A Cool Place to Visit this Summer

Isn’t this as thrilling as a climb to the top of the Leaning Tower?  ©Henk-Jan van der Klis

The Leaning Tower of Pisa… Who has not seen it, at least in pictures, and tried to imagine what it feels like to be at its top, precariously tilting some 50 meters above ground?!… The prospect of such a thrill will definitely make your children pull you by the arm: “Mum, Dad, let’s climb up there!”

But in the high season, when you’re assailed with the hot spells and sightseeing hordes, even the most magnetic landmarks get a lot less attractive – to youngsters and grown-ups alike! So it’s always nice to have in store satisfactory alternatives.

For visitors to Pisa, an excellent fallback option – during those times when the Leaning Tower and the surrounding Square of Miracles are stormed by tourists and high temperatures – is the beautiful Pisa Charterhouse, a former Carthusian monastery located in Calci, a small town lying in the vicinity of Pisa.

I found out about the Charterhouse thanks to my good friend Elisa. We were talking about La Specola, Florence’s Natural History Museum – which I am infatuated with, – when Elisa told me about its equivalent near Pisa.

My family and I discovered the Charterhouse a few weeks ago. We were absolutely delighted with our visit – and not just because we found shelter, in the building’s cool and quiet bosom, from the scorching heat and bustling crowds. The Charterhouse, also known as the Calci Charterhouse, is home to two outstanding museums: the National Museum of the Charterhouse and the Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa, the latter being one of the most ancient museums in the world, founded at the end of the 16th century and housing one of the largest collection of cetacean skeletons in Europe.

Small guided tours are organized on the premises, which will lead you through the spaces of the former monastery and enlighten you on the daily life of the monks who used to live there. For more information about the Charterhouse, follow this link: The Carthusian Monastery of Pisa.

Enjoy a cool summer!

 

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