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Excitement in The Little Things

The Best Isn't What You Expect, Or Maybe It Is

ITALY | Wednesday, 23 April 2014 | Views [80] | Scholarship Entry

The first time I saw the Tower of Pisa I wanted to laugh. It was one of the last days of my two weeks in Tuscany, easily the best holiday I’ve ever been to. The mix of beautiful weather and landscape with brilliant galleries and architecture really captured my imagination. Usually I’m eager to always go somewhere new that I haven’t been before when planning a holiday, but provided with money and time, I’d go back to Tuscany tomorrow.
I don’t know when my obsession with the Leaning Tower started, As far as I know, I had always had a strange desire to see the tower and to take the clichéd picture with me leaning on it. So when I went to Tuscany with my family, visiting Pisa was top of my to-do list. Sadly, as I soon found out, my plans weren’t particularly unique. When I arrived in Pisa the area surrounding the tower was filled with people pretending to lean on the tower, posing for pictures. You just knew there were people updating Instagram everywhere you turned. I must admit I took the picture, though being faced with my own lack of originality was somewhat daunting.
Even though my family and I had arrived early in the morning, we had to wait till after lunch for our time slot to go up the tower. Though the nearby fast food was oh so tempting and authentically Italian, we decided to get supplies from a supermarket and eat in the Piazza dei Miracoli, where the tower is located. Eating our bread, cheese and salami in the sight of the Baptistry, Cathedral, as well as the tower itself was incredibly impressive. It was a beautiful day and the Piazza looked at its best
We did, in the end, climb the tower. The strange, slightly unstable feel of the stairs near the top was an interesting experience, and the views were truly fantastic. I actually found getting to the top quite scary near the end. It really does feel, or at least it did to me, like the tower could tip over at any moment. My own tendency to overdramatize aside, I really enjoyed going up the tower. In the end I had probably built the whole experience up too much in my head.
In fact, my main memory of Pisa is sitting having lunch with my family looking at the beautiful architecture of the square. Eating good local food at a picnic with my family in an extraordinarily beautiful setting is something I’ll never forget. Again, I’m not being terribly original by claiming that it’s the simple things, and the people that you’re with that make a holiday amazing. However in this case I’ll have to agree.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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