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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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OPINION: Lopsided towers are more than just architectural mistakes

I hate Times Square in New York City. It’s crowded, people in costumes try to touch you for fun and no one understands the art form of walking on the right side of the street. 

Tourist destinations are purely for me to enjoy for a few minutes, snap a picture and leave before another person runs into my shoulder. But something about the Leaning Tower of Pisa completely changed my perspective on tourist attractions and world wonders. 

After getting off the train, I swiftly moved toward the tower. I passed a man taking a sip from the local fountain and memorized my favorite clothing items in each designer store. 

As my twenty-minute walk came to a close, I noticed the top of the leaning tower and instantly realized how massive the structure actually is.

Standing at 191.47 feet tall and leaning at 3.97 degrees, it’s truly a masterpiece of architectural mistake. 

Since it was my first time seeing the tower, I stood in awe, unable to comprehend how someone’s miscalculations in 1173 somehow became an attraction for people all over the world. It’s crowded, just like any important monument, but this particular crowd didn’t bother me the way previous ones had.

People were acting … cute. 

It was so beautiful, watching everyone stand and stare at such a massive work of art. I suddenly found myself standing still in a place where over five million people gather each year in admiration of a spectacle. 

Tourist spots like the Leaning Tower of Pisa are constantly over-saturated and hard to navigate. But, instead of looking at this particular attraction through the eyes of an annoyed traveler, I watched. I people watched the entire day I was in Pisa and found it to be authentically human. 

Humans all around me spread huge smiles across their faces as the person behind the camera told them the perfect way to hold the leaning tower just right.  

Everyone at the tower that day was from different places and backgrounds. They had different dreams and aspirations, they all even pretended to hold the leaning tower up in their own silly ways.  

In retrospect, pretending to hold a monument like you somehow have any effect on its stability for an Instagram photo seems stupid. 

But, the fact that so many people visit one particular place each year, to take the same picture, with the same pose, is so inherently precious. 

The tower itself is intriguing for its composition of marble, limestone and stones, but the people who surround it are just as interesting. Being in Pisa that day made me realize how special it is that humans have these places where we can come together, with the same goal in mind, without even knowing how similar we all truly are. 

Each one of us, from different corners of the world, yet a lopsided tower peaks each one of our interests just the same. 

Chloe Robertson is a guest opinion writer studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Contact her at [email protected]

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