Thursday, July 6, 2017

Leaving Indelible Footprints at the Tower of Pisa


After our month vacation in Italy with a short jaunt to neighboring countries such as France, Monaco and Switzerland, I gave my two girls an assignment.  They were supposed to write an essay each about the lessons they learned during the trip.  Of course the first things that came out of their mouth were make up shopping at Kiko and realizing that Zara is cheap in Milan. 

I know they have better things to say, but spontaneity spoke so loudly.  I guess my girls aren't so little anymore.  Well, it has been a month after coming home and school started so they haven't started on that yet. 

Looking back at our four-day Tuscan tour, it made me think of the bad times I had with my girls and some of the things I wish I could have taught them, or might have.  

Our Tuscan tour started with a long drive from Milan to Pisa.  Marveling at the leaning tower of Pisa I realized that in spite of all the bantering and bickering of the two, I knew deep within that the experiences they had will forever be in their memory bank.

The tower being at flaw, since it had been tilting since built, served a nuisance to past governing bodies.  However, it had been the center of attraction in the city of Pisa the very reason why tourists flock the area.


As a mom, it is important for me that not only do they find happiness but there should always be lessons added to it.  I found an allegory between the the ill-conceived design plans that is the Tower of Pisa, which draws parallel to our tour such as low budget, sibling rivalry, not enough time to explore, blah, blah, blah.

With that, I made a list of the lessons I wished (prayed even) they could have learned from our tour.

At the middle is the Baptistery, next to it is the Piazza del Duomo
1.  They are blessed beyond their thinking.

Not many people will be as fortunate as them to see structures such as the ones which reside before you. 

The whole place called "The Piazza Dei Miracoli" means 'field of miracles' or 'field of dreams', also known as Piazza del Duomo, is home to the leaning Tower of Pisa, the Camposanto, the Duomo and the Baptistery. The square and its surrounding areas, were the sites of pre-Roman settlements. The square is a walled area that lies in the center of Pisa.

It was indeed a miracle that we were even brought here.


2. “Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.” 

It was Francis Bacon, Sr. who coined that.  Because we didn't travel with a registered tour guide to give us historical facts and what not about the place, my girls wasn't able to grasp the significance of the places we've been to. 

However, I hope that with the little knowledge we have about the landmark, we were able to spark they interests. Also, at least, they could have "googled" what the place is.

Though, I was there for the sight-seeing, it's different to actually be there than just seeing it in pictures.  When you are actually there, life becomes bigger, fuller, livelier, and you reckon it's not just all about the landscape, there will be people (in Italy, lots of tourists), , there will be stores and yes, there can also be danger.  But it's all banked on your life experiences, and that no one can ever bee taken away from you.


3.  “Travelers, there is no path, paths are made by walking” – Antonio Machado

Sometimes, you don't need to take the usual route, or the follow an elaborate map, you can get lost, but you can still bounce back and get to the right right track, again, all a matter of taking things into different perceptions. 

I don't mind walking or even getting lost, but I don't want my kids getting worried, nor getting loads of  complains from them about getting tired, being too sleepy, or hungry (always) or thirsty, etc...

I hope they see beyond that, cause, yeah, it is tiring to walk miles, scary getting lost in place you don't know but we made it through.


4.  The taste, feel sight and even the smell makes all the difference.

You can never go back to that moment when you had your #selfie with the iconic leaning tower, or even having to eat a pistachio gelato under the heat of the Tuscan sun.  Scoring tons, and checking this of in your bucket list is indeed one a lifetime moment.  So make the most of the trip.




One of the huge doors of the Duomo

4.  Foster art appreciation

To be honest, though we're blessed to have this tour, my girls kept on ranting about where we're going next or what's the reason behind coming here.

I insisted on always having my pictures taken on certain doors that fascinated the dear old me. but they missed the lessons I wanted them to learn.

It's not just about having my pictures taken, it's memory being dumped in the web, or in my photo-diary, which I might not remember when I'm old.

But beyond that, I wanted to instill the deep appreciation for the craft, the artistry and all the effort put into making, developing and even maintaining it.

There are so many other things, but I'll keep to this list for now.

Next on our itinerary is the city of Florence.

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