Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Acoustics for Dancing Queen

Mum proving she is as strong as Dad

Dad holding up Leaning Tower

Next stop Roma.  But what sort of tour guide would I be if I did not take my parents to the Leaning Tower to hold it up first? Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, (pronounced 'Pizza' by my parents).  The Leaning Tower is the most famous image of the city, but it is only one of many works of art and architecture in the city's  Piazza del DuomoIt also houses the Duomo (the Cathedral), the Baptistery and the Monumental Cemetery. I did prewarn my tour group that the tower was smaller than they may anticipate; they still seemed to be quite impressed by the archetectural beauty of the tower and the duomo.  We bought tickets and went inside the Cathedral to witness beautiful paintings, mosaics and coffer ceiling.  The Baptistery's interior was suprisingly bland and lacked decoration, but it had notable acoustics.  A caretaker demonstrates 3-voice polyphonic harmony every half hour into the large tube columns in the centre. It took every bit of will power I possessed  not to break into song, (I would of done a great version of Dancing Queen by Abba).


Duomo exterior

Playing drums in the Duomo

Duomo interior

Battistero di San Giovanni  

Baptistery interior

After an hours stop, we head back to the bar next to our parked car to buy a stale foccacia for lunch.  Then get caught by the owner sneaking out of the patisserie up the road with an unstale foccacia.  The coast road towards the end of our voyage to Rome is quite pretty, (and the 7 prostitutes spread along the main highway provide us with some giggles and entertainment).  As expected, driving in Rome is intimidating, and we are pleased to arrive at our apartment safely so we can put the car keys away for a couple of days. I actually would of preferred the car keys to go away before they assisted my husband in driving over my seeing glasses.  I accidently dropped them when getting out of the car, then hubby decided to fix his parking; forward, backwards, forward, backwards, crunch.  Now I can not look down my nose at my kids without my glasses falling off and banging them on the head. 'Two birds with one stone' perhaps.

Interesting Fact
Italy's largest baptistery (54.86m tall and 104m in circumference), the Battistero di San Giovanni is also slightly taller than the Leaning Tower across the square. As it shares the same unstable ground as the tower, the baptistery also has a slight lean of 0.6 degrees towards the cathedral.

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