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Leaning Tower of Pisa

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa (also known as Torre di Pisa or Torre pendente) is 185.93 feet (56.67m) tall on its higher side and 183.27 feet (55,86m) tall on its lower side and is one of the most famous landmarks in Italy. It was built between 1173 and 1372, after Donna Berta di Bernardo left money to Pisa Cathedral for the building of a belltower (or campanile). Book tickets in advance so you can visit on your trip to Pisa!
Maurizio MassaroBy Maurizio Massaro
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Tickets

Book your ticket to the Leaning Tower of Pisa in advance.
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Reserved Entrance to Leaning Tower of Pisa & Cathedral
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Leaning Tower, Cathedral, Cemetery, Baptistery and Sinopie Museum skip-the-line tickets
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Tours of Pisa

Combine your trip to the Leaning Tower with a tour of the city.
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Pisa: 2-Hour Guided Tour w/ Leaning Tower & Cathedral
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Skip-the-line Leaning Tower of Pisa Guided Small-Group Tour
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Best of Pisa guided visit with Leaning Tower and Cathedral skip-the-line tickets
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Best of Pisa Guided Walking Tour with Leaning Tower Entry Ticket
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More Tickets & Tours

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All Inclusive Guided Tour: Baptistery, Cathedral & Tower
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Pisa Cathedral Guided Tour & Wine Tasting + Leaning Tower
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Pisa: 1.5-Hour Small Group Leaning Tower Tour with Tickets
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Pisa: Skip-the-Line Leaning Tower & Square of Miracles Visit
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4 Tips for Visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Roof of the Leaning Tower | Photo: Flickr, Glen Bowman - CC-BY-SA 2.0
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Enjoy the ViewApart from the interesting architecture of the Leaning Tower, a trip to the top also offers you a wonderful view of the city of Pisa. It’s one of the most beautiful vistas in the whole of Tuscany!
Cathedral of Pisa and Leaning Tower | Photo: Flickr, Roy Luck - CC-BY 2.0
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Stop By Pisa CathedralIf you’d also like to visit the Cathedral then you can use your ticket to the Leaning Tower to enter! Although entry to the cathedral is free, you still need a ticket and this way you don’t need to book both separately.
3
Book in AdvanceTickets for the Leaning Tower of Pisa are limited and are only issued in 30-minute time slots, so it’s highly recommended that you book in advance to avoid disappointment.
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See More on a Walking TourCombine your visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa with a guided tour of the city’s highlights, including the cathedral, the Baptistery (which is the largest in Italy), and the Camposanto, the old cemetery of Pisa.
Flickr: Dimitris Kamaras CC BY 2.0

The Leaning Tower of Pisa: How to Book Tickets

At the Ticket Office

Tickets bought on the day of your visit cost €18. However, the ticket office is usually extremely busy, with long lines. Tickets can even sell out, so to make sure that you definitely get to visit you should book online in advance.

Official Website

If you decide to book your ticket in advance on the official website, then you’ll have to pay a €2 booking fee in addition to the €18 ticket, but it does guarantee that you’ll get to visit on your chosen date. Tickets can be booked up to 20 days in advance.

Third-Party Providers

There are several trustworthy third party providers that offer tickets for the Leaning Tower. They might also have last-minute tickets when the official site sells out. Additional booking fees vary according to the provider, but special offers can save you money.
Flickr: Francisco Antunes CC BY 2.0

A Symbol of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most famous sights in Italy, if not the world, and is the main reason that tourists visit the city. Millions of visitors make a trip to the Leaning Tower every year.

Seriously Crooked

The tower was built on soft ground composed of clay and fine sand, and originally its foundations were less than 10 feet (3m) deep. The tilt became obvious in the early stages of building as the foundation couldn’t compensate for the soft ground, and for a long time construction was put on hold - partly because of the tilt, but mostly because Pisa was involved in a lot of wars with its neighbors. By the time construction resumed, the building had mostly stabilized, but over the centuries the tower gradually leaned more and more in one direction. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the tower was stabilized. Today the tilt is about 3.97º, but before the stabilizing efforts of the last centuries, it was 5.5º.

