On a second day in port at Livorno, Laetitia led an excursion to Pisa along with a local guide. Mention Pisa and for most it brings to mind Galileo and the leaning tower. From its top, we are told, he dropped two balls and demonstrated that their rates of descent were the same despite their differing masses. The structure is, in fact, the bell tower of the nearby cathedral. It was built on soil with compaction properties inadequate to support it. It was a scandal in its day, so much so that the architect left it unsigned and slinked away in disgrace. Stabilizing the famous tower against complete collapse is a constant and expensive battle. Laetitia thought the tower deserved a limerick.
The cathedral bell tower in Pisa
From which Galileo did release a
Pair of balls of renown
That at same rate came down
Is as famous as the Mona Lisa.