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PisaDon't miss this jewel thinking it is a tourist stop. Well it is. The buses roll in and out. But the Campo dei Miracoli, or the Field of Miracles is just that - miracles.

I had worn shorts as the day was hot and was stopped at the door and unable to enter the cathedral. I asked Karen to stick her head in and tell me if it was worth it to hike back to the car and change into my pants. Wasn't that a stupid question but travel fatique had set it. Well of course she said "unbelieveable". It was worth the run back to the car. And in Italy, no one even looks at a man changing pants in a parking lot!

We were fortunate as this trip was the year before they closed the tower. We were able to make our way up the narrow winding, smelly staircase to the top. There I was surprised that one just walked out onto the top flow. There was only a single metal bar preventing a fall. Stunning.

Don't miss a good amount of time in the Cathedral and the Bapistry. The Bapistry in Pisa is the largest in Italy.

Now we returned many years later in 2008 and it was a slightly different place. We almost hated it because of the crowds of tourists. Be ready to line up and buy tickets for just about everything. But still, the Duomo is incredible. The tower, well it has been stablized and it is still going through the effort to go up.