Former Record-Holder

In 2007 the Leaning Tower of Pisa had to give up its crown as the most crooked building in the world to the church of Suurhusen in Eastern Friesland, Germany. The Guinness Book of Records lists the church as having a tilt of 5.19º, which is much more dramatic than the Leaning Tower’s current 3.97º. In addition to accidentally wonky buildings, there’s a skyscraper in Abu Dhabi called Capital Gate which was deliberately built to have a tilt of 18º. However, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is definitely the best known and is a much-loved photo opportunity for tourists from around the world!
Flickr: Rossella Giannone CC BY-SA

Seven Bells in the Tower

The Leaning Tower was built to be a campanile, or bell tower, and is home to 7 bells. Its most famous bell, Pasquareccia, was older than the Leaning Tower itself. It used to ring from the Palazzo Pretorio, where it was known as La Giustizia and tolled to announce the executions of traitors and criminals. It was replaced by a replica at the end of the 18th century. The bells ring daily to announce masses at Pisa Cathedral.
Flickr: Manel Zaera CC BY-SA 2.0

The Finest Stonework

The external façade of the Leaning Tower is made of white Carrara marble, which has been mined in Tuscany since the Roman era. The eight floors of the tower are decorated with marble arches, representing some of the finest masonry skills.
Tourists Pose with the Leaning Tower | Flickr: John Fowler

Myths, Facts, and the Bizarre

The extreme lean of the Leaning Tower isn’t its only interesting feature: its whole history is peppered with interesting stories.

A Puzzle Solved

For centuries, the identity of the Leaning Tower’s architect was a mystery. However, at the end of 2019 the paleographer (handwriting expert) Giulia Ammannati finally discovered proof that Bonanno Pisano designed the building. The architect also designed Pisa Cathedral’s gates. The tower was built over 199 years and was completed at the end of the 14th century, with several architects adding their own touches along the way.

Galileo and the Leaning Tower

Galileo’s student Vincenzo Viviani wrote in his biography that Galileo dropped balls of identical material but different masses off the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This experiment demonstrated that objects fall at the same pace, regardless of their mass, directly contradicting Aristotle’s teaching. While it’s a nice story and lets students picture the scientific principles visually, there’s no evidence that it really happened. Most historians believe it was a thought experiment. A similar experiment was carried out by Flemish scientists Simon Stevin and Jan Cornets de Groot in the church tower in Delft.

The Must-Have Photo of Your Trip

We’ve all seen them: the pictures of visitors to Pisa posing as though they’re holding up the Leaning Tower. While there are endless variations to be tried, if you decide you’re too cool for the shot then you can always enjoy watching other people struggling to make it work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are visitor numbers restricted?

The Leaning Tower’s staircase is narrow and can only accommodate a limited number of visitors at any one time. As a result, the number of people who can enter the building, and therefore the number of tickets sold each day, is limited. That’s one reason why it’s a good idea to reserve your ticket in advance. Read more.

How many stairs go to the top of the Leaning Tower? Is there an elevator?

There is no elevator to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and children under the age of 8 aren’t allowed to climb the stairs for safety reasons. There are 296 stairs to the top, some of which are in a tight spiral. It takes about 30 minutes to complete the climb and descent. The tower is not accessible to visitors with mobility problems. Read more.

Can I bring my dog to the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

No, animals aren’t allowed into the Leaning Tower. An exception is made for certified service dogs as long as you bring their documentation. Read more.

General Information

Opening Hours:

Opening hours vary throughout the year according to the season, so please check before visiting. In general, the opening times are as follows:
In November and February, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is open from 9.45 am to 5.15 pm, in December and January from 10 am to 5 pm (except between December 21 and January 1, when it’s open from 10 am to 7 pm). In March the tower is open from 8.30 or 9 am, and closes at 6, 7, or 8 pm, depending on the date. Between April and September, the opening hours are 9 am to 8 pm, except from June 17 to August 31, when it will be open from 8.30 am to 10 pm. In October the site is open from 9 am to 7 pm.

Tickets:

Tickets on the door cost €18 for all visitors over the age of 8. There’s no reduced ticket for children or young people, all those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult in order to climb the tower. For safety reasons, children under the age of 8 are not allowed to climb the tower.

Address:

Leaning Tower of Pisa
Piazza del Duomo
56126 Pisa PI
Italy

How to get there:

The Leaning Tower of Pisa and Pisa Cathedral are a 20-minute walk from the main train station of Pisa. You can also reach the tower by taking bus numbers 110, 120, 140, 190, 21, 70, 71, 80, 81, 840, 875 or LR to the bus stop called Torre 1.
Maurizio Massaro
Written byMaurizio MassaroMaurizio is a cosmopolitan, a musician and comes around. In his role as a content manager at TicketLens, he is always striving to find new offers as well as writing about sights all over the world.Translated by Anneliese O'Malley
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