On towers and other things
Back from Pisa.
Obligatory comments on the Tower: it leans, surprisingly much so. No, I didn’t drop anything from the top, although it is tempting. The best thing about the Tower isn’t actually going up to the top, although the view is good, and the inside of the Tower is interesting, if you haven’t seen that kind of thing before (which I hadn’t).
No, the best thing is the view of the Tower from outside, which is much more striking and unique. Best of all, it’s free, not 15 Euros, which is what a trip to the top costs.
Of course, as a third option, you can do what the couple ahead of me in line did. Namely, they paid their 30 Euros, and then decided on the second step up that the inside of the Tower made them claustrophobic, so they quit.
Another interesting event was in the Pisa airport cafe, where I sat down beside what turned out to be some kind of major Italian star, probably a soccer player. At least, he was about 22 or 23, didn’t have movie star good looks (then again, neither do a lot of male movie stars), and he was recognized by essentially every person who looked anywhere near him. I figure soccer is a good bet.
Pretty quickly a crowd started to gather, of people wanting autographs, photos, or just a chance to chat. He took it in extraordinarily good grace. Admittedly, there’s a lot of 23 year old men who wouldn’t find it overly taxing when young women come up and put their arms around them, asking for a photo. (In a few instances, the looks he got were absolutely smoldering.)
With that said, he dealt with all ages and all types with a lot of patience and good will, particularly the few who were tiresome. Outstanding in this category were the snot-nosed brat who complained and kept butting in, and the elderly grandmother who kept him occupied for a good 15-20 minutes, apparently SMSing messages to every single person she’d ever met. So far as I can tell, he was pretty much infinitely patient, and he certainly earned my admiration as a result, although I have no idea who he was.