Day 1,050: Mediterranean Cruise 2. Pisa, Italy. Leaning Tower.

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.

Day 1,049: Mediterranean Cruise 2. Terre del Lago, Italy.

Laetitia led her group on an excursion from Livorno to Terre del Lago, Italy.  Opera composer, Giacomo Puccini lived in Terre del Lago, Italy for thirty years during which he composed most of hisbest-known operas.  He remodeled and added on to the watchtower for which the town is named and made it his residence.  The lake has several marshy areas that suited his interest in hunting.  When his success as a composer brought inconsiderable wealth, he became fond of automobiles and yachts and owned several of each.  He died in 1926 following surgery for throat cancer (he was a smoker).  He is entombed in one of the thick walls of the part of his residence that was once the tower.

At Torre del Lago, Puccini
Lived as star of the grand opera scene, he
There great operas wrought
All except Turandot
And drove cars like Isotta Fraschini.

Day 1,048: Mediterranean Cruise 2. Livorno, Italy.

The first port of call on Laetitia’ssecond Mediterranean cruise was Livorno, Italy.

The port that is known as Livorno
Serves the Tuscan cities on the Arno
Firenze and Pisa
Are from there reached with ease, a
Great place to try zuppa di giorno.

Day 1,047: Mediterranean Cruise 2. Civitavecchia, Italy.

Laetitia led a group on a second Mediterranean cruise that, once again, began at Civitavecchia, Italy.

Civitavecchia is Rome’s port
With its old Michelangelo Fort
On the old sea, Tyrrhenian
On the Mediterranean
It has long been a place of import.