The Cathedral (1063-1118) is 311 feet long, 106 feet wide, and the nave 109 feet high. The great bronze lamp which gave Galileo the hint of the pendulum, still hangs in its nave.
The Baptistry (1153-1278) stands a little distance from the west end of the Cathedral. It is about 120 feet in diameter and its dome is 180 feet high. Peabody considers it “the most faultlessly and exquisitely beautiful building” he ever saw.
These three most elegant buildings, the Cathedral, the Baptistry and the Campanile or Leaning Tower, are a unite in architectural beauty and design, and for effect in external appearance are scarcely outvied by anything that I have seen of the kind in all Italy. No one will feel sorry for having traveled a hundred miles to see the “Leaning Tower,” and the traveler will observe with pleasure and satisfaction that its two companions are even more elegant than itself.
On Tuesday noon, September 15th, I left Pisa for Rome. It was continually
as I progressed southward. At London I had received information that I must by no means go to Rome before October, as I might not be able to endure the intense heat of summer in central Italy.
The tourist must not always believe all that is said. Though it is not so pleasant to visit Rome in July or August, as later in the season, still it is quite as safe, if one takes the necessary precautions against fever. No one should eat much meat in Italy and Egypt. I lived upon milk, bread and fruit principally, and dressed in flannel; and as a consequence, never experienced much inconvenience from any source—not from heat even. At Rome I used an umbrella during the middle of the day, and in Egypt all of the day, but with that to protect me from the effect of the direct rays of the sun, I could get along tolerably well.
At Milan a young friend had cautioned me to be careful at Rome, as persons were often murdered there in broad daylight! I was not at all alarmed by that remark, because I had previously received similarly reports in regard to the morality of other cities, and had discovered that they were unfounded. As our train was sweeping on toward Rome, I apprehended little danger, therefore, from these sources, and after having formed the acquaintance of a certain Frenchman, the professor of mathematics of the University of Brest, who could speak a very little English, I began to have brighter hopes in regard to my visit to Rome.