The Leaning Tower of Pisa is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and recognizable landmarks in the world. It has been a popular stop for tourists en route from Rome to Florence or traveling between the Cinque Terre and Tuscany for years.
Quick Facts about the Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa took nearly 200 years to be constructed.
Its leaning began during the building process, and upper levels were purposely built at an angle to counteract it.
The tower has 294 steps on the north side and 296 steps on the south side.
Both the tower and the cathedral were designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987.
Restoration work took place from 1989 to 2001, following the collapse of a tower in Pavia. The tower was closed to visitors during this time. In 2008, engineers confirmed that the leaning has stabilized, and the tower is expected to remain stable for the next 300 years.
It is thought that the architects and engineers who designed the leaning Tower of Pisa are: Bonanno Pisano, Gherardo di Gherardo, Giovanni Pisano, Giovanni di Simone
The original completed height of the Tower of Pisa is 60 meters. Actually the tower’s height is 56.67m on the highest side and 55,86m on the lowest side.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa’s Name in Italian is Torre Pendente is pronounced TOR-reh pen-DEN-teh.
If you plan to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa, it takes about 30 minutes.
Pisa had grown from a small seaport town to a regional powerhouse in the 12th century, mostly due to the treasure accumulated from the attack on Palermo and Sicily which left Pisans victorious. To exhibit this prosperity, Pisa began to invest its wealth in the form of grand buildings and opulent structures. Hence, the idea for the Field of Miracles, today’s Piazza dei Miracoli was born. In this compound, the Pisa Cathedral, The Pisa Baptistery, the cemetery and a tall bell tower were designed to be erected. Hence, the tall bell tower which we know today as the Leaning Tower was built.
What is the easiest to get to Pisa
The easiest way to get to Pisa is by train and most people visit Pisa as a day trip from Florence. Direct trains from Florence take between 1 hour and 1 hour and 11 minutes, depending on the speed of the train. These trains leave every 20 to 30 minutes.
After arriving at the Pisa Centrale train station, it is a 22-minuted walk to the Leaning Tower. Taxis are available to speed up your journey and cost roughly €10 one way.
Where is the Leaning Tower of Pisa?
The Tower itself is located in a grassy field known as “Piazza dei Miracoli”, which translates to English as “Square of Miracles“. The Square of Miracles is located in the northern part of Pisa, about 1km (less than 1 mile) from the very centre of the town of the Leaning Tower. Pisa is located just an hour away from Florence and the Cinque Terre by train, it is very easy to see Pisa from either of these locations and even easier when traveling between the two.
What Else is in the Square of Miracles?
The Square of Miracles is another name for the Duomo Complex. The buildings on this square include the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the cathedral, the baptistery, the Camposanto, the Sinopie Museum, and the Opera del Duomo Museum.
Constructed in the 12th century, the round Battistero di San Giovanni (Pisa Baptistery) stands as the second building within the Campo dei Miracoli. Externally, it boasts intricate beauty, but upon entering, one is greeted with a more austere, sparse, and somewhat sombre design.
The atmosphere almost transports you into a scene from The Game of Thrones, where imminent bloodshed seems likely.
The baptistery’s renowned acoustics are a treat, and during our visit, we were fortunate to witness one of the guardians singing, showcasing its mesmerizing sound – an unforgettable moment. Interestingly, this performance occurs every 30 minutes, making it a must-see, preferably from the upper gallery.
On the second floor, a window opens to a breath-taking view of the Cathedral façade and Piazza dei Miracoli – an incredible sight not to be missed.
Constructed in 1092, the Duomo di Pisa impresses with its splendor both inside and out.
Gaze upwards to marvel at the golden ceiling, take in the exquisite artistry of Giovanni Pisano’s masterful pulpit carvings, and linger to appreciate the delicate fusion of slender pillars and the striking angles of the façade that faces the baptistery.
The last stop at Campo dei Miracoli was the Camposanto Monumentale, the old cemetery. Although slightly fatigued at that point, we admired its frescoes, sarcophagi, arches, and sculptures. The site’s beauty shines through, especially when the light is just perfect. It holds significance as it was built on sacred soil brought from Golgotha and the Third Crusade, serving as the final resting place for several holy figures.
Please note that in the ticketing system, these attractions are collectively referred to as ‘monuments,’ along with the Opera del Duomo museum and Sinopie museum.
How do I buy Tickets to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa?
Tickets can be bought from the official website. At a time, access to the Leaning Tower is limited to 45 people only. Each visit lasts for a strict 30 minutes.
If the Tickets are sold out for the date you will be here, you can also get a ticket through GetYourGuide. You have the option of a Reserved Entrance to Leaning Tower of Pisa & Cathedral.
Tower & Cathedral: €20, which includes the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the cathedral
Tower & Cathedral skip the Line Ticket: About €22. If you are in the height of the season you can spend over an hour in line, if this does not appeal try buying a Leaning Tower of Pisa and Cathedral Skip-the-Line Ticket.
Complete Visit (without Tower): €10, which includes the cathedral, baptistery, Camposanto, and both museums. Even though it is called the Complete ticket, IT DOES NOT INCLUDE THE TOWER.
Cathedral + One Site: €7; for 7 euros, you can visit the cathedral plus one other site, choosing between the baptistery, Camposanto, Opera del Duomo Museum or Sinopie Museum.
N.B. This does not include tickets for the tower.
Combined Ticket: €27 which includes everything: the tower, cathedral, baptistery, Camposanto, and both museums
All-Inclusive Guided Tour with Optional Leaning Tower: Discover Piazza dei Miracoli on a guided walking tour and learn about the cathedral, baptistery, and the famous Leaning Tower. Have the option to climb the tower (if ticket selected). All-Inclusive Guided Tour with Optional Leaning Tower
When does the Leaning Tower of Pisa open?
With the exception of the cathedral, the sites at the Duomo Complex open at 9 am and close between 6 and 7 pm. The cathedral is open from 10 am to 6 pm.
What is the Best time of day to Visit the Tower?
With almost 500,000 annual visitors, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Campo dei Miracoli can get very crowded. If you want to take photos without tons of other people in the frame, try to arrive early in the morning possible before the Tower opens for visits.