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Your Complete Guide To Visiting The Leaning Tower of Pisa

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of Italy’s signature sights and amongst the most famous structures in the world. Located in Piazza dei Miracoli in the quaint city of Pisa, the Leaning Tower which is also known as the Torre pendente di Pisa in Italian or simply the Tower of Pisa. If you’re one to travel from Florence or Rome to Pisa, our comprehensive guide to the iconic attraction is just what you need.

We’ve got you covered on how to reach the Leaning Tower, timings, details on guided tours, what’s inside the Leaning Tower of Pisa and everything else you must know before visiting this iconic structure.

Leaning Tower Of Pisa In A Nutshell


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Things to know

Best time to visit - Early opening hours
Suggested duration - 3 Hours
Closest train station - Pisa San Rossore
Starting Leaning Tower Of Pisa Tickets price - €24
Open for public since - 1372
Number of floors - 8
Height - 57 meters

Opening Hours

Open everyday from 9 am to 7 pm.

Must-see

Cathedral Bells
Monumental Cemetery
Pisa Duomo
The Hollow Cylinder



Address

Piazza del Duomo, 56126 Pisa PI, Italy
Get there

Why Visit The Leaning Tower Of Pisa


Leaning Tower of Pisa
A close up of the Leaning Tower

One of the most iconic landmarks of Italy, Torre Pendente, also famously identified as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, is known for its 3.9-degree tilt. It was formed during its construction by dint of uneven settling of the building's foundations on the soft soil. Despite its tilt, the freestanding tower has been holding strong for almost 900 years. This wonder has earned it the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site and made it to the top of globetrotter’s bucket list. The surrounding of the Tower; Pisa Cathedral, Pisa Baptistry, and Piazza del Duomo, made of limestone and coated with white marble, are just as stunning as the tower.

The eminent scientist, Galileo Galilei lived in Pisa from 1589 to 1592. He conducted a major experiment of the law of free fall and dropped two cannonballs of different masses from the tower to show that the speed of descent was independent of their mass. If you are a science geek, make sure you read the plaque on the ground floor, made in memory of Galileo.

Leaning Tower of Pisa Tickets


The attraction is world famous and charms around 14,000 visitors each day which make the ticket counter's queue look endless. Booking Leaning Tower of Pisa tickets online will help you save time and dime. Here are the ticket options you should know about to pick the one that suits your needs.

Skip-the-line tickets

Grabbing skip-the-line Leaning Tower 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!

Combo Tours

Booking a combo tour does not only give you access to the Leaning Tower of Pisa but also the other attractions in Pisa. A local tour guide who knows the city like the back of their hand is a bonus considering all the insider information you will be exposed to.

Leaning Tower of Pisa History


Leaning Tower of Pisa

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 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 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 Tower 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 Tower stands more than five meters off perpendicular.

10 Things to Know Before You Visit The Leaning Tower of Pisa


  1. At a time, access to the Leaning Tower is limited to 45 people only.
  2. Children under 8 years of age are not allowed inside the Tower of Pisa. Those aged 8-10 years need compulsory adult surpervision.
  3. 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.
  4. A maximum of 10 tickets can be purchased at a time and must be purchased a day prior to your visit.
  5. The queues outside are awefully long since tourists flock to this attraction is large numbers. Purchasing tickets online in advance is advisable.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Make sure you reach the Tower atleast 20 minutes before you slot time. This is to allow the deposit and buffer for unpredictable delays.
  10. The last entry to the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a half an hour before closing time.

Inside the Leaning tower of Pisa


Leaning Tower of Pisa
Pasquareccia Bell at the Leaning Tower

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 Tower 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.

Other things to do 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
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.

Duomo di Pisa
Pisa Baptistery

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.

Duomo di Pisa
Camposanto Monumentale

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.

Visiting The Leaning Tower of Pisa


Leaning Tower of Pisa Opening Hours

  • November & February - 9:45 AM - 5:15 PM
  • - On November 1st, the Leaning Tower of Pisa timings are from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

  • December & January - 10:00 AM - 5:00 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 1st to March 23rd - 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • - From March 23rd to 29th, the Leaning Tower of Pisa timings are from 9:00 AM t0 7:00 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 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
  • 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.

  • By Bus from the Train Station
  • 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.

Best time to visit Leaning Tower of Pisa

The best time to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa is before the crowds swarm in during the early opening hours. Hence 9-10 am is your best chance to see and climb the tower in peace. The best time of the year to visit the Tower is April to May. Pisa experiences spring during these months and the weather is neither too hot nor too cold. Accommodations and ticket prices are also cheaper during these months.

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 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, 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, 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.

Going from Florence to Pisa


Florence to Pisa Day Trip

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

Recommended Experiences
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

Hotels Near Leaning Tower Of Pisa


Leaning Tower of Pisa is located in the Northern part of Pisa and is close to all the major attractions of the city such as Ospizio dei Trovatelli, Giardino dei Platani, Piazza dei Miracolia, and more. If you are looking to stay in the picturesque part of Pisa staying close to the Leaning Tower is a perfect choice. Here are a few recommended hotels near Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Restaurants Near Leaning Tower Of Pisa


Here are a few restaurants serving authentic Italian cuisine a stone’s throw away from the Leaning Tower.

pasta
Ristoro Pecorino

If you want to taste the best of Tuscan delicacies, head over to Ristoro Pecorino. The restaurant is cozy yet comfortable and does not burn a hole in your pocket. Bruschetta Pomodoro, tortellini, pasta, and their local wine are some of the must-try.
Distance from Leaning Tower: 1 km

Tiramisu
Ristoro-Pizzeria Santa Maria

If you are looking for authentic Italian pizza in Pisa, Ristoro-Pizzeria Santa Maria is a local name you must know. They serve recipes that are equally loved by the locals and the tourists. They also have gluten-free and vegetarian options to choose from. Antipasto Toscano, Spaghetti alle Vongole, Grigliata mista de Carne to Tiramisu della Casa and Torta coi Bischeri are some of people’s favourites.
Distance from Leaning Tower: 1 km

restaurant
Antica Bottega di Pisa

Antica Bottega di Pisa is a top restaurant in the locality that serves amazing Italian, Mediterranean, and Tuscan dishes. You can walk into the restaurant for breakfast, lunch, or drinks. You will get a clear view of the Leaning Tower and Corso from your table. They also play amazing jazz music and have amazing local Italian decor. Tuscanian pasta with local pesto, pizza, and bruschetta are some of the best from the menu.
Distance from Leaning Tower: 1 km

restaurant
Il Canguro

Il Canguro is a local favorite eatery that is open all day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or drinks. The eatery also telecasts matches on match days for sports fans to entertain themselves along with great food. Sandwiches, beer, and Ravioli are the most bought from the menu.
Distance from Leaning Tower: 1 km

FAQs


Is the Leaning Tower of Pisa going to fall?

Why is the Tower of Pisa leaning?

Can you go inside the Leaning Tower?

What's inside the Leaning Tower?

How did they stabilize the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

Where can I book tickets for Leaning Tower? 

Should I book tickets for Leaning Tower in advance?

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Leaning Tower of Pisa Guide