In July 1998 we sailed on MS Sundream in the Mediterranean visiting various ports. On the third day of the cruise we were docked in Civitavecchia, just 50 miles from Rome. We booked the ship's shore-excursion to see Rome by coach.

One of the attractions we wanted to see was :

This 3 building group included the Cathedral (in the centre), the Baptistery ( rear ) and the campanile (Bell Tower) better known as the LEANING TOWER OF PISA.

Construction of the tower began in 1174 but was suspended when the builders realised that the soft soil and shallow foundation would be inadequate.

The foundation problem was ignored, the work was restarted and the tower completed in the second half of the 14th century.

The tower had been closed to the public since 1990 because the structure was unstable. Work was being carried out to prevent the tower from leaning any further. Visitors offer their own assistance :