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Leaning Tower of Pisa

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Piazza del Duomo, 56126 Pisa PI, Italy

Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"To avoid the crowds at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, try to visit either early in the morning or later in the afternoon closer to closing time. Also, remember to walk the surrounding streets of Piazza dei Miracoli, where you can find charming cafés and less crowded spots to capture amazing photos with the tower from a unique angle."

What is Leaning Tower of Pisa?

Imagine a freestanding bell tower, its white marble shining under the Tuscan sun, rising above the green lawns of the Piazza dei Miracoli. Known worldwide for its unintended tilt, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of Italy's signature sights. Not merely a curious phenomenon, this structure is a testament to medieval engineering, Pisan might, and the unyielding nature of soft ground.

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The tower's construction began in the 12th century and spanned nearly 200 years, delayed by wars, debts, and the very tilt that makes it famous. Originally intended to stand vertically, the tower began leaning during construction due to unstable foundation soil, a characteristic it continues to boast to this day. Enshrouded by a lively atmosphere, locals cheerfully mingle with tourists who can't resist pretending to 'prop up' the tower for a memorable photo.

History of Leaning Tower of Pisa

The story of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is as much a lesson in geopolitics as it is in architecture. The tower's foundations were laid in 1173, during a period of military and economic strength for the Republic of Pisa. However, after completing the third floor, a pause was necessitated by ongoing wars with neighboring city-states. This unwittingly beneficial hiatus allowed the subsoil to partially settle and prevented an early collapse of the tower.

The project resumed in the 13th century under the guidance of architects Giovanni di Simone and Tommaso Pisano, with attempts to correct the tilt. These attempts created a tower that curves subtly as it ascends - an architectural nuance that only the most observant visitors notice. Its completion in the 14th century brought a distinctive landmark to Pisa, reflective of the city's former maritime prominence.

Why is Leaning Tower of Pisa Important?

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a celebration of both human genius and folly. It's a symbol of the ambition of Pisan ancestors, pushing the boundaries of what was architecturally possible in medieval Europe. The tower's lean demonstrates the immense challenges of construction: that despite the care and skill poured into its creation, nature can still assert itself in the form of unstable subterranean conditions.

But there's more than just a lean to this tower's importance. It's part of the Piazza dei Miracoli UNESCO World Heritage site, which includes the Cathedral, the Baptistery, and the Camposanto. Together, these structures depict the wealth and power of the Maritime Republic of Pisa at the height of its influence. And the tower's nearly miraculous survival is a beacon of Pisa's enduring cultural significance in the world, drawing countless visitors and ensuring its place in history.

Things to Do & See at Leaning Tower of Pisa

Beyond capturing that quintessential photo with the Leaning Tower, there's a wealth of experiences awaiting you. Brave the 294 steps to the top of the tower for a panoramic view of Pisa. It's a workout, but the sight of the cityscape and the serenity of the Arno river from above is well worth the effort.

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Explore the stunning complexes beside the tower, which many overlook in their eagerness. The Pisa Cathedral with its Pisan Romanesque architecture, the Baptistery with its renowned acoustics, and the serene graves at Camposanto are all must-sees. Right within the Piazza dei Miracoli, you have a complete architectural and cultural feast; silent, massive, monumental—a contrast to the joyful crowds around the tower.

During summer evenings, you'll find the lawns around the tower teeming with locals and tourists alike, their laughter mingling with the sound of the cathedral's bells. It's not unusual to find spontaneous concerts or cultural events in the piazza, transforming the space into a living venue of festivity. So, after visiting the tower, why not let the ripple of time carry you through the rest of the Piazza's treasures, into the alleys leading to the River Arno, or even further afield to discover the stories nestled within less-traveled paths of Pisa?

Frequently asked questions

What is the history of the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a historical bell tower in the city of Pisa which is famous for its unintended tilt. The tower's construction began in 1173 and continued over 199 years, with several interruptions due to wars, debt, and while engineers worked on solutions to correct the tilt. The tilt is caused by unstable foundation soil. It is considered one of the most remarkable architectural structures from medieval Europe.

How high is the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

The Leaning Tower of Pisa stands at about 56 meters (185 feet) tall. Due to its tilt, the height of the tower varies on different sides; the lowest side measures about 55.86 meters, while the highest side is about 56.67 meters.

Can visitors climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

Yes, visitors can climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa. There are 294 steps leading to the top of the tower, offering a unique experience and a panoramic view of the city. However, ticket purchases are typically necessary and it's recommended to book in advance due to the popularity of the attraction.

Why does the Leaning Tower of Pisa lean?

The tower leans due to a combination of factors including inadequate foundation on soft ground composed of clay, fine sand, and shells and uneven settling of the subsoil. Despite efforts to stabilize the tower and reduce the tilt, it still leans at about 3.97 degrees.

Is the Leaning Tower of Pisa safe to visit?

Yes, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is safe to visit. The tower has undergone many stabilization efforts and restoration projects to ensure its structural integrity and safety for visitors. Measures include counterweights, anchoring, and soil removal from underneath the raised end.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Piazza del Duomo, 56126 Pisa PI, Italy

Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps