We arrived in Pisa around 3pm and checked into our hotel room on Camp Darby. After settling in, we went to the airport and picked up our family who flew in from London! Then we went straight to the Leaning Tower and the Duomo, where we started the tourist activities right away!
I found an excellent parking spot (more on that later) and we walked the three blocks or so to the Tower. You have to get to one side of it in order to notice how much it leans, but when you do, it’s quite striking… can’t believe it is still standing!
My bro-in-law Cam and I decided to climb to the top. So we bought a pair of tickets and off we went. It was about a 5 minute walk up several flights of stairs, and we were there. There is a series of bells at the top that are in a sequence, one taller than the previous one. Here is a picture of the biggest one.

After climbing the tower, we walked back to the car, where I got a parking ticket! I had apparently parked in a very restricted zone, the fine? 122 euros (about $140 or so). Nice start to the Italian vacation!
We left the tower area and drove around to find a parking spot near where we had selected for dinner. I was a little gun shy on the parking! But we found a spot that was within about 6 blocks of the restaurant, and off we went. We got to the place in about 10 minutes and it was extremely hot inside. We watied while they made the table, and sat down for dinner around 9pm… pretty late for Cooper, but we were all very hungry. We ordered pizza and cokes and had a good time catching up, but the heat never relented, so it was hard to really relax inside that hot restaurant! The pizza was excellent, probably the best we had the whole time in Italy!
Finally we left, went back to Camp Darby, and found our hotel rooms - nice and air conditioned. More Italy tomorrow!