes a noise that noise will echo for ten seconds. Why is this cool? Because it allows one person to sing harmony with themselves. To demonstrate, the security guards sing every thirty minutes. You can check out the video here to see what I mean.

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The Doumo interior. Picture taken by me.

After that, we headed to the Doumo. This is a large church where the remains of a mummified Saint Ranieri are kept. But we went for the art—beautiful mosaics and frescos on the walls. There was also a case holding a skull, but we couldn’t figure out whose skull it was.

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The family being silly and touristy. Picture taken by Mom.

Then there was the obligatory visit to the leaning tower and a bunch of corny pictures. The tower is actually smaller than I expected, and really wasn’t all that impressive. It was just cool to see it in person after seeing depictions of it forever. Satisfied with our touristy excursion, we went to get sandwiches and then ate them on the steps of the Doumo. We dropped into a couple of the million cheap stalls to grab some souvenirs on our way out.

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On the road again. Picture taken by me.

We hit the road thereafter, and drove north. There was some confusion finding our next stop, but once we located the Airforce base we got a fantastic room with comfy beds and plenty of space (also: internet!). This is our home for the next few days.

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