Thursday, April 10, 2014

Florence-Pisa, Italy April 11, 1954

Leaving Rome on April 9, 1954, HH and Jean travel by train to Florence, about 180 miles north.   While in Florence they also make a side trip to Pisa to see the famous leaning tower.  Pisa is some 60 miles west of Florence.  Two postcards with the same picture of the Leaning Tower were sent and one more Easter card as shown below.
Easter postcard from Florence to Mrs. NW Ballantyne April 10, 1954
[Saturday] April 10, 1954
Arrived in Florence yesterday after taking the train from Rome.  It's a beautiful city with so many interesting little shops – especially on one of the bridges across the Arno River.  We start sightseeing this am.  Plan to go to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower there, perhaps Sunday.  All our best love, Harold & Jean
Leaning Tower of Pisa postcard sent to M/M CJU - April 11, 1954
Sunday, 11 April, 1954
[Jean writes:] Just got back to Florence after going to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa – one of the Seven Wonders of the World* – climbed clear to the very top of it and oh the steps! – 297 of them.  [HH writes:] About 50 miles over.  Our heavy coats feel good today.  Plan to leave tomorrow for Venice.  [Have] Seen several women washing clothes on the rocks along the river.  Tell Catherine & Roberta that I remember this from history.  –H&J

[Jean to her Mother] Sunday 11 April 1954
Winter coats feel good here.  Just got back to Florence after going to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa – one of the Seven Wonders of the World* – it really leans – climbed clear to the top of it – the very top – no elevator and oh the steps.  Will probably leave Florence tomorrow for Venice.  All our very best love, Harold and Jean

*The Leaning Tower of Pisa is on the list of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World, which follows: 

  1. Stonehenge
  2. Colosseum
  3. Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa
  4. Great Wall of China
  5. Porcelain Tower of Nanjing
  6. Hagia Sophia
  7. Leaning Tower of Pisa
Other sites sometimes included on such lists:
Taj Mahal, Cairo CitadelEly CathedralCluny Abbey

    The Seven Wonders of the Ancient WorldThe historian Herodotus (484 – ca. 425 BCE), and the scholar Callimachus of Cyrene (ca. 305 – 240 BCE) at the Museum of Alexandria, made early lists of seven wonders but their writings have not survived, except as references. The seven wonders included:

    The earliest lists had the Ishtar Gate as the seventh wonder of the world instead of the Lighthouse of Alexandria.
    The list known today was compiled in the Middle Ages—by which time many of the sites were no longer in existence. Today, the only ancient world wonder that still exists is the Great Pyramid of Giza.

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