A new ‘attraction’ will soon be opening in Pisa, the Tuscan city famous for its Leaning Tower.
The attraction in question is a large ferris wheel, to be roughly the same height as the tower (56 meters). The ferris wheel will be installed in a parking lot five minutes from Piazza dei Miracoli, where the Tower, along with the Cathedral and the Baptistry, Pisa’s major attractions, stand. The plan is to install it for three months this summer to see what the response from visitors will be.
The view from the ferris wheel is said to be spectacular, taking in the tower, the Baptistry, the Duomo, and beyond, toward the city’s medieval buildings facing the Arno river, and all the way to the sea.
Pisa's culture commissioner, Andrea Ferrante, has said that the ferris wheel will show tourists that there’s more to Pisa than the Leaning Tower, and therefore will inspire them to visit the rest of the city and spend more time there. Approximately 2.5 million tourists visit Piazza dei Miracoli every year, but few venture beyond that area. “There’s more than just the tower,” Ferrante said. “The whole city is beautiful.”
Not everyone is supportive of the plan. The non-profit group Italia Nostra, dedicated to preserving Italy’s heritage, says the amusement park-type attraction would not blend in with the city's medieval architecture. “In the city of the Leaning Tower, a 50-meter-diameter wheel a few steps from Piazza dei Miracoli doesn’t make any sense,” said regional president Mariarita Signorini.
Pisa’s iconic Leaning Tower is a white-marble bell tower built for the Romanesque Cathedral that stands next to it. It was already tilting when it was completed in 1372.
What do you think of the plan to install a giant ferris wheel near the Leaning Tower of Pisa?