My Visit to the
Leaning Tower of Pisa
For visitors to Italy the
Leaning Tower of Pisa is practically a mandatory stop.
This is a well known and generally accepted fact. This has a
great affect the local economy of Pisa but, for the visitor
this lends to a very touristy vibe.
The day of our visit there
was a carnival-like atmosphere just outside the Campo dei
Miracoli. Vendors were selling items in open air stalls with
offerings to suit every taste. There were candies, leather
goods, hats, sunglasses, Pisa tourist maps, Pisa guide
books, craftsmen, and artists of all forms.
However I will never forget
the roaming guys with the knock-off wristwatches. They had
them attached to felt covered boards that had cheap sun
glasses attached to a second piece of felt covering the time
pieces. These guys were shady - always looking over
their shoulders - and, very, very persistent.
They had Gucci, Prada,
Citizen, Rolex and many others at very, reasonable prices.
They would not leave us alone. It was like when a dog really, really likes your
leg. We couldn't shake them off.
I noted that they did not
have any Bulova in their offerings. So, I told them
that only Bulova would do. I wanted nothing else. This
seemed to work. They said they could come up with Bulova...
Off they went into the Pisan crowd to find the goods.
They returned to our table at
the caffe' bar where we were admiring a lovely view of the
leaning tower of Pisa, after about twenty minutes. They
offered steep discounts to the already ridiculous prices. I
asked if they had found any Bulovas. They had not. So, I
stood firm. I insisted on my brand of choice and sent
them off to find their next victim.