Pisa’s main attraction is certainly its Leaning Tower. It is one of the icons of Pisa and the whole of Italy, and is undoubtedly one of the most famous and visited monuments by tourists from all over the world, who never miss a chance to take or have their photos taken in the most extravagant or curious positions.
The Tower is the bell tower of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, which is located a few metres away. We are located in Piazza dei Miracoli, the most beautiful monumental area of Pisa, north of the historical centre; the tower is about 56 metres high and today is inclined at about 4 degrees to the vertical axis.
Work on the construction of the Leaning Tower of Pisa began in 1173, and immediately ground subsidence occurred, leading to the interruption of work when only three storeys had been built. The building site was at a standstill for about 100 years, and only restarted in 1275. From its completion almost another 100 years later in 1372 to the present day, the tower has always been the focus of restoration and conservation work to prevent it from tilting too much and to minimise the risk of collapse. The last works were only completed in 2008, and from this date it is estimated that the inclination may remain unchanged for at least another 300 years.
The Leaning Tower can be visited throughout the year. The visit involves climbing 251 steps, some of which are uneven and slippery, and it is therefore not recommended for those with motor problems or cardiovascular diseases. For safety reasons, children under the age of 8 are not allowed to enter.
It is not possible to purchase a ticket for the tower alone, but must be purchased in addition to the visit to the Cathedral. Alternatively, it is possible to buy a cumulative ticket for the complete visit of Piazza dei Miracoli, i.e. the tower, baptistery, cemetery, cathedral, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo and Museo delle Sinopie. The cumulative ticket is, of course, much more expensive, but for those interested in entering all the monuments it can be an excellent opportunity.
The ticket for the Leaning Tower of Pisa is only valid at the time of purchase, so you have to choose your turn in advance; for all other monuments the ticket is valid for one year during opening hours. Entry is permitted up to 30 minutes before closing time, which varies according to the months of the year.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa has 7 bells, which ring before masses and at midday, while originally each bell rang at a particular time.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa can be visited in total autonomy, all you have to do is buy a ticket and visit it at your own pace, whether it is a simple ticket, combined with other attractions, or with a guided tour.
The most common and sold ticket includes both entrance to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Duomo. As it is one of the most visited attractions in Italy, it is highly recommended to book tickets online before you go.
Alternatively, for a little more money, you can secure tickets and a visit to all the monuments in the splendid Piazza dei Miracoli: Leaning Tower of Pisa, Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Camposanto, Baptistery, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo and Museo delle Sinopie.
However, it is certainly possible to hire a private guide who will accompany you during the ascent and show you the highlights of this incredible monument. You can also take part in a group tour that will take you to discover the beauties of Pisa, of which the Tower is obviously at the top of the list.
There are also tours of Pisa with a visit to the Leaning Tower departing from Florence; as the two cities are only an hour’s drive apart, this is the perfect day trip for those staying in the Tuscan capital and wanting to see as much as possible.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is located in the centre of Piazza dei Miracoli, north of the historical centre of the Tuscan city.