Florence, Italy – After a pair of games during their first two days in Florence, Friday’s schedule was one of the lightest of the week for the Nebraska men’s basketball team.
The main item of the day for the team was a 75-minute drive west to visit Pisa and to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The bell tower, which stands 185 feet high, was built of marble took nearly 200 years to finish after beginning in 1173. It leans because the land the tower sits on is a soft marsh. In fact, Pisa got its name from a Greek word meaning marshy land.
“Seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa was one of my favorite things on this part of the trip,” Senior Haanif Cheatham said of the Huskers’ three days in Florence. “Seeing the tower in person and learning more about the architecture and history makes you appreciate it.”
The tower is part of the Piazza dei Miracoli, which means Field of Miracles, and was given that name by the Italian writer and poet Gabriele d’Annunzio in 1920. The plaza itself is not in the city center, but along the western edge of the city wall. It also includes the Pisa Baptistry, Cathredral of Santa Maria and Camposanto and construction began in 1094 on the Cathedral.
Upon returning to Florence, the Huskers had the remainder of the day to sightsee and shop in the many stores and markets within walking distance to the hotel.
“It was good to place to walk around with so much to see and do,” Cheatham said. “I think this time has helped us grow together as a group and helped build camaraderie.”
The Huskers will trek to Como early Saturday morning and will stop at the Ferrari Museum in Maranello on the way to Como. The Huskers’ will spend the final three day of the trip in Como, culminating with a game against the Italian Select Monday evening.`