Friday’s Photos – Isola Bella

Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore, Italy Copyright Shirley Sorbello 2006

Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore, Italy
Copyright Shirley Sorbello 2006

My favorite place on earth is the island of Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore, near Stresa, Italy. I wrote about it HERE on this blog a couple of years ago. The gardens are lovely, and the beauty of the mountain views is undeniable.

Isola Bella Copyright Shirley Sorbello 2007

View from Isola Bella
Copyright Shirley Sorbello 2007

However, it’s more than beauty that draws me here…it’s the way it makes me feel when I’m there—joyful, loving, peaceful—a place that brings me contentment unlike anywhere else on earth.

What about you? Do you have a place nearby or at a distance that calls to you to visit because it makes you happy and stress-free to be there?

Friday’s Photos – Tower of Pisa

Cathedral and Tower of Pisa Copyright 2006 Sherri L. Sorbello

Cathedral and Tower of Pisa
Copyright 2006 Sherri L. Sorbello

These photos of the Cathedral and Bell Tower of Pisa were taken by my daughter, Sherri, on June 30, 2006. I still remember how uncomfortable the heat and humidity were that day as we walked through the tiny town of Pisa, Italy to get to the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles) where the cathedral and bell tower are located.

And yes, it really does lean, although apparently not as much as it did previously. According to the resources listed below, the tower began to lean during its over two hundred years of construction from 1173 to 1399. Various method of compensation and reinforcement continued over the centuries without much success until the late twentieth century.

Tower of Pisa Copyright 2006 Sherri L. Sorbello

Tower of Pisa
Copyright 2006 Sherri L. Sorbello

When the tower was in danger of collapse in 1990, it was closed to visitors while engineers took on a major straightening project. This was completed in May 2001 after correcting the lean 19 inches (it leans about 13 feet at the top) and more importantly, stopping it from continuing.

Pisa got its name in 600 BC from a Greek word meaning “marshy land.” Apparently this is the reason for the problem with the tower and the fact that other structures in Pisa, including the cathedral, are sinking.

Resources:
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/333926/Leaning-Tower-of-Pisa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaning_tower_of_pisa
http://www.towerofpisa.info/Tower-of-Pisa-facts.html