2011

Carrara/Pisa

January 21st

Carrara is where it is at. That is if you want marble. Today we got the chance to go into the marble quarries that have been around for over 2,000 years. Woah! These are also the same quarries where Michelangelo hand picked his marble for various statues and monuments. The marble in these quarries are of the best quality, pure white, and minimal veins. It was an interesting adventure to take our huge tour bus up into the quarries. Once we got up there we had a chance to see how the marble was actually taken away using a wire rope diamond saw. We also had the opportunity to meet the owner of the specific area and he gave each one of us the diamond beads as good luck charms. Don’t get too excited, I’m pretty sure the diamond was synthetic and not real. We then had a chance to go down into the studio and look at all sorts of marble carvings.

We had a bag lunch which consisted of pop and lard. Yes, lard. It was actually pretty good, but probably not too good for you!

Last destination today: Pisa. Home to the leaning tower of Pisa and also the birthplace of Galileo. While there we had a chance to go inside the baptistry, cathedral, and graveyard. The baptistry was huge! What was special about this specific baptistry, was its acoustics. We got to hear/see a live performance of a man singing notes. The sound was incredible in the space. The cathedral had a chandelier which inspired Galileo to calculate the “period” of a swinging object. We got to see the actual lamp too, however it was located in the graveyard. Some of us were able to climb all the way to the top of Pisa, and what a hike that was. Of course we all took the classic picture of pretending to hold up the tower.

We ended the days adventure with a little Mc Donald’s. It was nice to take a break from all the bread and pasta.

Now let’s get down to business and talk about the bell tower. It was ironically due to an engineering mistake. Mainly not knowing that the soil was not suitable for such a heavy structure. Quick fun fact, both the cathedral and the baptistry lean as well.

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