Revelations @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11 #Italy #LeaningTowerofPisa

A recent trip away with my other half prompted the writing of this piece.

We were on a long-awaited cruise; cancelled twice because of COVID19.

The trip was to take us over 786 nautical miles from Southampton docks to Rome and back. We visited seven countries, including Vatican City, areas of Spain, France and Italy.

I shall focus on the two stops we made in Italy – the first being the Field of Miracles, where we found the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the second, the Vatican City, sitting in the capitol of Rome.  We chose these two places because they interested us the most.

We did not leave the ship to visit all ports on the itinerary, but Pisa and Rome were two of the three that we did.

For different reasons I want to tell you about these wonderful places.

THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA

Pisa is in the Provence of Tuscany, Northern Italy.  We headed to the Field of Miracles where the Leaning Tower of Pisa sits (and lean it does, as you can see below):

IMG_1824

There were crowds of visitors that day, but the sun was shining, and the sky was blue; we were also happy to get the exercise.

Held within the same area stands two grand structures made in part of the famous Italian marble. They all exude grandeur. The cathedral in the picture stands to the left of the tower on entering the complex.  You enter from the far end of this scene…

Pisa’s main tourist attractions are the leaning Tower Cathedral, Baptistery, and Campo Santo. All are close together and comprise a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Pisa Cathedral is a medieval Roman Catholic cathedral.  It is the oldest of the three structures in the Plaza. Its construction began in 1063 and was completed in 1092.  You can see the cathedral behind the tower above.

You may be interested to know that a number of famous people were born in that region of Tuscany:

Leonardo Da Vinci
Galileo Galilei in Piza
Andrea Bocelli
Michelangelo
Giacomo Puccini

THE VATICAN CITY

The second stop in Italy was Rome.  We took a trip to the Vatican City, the smallest country in the world.  We walked from our coach to St. Peter’s Square.

See the photograph below showing the lovely architecture within the square, and straight ahead you can see the window where the Pope stands to deliver his Sunday message. [See the top window slightly to the right of my head.] We had just missed the highlight of the Pope delivering his Sunday address, as when we arrived, visitors were leaving in throngs.

IMG_1876

We regret not having enough time to visit the museums or the cathedral due to long queues.

Within the square stands a glorious sculpture dedicated to migrants called “Angels Unaware.” It is a boat cast in bronze by the Canadian artist, Timothy P. Schmalz, depicting 140 migrants ranging from a Jewish man escaping Nazi Germany, to a Syrian refugee, fleeing the civil war. The boat faces in the direction towards St. Peter’s Basilica. The statue depicts the inclusion of every migrant experience over the centuries. Humanity has always experienced migration; inclusive of all races, cultures and religions.

The 20-foot sculpture is the most awe-inspiring piece. The artist was influenced by the passage, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

I was profoundly affected, not just by the amazingly beautiful Vatican City, but also by this bronze cast statue. It serves as a reminder of all the migrants fleeing countries suffering conflict today.

Joy M. Lilley (aka Joy Gerken) May 2022

14 thoughts on “Revelations @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11 #Italy #LeaningTowerofPisa

  1. Hi Joy,
    Very well written article. I love Rome and the Vatican City and have been in the cathedral and the other buildings. I too was fascinated. Happy to hear you had a great time.
    Shalom aleichem

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was so enlightening, Joy. My family took this cruise a few years ago, but I Had to miss it at the last minute. Your picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is beautiful and it’s good to see you looking so fit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for taking a peek Linda.What a pity you did not get on the cruise.If you get the opportunity to go you won’t regret it, as Italy is the most wonderful place with so much historical interest.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, Joy! Thanks for including some history here. Italy’s history is both dark and light-filled, like the rest of Europe. Its unique architecture sets it apart. I’m so glad you got to visit some of its most interesting places! Thanks for sharing them with us. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This recalls our trip to Italy in 1999. In one photo, I snapped Cliff trying to hold up the Tower of Pisa, and we did revel in the glories of Vatican City, especially the art. Thanks for the virtual visit, Joy!

    Liked by 1 person

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