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Pisa leans to big Ferris wheel near the Tower


Pisa is planning to build a giant Ferris wheel, almost as tall as the famous Leaning Tower and just 5 minutes walk away. Nearby Florence last year banned a McDonald's from opening next to its cathedral, but maybe Pisa would take that, too.

Pisa city Cultural Commissioner, announcing the plan, said it would show visitors that "there's more than just the tower—the whole city is beautiful." It will be built on a parking lot on a trial basis, but could then become permanent.

It's already drawn fire from Italia Nostra, a non-profit that campaigns to protect Italy's cultural heritage. The organization says the giant wheel wouldn't complement the city's medieval architecture.

Huge wheels have become a popular idea since the London Eye opened a few years ago, but Italia Nostra says "London has a very modern spirit, with skyscrapers and huge buildings... In the city of the tower, a wheel with a 50-metre diameter doesn't make any sense."

The city's local cultural heritage authority has okayed the project, though. Heritage councilor Salvatore Sanzo told the ANSA news agency "We can't keep getting by with the Leaning Tower alone... A giant wheel could make the difference." 

Photo: JoJan/Wikimedia

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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