04 December, 2020

Tilt The World

Tilt The World
The quickest entry to Tuscany from abroad is through Pisa, of Leaning Tower fame. Pisa is a most underrated town, thanks to the Terrible Tilt. Its good fortune—that ridiculous 12th century architectural wonder that tips five metres from the vertical—is also its chief misfortune. Thousands skid in daily and ship out immediately. It's actually worth a pause: a university town, buzzing with life, with a fine array of palazzi lining the river Arno. We stayed overnight because I had read that the New York artist Keith Haring had painted a great mural on a church wall. Haring, who died in 1990, became famous for spraying New York's subway with doodles. A friend of Andy Warhol, Madonna and others, he painted to delight children. Next morning, I found the mural easily: a vast, sliced-off cathedral wall covered with Tutto Mondo ('The World', circa 1989). The Pisa municipality has placed a partial Perspex shield and the alley is blocked off, with benches thoughtfully placed for visitors. Public opinion is...


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