The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of Italy’s signature sights and amongst the most famous structures in the world. Located in the Piazza dei Miracoli in the quaint city of Pisa, the Leaning Tower of Pisa which is also known as the Torre pendente di Pisa in Italian or or simply the Tower of Pisa is one of the many reasons people embark on a day trip from Rome or Florence to Pisa. If you’re one to travel from Florence or Rome to Pisa, our comprehensive guide to the Leaning Tower of Pisa is just what you need.
We’ve got you covered on how to reach the Leaning Tower of Pisa, timings, details on guided tours, what’s inside the Leaning Tower of Pisa and a bunch of other FAQs that maybe floating in your mind.
Quick Jumplinks to Navigate the Guide
- 10 Things to Know Before You Visit The Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Leaning Tower of Pisa History
- Inside the Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Leaning Tower of Pisa Tickets
- Other Attractions in Piazza dei Miracoli Pisa
- Visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Day Trip Guide : Florence to Pisa
10 Things to Know Before You Visit The Leaning Tower of Pisa
- At a time, access to the Leaning Tower is limited to 45 people only.
- Children under 8 years of age are not allowed inside the Tower of Pisa. Those aged 8-10 years need compulsory adult surpervision.
- The official website is considered poor and unreliable. There have been multiple reviews of failed transactions, hence booking your tickets online via third party agents is highly recommended.
- A maximum of 10 tickets can be purchased at a time and must be purchased a day prior to your visit.
- The queues outside are awefully long since tourists flock to this attraction is large numbers. Purchasing tickets online in advance is advisable.
- To reach the top, one has to climb 294 steps; each step slanting different ways which can make the experience a tad bit disconcerting. However, the fabulouse views from above will make up for the effort.
- Each visit lasts for a strict 30 minutes. Since only 45 people can go in at a time, they are very strict about keeping the time in check, hence make sure you make the most of your 30 minutes.
- You will not be allowed to carry anything to the top, not even handbags. There is a free left luggage desk near the ticket office where one is required to deposit all their belongings. All you can carry up are cameras, mobile phones and water bottles.
- Make sure you reach the Leaning Tower of Pisa atleast 20 minutes before you slot time. This is to allow the deposit and buffer for unpredictable delays.
- The last entry to the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a half an hour before closing time.
Skip The Line Leaning Tower of Pisa Tickets with Cathedral Access
• Skip the line and head to the Leaning Tower of Pisa
• Explore the Piazza Dei Miracoli and the Pisa Cathedral
• Discover the treasures at the Cathedral of St.Mary of Assumption
• Learn the history about the Leaning Tower
• Fast Track Access to the Cathedral of St. Mary
Leaning Tower of Pisa History
When was the Leaning Tower of Pisa built?
The construction of the Leaning Tower of Pisa began in August 1173 and took 344 years to build. It was interrupted over the years due to wars, debt and structural flaws ( the lean). If these obstacles had'nt risen, then the Tower of Pisa would have completed construction in 185 to 195 years. The Tower was finally completed in mid 1300s and open to public.
Why was the Leaning Tower of Pisa built?
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 begain 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 of Pisa was built.
How tall is the Leaning Tower of Pisa?
While a cursory google search will tell you that the Leaning Tower of Pisa is 57 meters tall, know that this is wrong! Since the Tower of Pisa has a slant, it measures 55.9 m at its lowest point and highest point is 58.36 m. The height of 56.7 meters (rounded by Google at 57m) is measured from the lowest point on the base to the highest point on the top.This little-known fact deserves to be known by those visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Who built the Leaning Tower of Pisa?
Since the Leaning Tower of Pisa took so long to complete, there have been multiple architects and engineers involved in the process. However the most accredited architects are Bonanno Pisano and Gherardo din Gherardo. The architect who finished the work is Tommaso Pisano hence he is given due credit as well.
Why does the Leaning Tower of Pisa lean ?
Contrary to popular notion that the Leaning tower of Pisa is leaning because it was designed that way, the reason is actually a folly. By the time the construction got to its third story in 1178, the soft ground on which it was built resulted in a soil shift and subsequent destabilization of the tower’s foundations. In the next 800 years, architects realised that the Tower of Pisa was not just leaning but falling at a rate of one to two millimeters per year. Today, the Leaning Tower of Pisa stands more than five meters off perpendicular.
Inside the Leaning tower of Pisa
The insides of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is mostly hollow with smooth marble walls, along with a narrowing flight of stairs and a few retrofitted safety and stabilizing additions. To go inside one requires a ticket. After purchasing the ticket either in advance online or at the site, you're required to deposit your belongings at the free lockers. This is because the Leaning Tower of Pisa is rather lean and there will be no space for your bags and belongings.
Once you step inside the Tower of Pisa, cool air engulfs you, courtesy the marble and you start making your way up 294 stairs to be precise. There are 7 towers on your way up where you can stop and consume terrfic views, but the top most landing is undoubtedly the best. After viewing captivating views of Florence, make your way down carefully ( the stairs are slippery!) and go about exploring the other attractions around Piazza Dei Miracoli.
Leaning Tower of Pisa Tickets
Grabbing tickets for the Leaning Tower of Pisa, especially skip the line access tickets is a wise move. During peak seasons, the queues can go up to 2 hours and standing under the sun, waiting for your tickets is no fun. Moreover, since only 45 people are allowed in at a time, your slot can be pushed indefinitely, hence Skip the Line Tickets which reward no wait time and easy access during your desired slot is an absolute boon!
