Pisa

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Nothing has captured imaginations like the Leaning Tower, probably the most recognizable structure the world, but there's far more to this historical city.

The Cathedral where Galileo observed the swaying chandelier and conceived the law of the pendulum, and the Baptistery with its truly remarkable acoustics.

The entire Piazza dei Miracoli rests on highly unstable sandy soil, which accounts for the tower's lean; take a look at the Baptistry and you'll see that it leans the other way from the tower.

The rest of the city center makes for some fine wandering, too, with alleys that have largely retained their medieval appearance.

Southeast, on the river, is the Museo Nazionale di San Matteo, a fine collection of ecclesiastical art and sculpture, while west along the Arno is the lavish Palazzo Reale Mansion and the city's huge Arsenale, which houses a display of items from excavations at the newly discovered site of Pisa's ancient harbor.

One of Pisa's biggest surprises lurks in a minor piazza south of the river near the train station: The last-ever mural by U.S. artist Keith Haring.

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