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The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy is a medieval structure that is mostly known for, you guessed it – leaning! It is located in Pisa, Italy, also one of Europe’s most visited cities. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the seven wonders of the world. 

Leaning Tower Of Pisa: History, Facts & Things To Do (2024)

The tower is about 60 metres tall, and construction began as early as 1173. Construction took a while, though, and it was finally completed in 1399. In Italian, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is called “Torre Pendente di Pisa”. It is also often referred to as the Bell Tower of Pisa.

History of the Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, officially called the Campanile di Pisa, is a bell tower attached to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Pisa, Italy. Construction of the tower began in 1173, but it soon began to lean due to the soft ground beneath it. By the time the third story was completed in 1178, the tower had already leaned by 5 centimetres.

The tower has survived numerous earthquakes and has been restored multiple times, including in 1990 when it was closed to the public for safety reasons. In 2001, the tower was reopened after a significant restoration effort that reduced its lean by approximately 40 centimetres. The tower remains open today as a popular tourist destination.

Interesting Facts Of Leaning Tower Of Pisa

Multiple Leaning Towers: Apart from the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, there are two other leaning towers in Pisa: the bell tower of the Church of St. Nicola and the bell tower at the church of St. Michele dei Scalzi.

Construction Duration: The construction of the Leaning Tower of Pisa took nearly two centuries to complete, starting in 1173 and finishing in 1372 due to interruptions caused by battles and conflicts.

Unintentional Lean: Initially, the tower was meant to be straight but started tilting towards the north after the completion of the second floor due to unstable soil conditions, leading to its distinctive lean.

Curved Structure: In addition to its lean, the tower is also curved at certain points due to attempts by engineers to correct its tilt by building one side taller than the other.

Stability and Tilt: Despite various attempts over centuries to correct its lean, the tower remains stable as of 2001, with a tilt of approximately 3.97 degrees from the vertical.

Why The “Leaning” In The Leaning Tower Of Pisa

The tower is actually unbelievably displaced. It is horizontally displaced by four metres, one side is actually visibly taller than the other. The tilt on the vertical side is measured up to 3.9 degrees.

It is incredible how the Leaning Tower of Pisa has managed to stay leaning, and not fall over through the years, and through several earthquakes.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Now, when the tower was originally designed, it was intended to be straight. However, through the process of construction, and the long pauses that were taken throughout, the tower began to tilt. As the structure was built taller, the tilt became larger.

Engineers made efforts to try and correct this flaw. Counterweights were put on the base, and the weakest parts of the tower were given scaffolding, but none of these efforts was successful.

According to some researchers and scientists, the tower will stay put, without movement, for about two hundred years.

Many people wonder how the tower has managed to stay in this position, without falling over. The reason behind this is actually quite interesting. 

Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Reason Why The Leaning Tower Of Pisa Doesn’t Fall 

According to studies that have been done, the Leaning Tower of Pisa stays put because of a phenomenon called dynamic soil-structure interaction. This might sound extremely scientific, but let me break it down.

Area around the Leaning Tower of Pisa

The soil is soft. The tower is tall and stiff. All of this combined means that the Leaning Tower of Pisa is protected during earthquakes. It does not vibrate during earthquake tremors.

Leaning Tower Of Pisa: History, Facts & Things To Do (2024)

This is why scientists have said that the tower is going to stay standing for at least two more centuries. 

Location 0f The Leaning Tower Of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is located in the city of Pisa, Italy. This city is one of the most visited cities in the whole country.

The tower is located in the Piazza del Duomo (also known as the Piazza Dei Miracoli, which translates to “Square of Miracles).

Piazza del Duomo

This square is an important centre of European Medieval art. The architecture of this square is marvelled at and when you see the pictures or see the square in person, you’ll know why. The Piazza del Duomo can be found in the Tuscany region of Italy, on the north side of the Arno river. 

Things To Do At The Leaning Tower Of Pisa

Visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa

First of all, you can climb up to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Access is limited to about 45 people at a time, and children under the age of eight aren’t allowed. However, if you’re taking a guided tour, you get to skip the lines and walk right in.