Guided City Tour of Pisa from Florence
• Transport from Florence to Pisa and back
• Multilingual Tour Guide
• Cathedral Admission
• Earphones available for groups bigger than 5 pax
• Leaning Tower Access (if option is selected)
Other Attractions in Piazza dei Miracoli Pisa
Piazza dei Miracoli, also known as the Square of Miracles in English, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. This piazza is located to the north western edge of Pisa, along the city's fortified wall. It is considered one of the most beautiful urban spaces in the world, surrounded by lush green lawns where tourists and locals love relaxing, surrounded by iconic structures. If you've come all the way to Pisa, make sure you take some time out to visit the 3 other monumental buildings in Piazza dei Miracoli, apart from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Here's a brief snippet of what you can expect from each of these structures
Duomo di Pisa
Also known as the Pisa Cathedral, the Duomo is a medieval Roman Catholic Cathedral constructed in a peculiar architectural style known as the Pisan Romanesque. The Cathedral is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and is the seat of the Archbishop of Pisa. Its fine pastel marble facade with tall blind arcades and three portals with bronze doors is a sight behold.
The Pisa Baptistery of St. John is the biggest Baptistery in Italy. This Roman Catholic ecclesiastical building is found to the west of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and was the second building to have been erected in Piazza dei Miracoli, after the Cathedral. The baptistery was designed by Diotisalvi and is largely Romanesque and Gothic in style with whiffs of Byzantine and Islamic influences.
The Monumental Cemetery or Campo Santo is located at the northern end of Piazza dei Miracoli. This walled cemetery is said to have been built around sacred soil from Calvary, brought back by Ubaldo de' Lanfranchi, the then archbishop of Pisa. This cemetery once contained a large collection of Roman sculptures and sarcophagi, with only 84 remaining today.
If you wish to visit all these attractions, know that there is an entry fee involved except for the Pisa Cathedral. However, you get combo tickets which give great savings and a convinient option. Check out the Combo Tickets that will give you entry to all 4 attractions on Piazza dei Miracoli.
Visiting The Leaning Tower of Pisa
Leaning Tower of Pisa Opening Hours
- November & February - 9:45 AM - 5:15 PM
- December & January - 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
- From March 1st to March 23rd - 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
- From April to September, the Leaning Tower of Pisa timings are from 9:00 AM t0 6:00 PM.
- From June 17th to August 31st, the Leaning Tower of Pisa timings are from 8:30 AM t0 10:00 PM.
- On November 1st, the Leaning Tower of Pisa timings are from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- From December 5th to 8th, the Leaning Tower of Pisa timings are from 9:00 AM t0 6:30 PM.
- From December 21st to Januray 6th, the Leaning Tower of Pisa timings are from 10:00 AM t0 7:00 PM.
- From March 23rd to 29th, the Leaning Tower of Pisa timings are from 9:00 AM t0 7:00 PM.
- On June 16th, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is open from 8:30 AM t0 5:30 PM.
It is advisable to check the timings on the official website for the day you wish to visit since they are subject to change.
Leaning Tower of Pisa Location & How to Reach
The Leaning Tower stands on a grassy field called the "Piazza dei Miracoli" which translates to "Square of Miracles". The official address of the Tower is : Piazza del Duomo, 56126 Pisa, PI, Italy
- By Walk from the Train Station
- By Bus from the Train Station
If you're reaching Pisa via train, you can opt to reach the Leaning Tower of Pisa either by walking or by taking a bus or taxi. The walk should take you 20 minutes but is definitely worth the sweat. You can walk through quaint alleys of Florence, pick up a gelato on the way and experience the city on foot.
If you're not in the mood to walk, you can take bus numbers 3, 4 or Shuttle Bus A ; all of which will drop you near the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Insider Tips for Visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa
- The best way to reach Pisa is by train. If you're traveling with luggage, you can deposit them in the luggage lockers at the sation and pick them back while leaving. If these lockers are full ( high chances during peak season) , you can deposit them with a man who gives you a token and you can claim this later. Don't worry, these men are reliable.
- Taking a taxi from the train station to the Leaning Tower of Pisa can be a little steep on your pocket, hence bus is a better preferred option if you're on a budget.
- If you plan on walking from the train station to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, make sure you have google maps of this route downloaded on your phone. There are barely any signages, hence probability of getting lost is high.
- With your Skip the Line tickets to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you can enter the Pisa Cathedral for free. Note, the cathedral entry comes free with a ticket to any of the other attractions.
- Pickpockets and thieves very prevalent around the Piazza dei Miracoli, so keep your belongings close and don't fall prey to their five-finger discounts.
- The Pisa Tower Parking is reasonably priced ( 12 Euro for 6 hours) and since most people come via train, finding a park spot isn't too hard.
Day Trip Guide : Florence to Pisa
A GT coach tour from Florence to Pisa will unveil hidden treasures of the Tuscan territories and take you to the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, amongst many other attractions in the city of Pisa. After clicking umpteen cliched pictures at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you can head to the Pisa Cathedral, Pisa Baptistery, Camposanto Monumentale and a few other famous landmarks around Piazza dei Miracoli before stopping for some Italian gelato at the best place in town. After smacking the gelato clean, get back on your comfortable couch and head back to Florence. Read our detailed Florence to Pisa Day Trip Guide to know more
• Guided Tour of Pisa with Skip the Line Access to the Leaning Tower
• Guided City Tour of Pisa from Florence
• Half Day Guided Tour of Pisa Through the Tuscan Countryside
• Grand Day Tour of Pisa and Lucca with Local Pastry Tasting
• Full Day Guided tour of Pisa, Lucca and Forte dei Marmi