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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 56.67 m (185.93 ft) 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!
Miriam DewamBy Miriam Dewam
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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 entrance tickets
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musement.com
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Leaning Tower and Cathedral of Pisa afternoon timed-entry Ticket
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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: 1.5-Hour Small Group Leaning Tower Tour with Tickets
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Pisa: 2.5 Hour Guided Tour w/ Leaning Tower & Cathedral
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Explore Pisa City with Skip-The-Line Leaning Tower Climbing
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Pisa: Guided Walking Tour with Optional Leaning Tower Ticket
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More Tickets & Tours

Browse even more products which include a trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
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Pisa: All-Inclusive Guided Tour with Optional Leaning Tower
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Pisa: Cathedral Guided Tour & Wine Tasting & Optional Tower
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Pisa food and drink tour
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Timed Entrance to Leaning Tower of Pisa and Cathedral
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6 tips for visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Pisa Cathedral and Leaning Tower of Pisa | Photo: Unsplash, Urlaubstracker - CC-BY-SA 2.0
1
Book your ticket in advance onlineDue to the restricted number of visitors, tickets are limited in number and have an assigned time slot. Especially in high season, tickets can sell out quickly, so be sure to book them online in advance.
Town sign of Pisa | Photo: Unsplash, Dominik Dancs - CC-BY-SA 2.0
2
Be on time on siteDue to the security measures taken, the tickets are bound to 30-minute time slots, with 30 people each being able to visit the Leaning Tower. In order to be able to keep the chosen time slot without problems, you should be about 20 to 25 minutes earlier on site.
3
Mandatory baggage drop offFor security reasons, the Leaning Tower of Pisa can only be visited after all luggage has been dropped off. Therefore, you should leave your bags and backpacks at the checkroom of the Opera della Primaziale Pisana at least 15 minutes before the booked time slot. With our previous tip to plan your arrival with 20 to 25 minutes before the time slot, this should be possible without any problems!
4
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!
Pisa Cathedral | Photo: Unsplash, Taylor Flowe - CC-BY-SA 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 Pisa Cathedral is free, you still need a ticket and this way you don’t need to book both separately.
Camposanto Monumentale | Photo: Unsplash, Joshua Kettle - CC-BY-SA 2.0
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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.
The floors of the Leaning Tower of Pisa | Graphic: TicketLens, Miriam Dewam - CC-BY-SA 2.0

More than just a leaning tower

When the city of Pisa was under attack, the free-standing bell tower (Campanile) sometimes served as a refuge for members of the church, and is today one of the most visited sights in Italy. Not only does the tower offer a good view of the city, but it also lives up to its name - the incline is clearly noticeable as you climb up! In our graphic you can learn more about its features.

Seriously Crooked

The tower was built on soft ground composed of clay and fine sand, and originally its foundations were less than 3 m (10 ft) 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. After construction resumed, the building had mostly stabilized, but over the centuries, the tower gradually leaned more and more in one direction. It was only in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that significant efforts were made to stabilize the tower. Today the tilt is about 3.97º, but before the stabilizing efforts of the last centuries, it was 5.5º.

296 Steps

The spiral staircase of the tower stretches over 8 floors with 296 steps. It is so narrow that the observation deck can only be reached single file. To ensure the safety of visitors, tickets are tied to 30-minute time slots for up to 30 people per slot.

187 ft height

Already during the construction work on the third floor, which took place 12 years after the start of construction, the inclination of the tower became noticeable and led to an interruption of the construction due to this difficulty as well as political unrest. It was not until 100 years later that four floors followed, which were built slightly offset to compensate for the inclination. After 200 years of construction, it was finally decided to complete the tower, which had once been planned with a height of 100 m (328 feet), with a belfry at 57 m (187 ft).

View in the depth

Surrounded by seven bells, the Leaning Tower has a special feature on the 7th floor at a height of 48 m (157 ft): In the middle of them is a glass lid through which you can see inside the tower. Already when entering the tower, this peculiarity becomes visible, as it is the main source of light for the tower.
The Roof of the Leaning Tower | Photo: Flickr, Glen Bowman - CC-BY-SA 2.0

The summit

After only a few minutes you reach the highest vantage point of the tower at a height of just under 57 m (164 ft). From here you not only overlook the square but also have a wonderful panoramic view over the city of Pisa.
Leaning Tower of Pisa | Photo: Unsplash, Square Lab - CC-BY-SA 2.0

The landmark of the city of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa was built as a campanile, a freestanding bell tower, for Pisa Cathedral. Together with the Baptistery, the Cemetery and the Cathedral, it forms the cathedral complex of Piazza dei Miracoli, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.
Stairway of the Leaning Tower | Photo: Flickr, slifex - CC-BY-SA 2.0

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!
The belfry | Photo: Flickr, Rossella Giannone - CC BY-SA 2.0

Seven Bells in the Tower

In the building there are still a total of 7 bells that weigh just over 7.500 kg (16.534,67 punds). The Pasquareccia, the oldest of them, dates back to the construction of the tower. It was originally rung under the name of La Giustizia whenever criminals were executed. In the 18th century it was replaced by a replica and rings daily for mass in Pisa Cathedral. Since the bells cause strong vibrations when they are rung, it is not allowed to ring more than one at a time to avoid aggravating the slope or even causing it to collapse.
Ornaments on the Leaning Tower of Pisa | Photo: Flickr, Manel Zaera - CC BY-SA 2.0

32,000,000 pounds 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.
Inside the tower | Photo: Unsplash, Èric Teixidó - CC-BY-SA 2.0

Non-electric Lighting

This historic building is solely illuminated by natural light. Daylight can pass through the narrow slits on the landing. A glass ceiling on the 8th floor graces the tower, allowing light to flood in from above as well.
Close-up of the Leaning Tower of Pisa | Photo: Unsplash, Larry Koester - CC-BY-SA 2.0

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. For a long time it was not known who had designed the tower

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.

The Surfing Tower

Although it seems as if the Leaning Tower could tip over at any time, according to current research, it will withstand any earthquake. The answer for it lies underneath the leaning tower itself: the foundation. Ironically, it is the same base which is responsible for its leaning position. Due to the dynamic effect between ground and tower, the structure can surf on the waves triggered by earthquakes.

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 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. Read more.

Is there an elevator?

There is no elevator to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, therefore the tower is not accessible to visitors with mobility problems. Read more.

My child is under 8 years old, can I still visit the attraction?

Childcare is offered but must be booked in advance, it is provided by trained staff at Piazza del Duomo. Read more.

Is it allowed to carry bags and backpacks during the tour?

All luggage must be deposited in the checkroom of the Opera della Primaziale Pisana. The deposit is free of charge and should be checked in 15 minutes before the booked time slot. 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 along. Read more.

Is it allowed to take pictures and videos of the Leaning Tower?

Videos and photos may be taken for personal purposes only, permission are required for commercial use and must be obtained from OPA . 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.

address

Leaning Tower of Pisa
Piazza del Duomo
56126 Pisa PI
Italy

tickets

Tickets on the door cost € 20 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.

discounts

By showing the handicapped ID, its holder and his companion get free admission. The discount can only be applied between 9:00 am and 10:00 am as well as 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm. A claim for the discount should be announced at least three days in advance per mail. Other discounts are not available for this attraction.

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.
Miriam Dewam
Written byMiriam DewamMiriam is keen on traveling and has a passion for photography, which she can enhance through her cross-media studies. She uses her knowledge as well as first hand experience from diverse travels to help other travellers as a content creator at TicketLens.
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