Leaning Tower Of Pisa: History, Facts & Things To Do (2024)

It is recommended you book a guided tour in advance, not just to skip the lines, but to also learn about the history and features of the tower in detail 

Now there are 294 steps to the top. The steps are wide and actually quite easy to climb. Even then, if this seems like a lot, the view will certainly make up for it. 

There are two levels for views at the Leaning tower of Pisa. From the first level, you’ll be able to see an aerial view of the city of Pisa. It is breathtaking. 

Leaning Tower Of Pisa: History, Facts & Things To Do (2024)

Since the tower was originally intended to be a bell tower, the second level will let you walk up to see the bells. There are seven giant bells installed here.

Each bell has a name and corresponds to a note on the musical major scale. However, chances are, you won’t be able to hear the bells ringing because they aren’t used anymore. 

Bell at the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Photography opportunities are endless here. Of course, the Leaning Tower of Pisa itself is quite picturesque in itself.

You can take some cool pictures here, like the typical tourist picture of you pushing the leaning tower. Besides that, you can also take in the beautiful European architecture that can be seen all around the Piazza del Duomo.

Exploring the Cathedral of Pisa

Right next to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, is another architectural wonder. The Duomo di Pisa is a cathedral and was designed by artists like Cimabue and Giovanni Pisano

The Cathedral of Pisa is a stunning piece of architecture with a rich history dating back to the 11th century.

The Cathedral of Pisa is an essential part of the Piazza dei Miracoli complex and offers you a glimpse into the rich heritage and architectural beauty of this historic site. It is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Italy and serves as a religious monument for the community, hosting Holy Mass, festivals, and events regularly.

Duomo di Pisa

Things To Do Around The Leaning Tower Of Pisa

Visit Baptistery of St. John

The Baptistery at the Piazza Del Duomo is the largest one in Italy. It is called The Baptistery of San Giovanni and was made in 1152. The baptistery is a stunning culmination of works in marble and grey material. 

The Baptistery is a blend of Romanesque and Gothic styles due to interruptions in construction by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano. It features a mix of rounded arches in the lower section and pointed arches in the upper sections.

Pisa Baptistery

The Camposanto of Pisa

The Camposanto of Pisa is a cemetery. With graves, frescoes, and statues, this is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit. The intimate work on the frescoes and statues is a sight to see for sure. According to a local legend, bodies buried here in the ground will begin to rot in 24 hours.

The Camposanto Monumentale is renowned for its elaborate and intricate round arches with plurilobed tracery and beautiful slender mullions, adding to the artistic beauty of the historical building.

Inside the Camposanto of Pisa

How To Reach The Leaning Tower Of Pisa

Getting to the Leaning Tower of Pisa is quite simple because it is one of the most popular attractions in all of Italy. There are so many options when it comes to transport here.

No matter where in Italy you are, there’s a way to get to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The most convenient way to get to Pisa is by train. From the train station, the tower is twenty minutes away. So, you can walk, take a shuttle, bus, or even a cab. 

Leaning Tower of Pisa lower angle view

If you’re planning a trip to Italy, here is a list of things you should check out for sure!

Leaning Tower Of Pisa: History, Facts & Things To Do (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is the Leaning Tower of Pisa so famous?

The Leaning Tower of Pisa’s fame stems from its unintended tilt, historical significance, cultural appeal, and the ongoing engineering marvel of stabilizing this iconic structure.

Is Pisa Tower a world wonder?

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is not officially recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. However, it holds significant cultural and historical importance as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

How many people visit the Tower of Pisa each year?

Approximately 6 million visitors make their way to the Leaning Tower of Pisa each year, with a maximum capacity for visitors to the tower estimated at 500,000 to 600,000 annually. Despite the large number of visitors, only around half a million individuals actually enter the tower each year due to physical constraints and time limitations.

How old is Pisa Tower?

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is approximately 850 years old, dating back to its beginnings in 1173.


The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a must-see on your trip to Italy. It is one of those things that is unmissable when you’re here. The history, the architecture, the reason why it leans and the climb to the top- there is so much to be fascinated by at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. There is no doubt that this is one of the most visited places in Europe. 

Have you guys seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa? What was your experience like? I’d love to know in the comments below. 

Here is another useful resource about the 12-day Italy itinerary if you want to explore there.

Leaning Tower Of Pisa: History, Facts & Things To Do (2024)

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