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Esercizio di ascolto (B2): Why does the Leaning Tower of Pisa lean?

Pratichiamo l’ascolto con questo esercizio. Ascolta il testo e completa il testo.

 

Listen to the story and then read this short version of it. Fill in the gaps with words from the original text.

Why does the Leaning Tower of Pisa lean?

The tower of Pisa was originally …………… (1). It is ……………  (2) high. It began to lean because the ground on which it was built was …………… (3). It started to sink when ………… (4). First they tried to solve the problem by making the upper stories …………… (5). As a result, the tower …………… (6). Later they added two more stories …………… (7) but in vain. A strange idea was to lift the tower up by …………… (8) on top of it. Also, they …………… (9) under the tower and filled them with huge quantities of …………… (10).

In 1990 a …………… (11) and it came to the conclusion that the tower was  …………… (12) so they …………… (13). The final solution was to …………… (14). As a result, the tilt of the tower was reduced by …………… (15).

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Why does the Leaning Tower of Pisa lean?

The leaning tower of Pisa is a famous Italian landmark. It was built as part of a church just before the Renaissance, which was a period of great cultural growth. The tower is round and measures 56 metres high. The tower started leaning because it was built on ground near a riverbed that was not solid. Even as it was being built, it was starting to sink. The builder tried making the upper stories taller on one side, but the tower leaned even more because of the extra weight. Building stopped completely for a hundred years while everyone studied the problem. Finally, they tried adding two more stories out of line from the rest of the building, but the tower still leaned.

Many people tried to think of ways to straighten the tower. Among the letters sent to Pisa was one suggesting to tie balloons on top of the tower to lift it up. Once holes were dug underneath the lower side of the tower, and the holes were filled with nine hundred tons of cement. But the building just tilted more.

In 1990 the Italian government appointed a special committee to look into the problem. These people determined that the tower was unsafe for tourists, so it was closed to the public. After many years, John Burland, a professor of soil mechanics, came up with a way to remove soil from under one side of the building so it would settle back into the ground, reducing its tilt. After spending thirty million dollars, the tilt is now forty centimetres less than it was, with a total of eleven feet, eight inches. In 2001 the tower was again opened to the public. For now it is safe but more major repairs may be done in the future.

Key: 

1.part of a church, 2. 56 metres, 3. not solid, 4. it was being built, 5. taller on one side, 6. leaned (even) more, 7. out of line with the rest/with the others, 8. tying balloons, 9. dug holes, 10. cement, 11. committee was formed, 12. unsafe for the tourists, 13. closed it to the public, 14. remove soil from under one side, 15. 40 centimetres

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