When I was a student in high school (not sure which grade), I learned about an alleged gravity experiment performed by the famous Italian physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei who lived in the 16th and 17th centuries. As the story goes, Galileo was trying to prove that earth's gravity exerts the same acceleration on all masses regardless of their weight and size. His experiment consisted of dropping a large and a small canon balls from the top of the leaning tower of Pisa and observing that they reached ground at the same time. A few centuries later in 1971, commander David Scott of Apollo 15 performed a similar experiment on the moon by dropping a hammer and a feather and observing that both items reached the moon's surface simultaneously.
Fat chance I'll ever be walking on the moon, but I always wanted to see the leaning tower of Pisa in person. Last week I got that chance and it was everything I expected. It had me completely spellbound. To see a structure of that size leaning is something that's hard to imagine. But there I was, a few feet away from the tower and it was a sight to behold. The town of Pisa has done a marvelous job of preserving the tower and the other two structures on the same grounds.
Walking about this historical oddity, I got a feeling that the tower was going to topple any minute. It was not unlike a toy tower built by a child that would invariably collapse. Only that this tower has been standing - well, leaning - for centuries. The town has been proactive in preserving this treasure making it the centerpiece of all the history it has to offer the visitors.
If you ever find yourself in Italy, I highly recommend visiting Pisa. The sight of the leaning tower could thrill you as much it did me. It was an unforgettable experience and I am thankful for having the opportunity to see it in person.
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