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The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa stands, or should I say leans, in the Piazza dei Miracoli in the medieval part of Pisa.  On my journey home from Florence there was no way I could fly out of Pisa’s Galilei Airport without stopping off at the Field of Miracles to take a look at the iconic campanile, the Baptistry and Pisa Cathedral.

Given World Heritage Site status by UNESCO 25 years ago, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is just a five-minute bus ride and a 30 minute walk from the airport. Easy to squeeze in a quick visit before my flight and a lovely way to round off my trip to Tuscany.


Directions here on how to get to the Leaning Tower of Pisa from Centrale Station, Pisa


The Square of Miracles, Pisa

The Square of Miracles, Pisa

Piazza dei Miracoli or The Square of Miracles

I arrived at The Square of Miracles, which is on the perimeter of medieval Pisa, just as the sun was going down and bathing the ornate buildings in a warm, golden light. The white marble buildings stood out against the rich green of the grass of the lawns where students lay enjoying the last of the sun. There are three buildings in the square, The Baptistry, The Cathedral and, of course, Pisa’s Leaning Tower. I didn’t have time to go inside the buildings or to climb the tower but still really enjoyed my brief visit.

If you don’t want to miss out on climbing the tower like I did then it’s advisable to pre-book tickets. Check rates and availability for an all-inclusive guided tour of the Baptistry, Cathedral and leaning tower.

The Baptistry

The marble Baptistry at Pisa is also on the lean by 0.6 degrees towards the Cathedral. It stands slightly higher than the tower and is the biggest baptistry in Italy.  The lower section with rounded arches is Romanesque style and the upper sections with pointed arches are Gothic style. At first I thought my photos were completely skewed until I found out that all three buildings in the Square, and other towers in the city, are all on a bit of a lean. The sandy soil in the area is the guilty culprit for this squiffiness.

The Baptistry at Pisa

The Baptistry at Pisa

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta – Duomo

Between the Baptistry and the Leaning Tower of Pisa stands the centerpiece of the complex, the impressive Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta designed by architect Buscheto and the oldest of the three structures. Building started in 1064.  In 1595 a fire destroyed most of the Renaissance art works although many mosaics and the famous pulpit survived.

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Pisa

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Pisa

The design is Romanesque but there are many influences and styles from other cultures including Byzantine and Islamic. Pisa was a Maritime Republic and trips to North Africa and the Middle East by sailors are depicted on various parts of the cathedral. The large bronze doors of the cathedral decorated with Moorish themes are right opposite the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is an iconic piece of Italian architecture standing 55m high and on the tilt to 5 degrees. Of course I knew it leaned but had no idea to what extent until I saw it up close. How on earth does it not topple over!

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Construction goes back to 1173 but the bell tower was leaning before the third floor was even finished and work interrupted throughout construction. The tower is actually slightly bent from an attempt to straighten it to prevent it falling.  In 1275 the tower was enlarged and three new levels added. In 1350 the belfry was added and the tower finally completed in 1372.

Check rates and availability for an all-inclusive guided tour of the Baptistry, Cathedral and leaning tower.

There are 294 worn steps to reach the top. A gallery and arcade is located on each level except the last one where there are 7 bells. The tower was closed from 1990 to 2001 because of instability whilst engineers tried to stop the tower from toppling but it’s now open again to visitors. The Leaning Tower of Pisa actually leans a little less today due to corrective work. It’s now at the same inclination that it was 200 years ago.

Tickets for the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Check rates and availability for an all-inclusive guided tour of the Baptistry, Cathedral and leaning tower. Book online or in the Square of Miracles. I’d recommend booking in advance to avoid queues – it gets very busy in high season.

I loved watching people doing what looks like Tai Chi whilst trying get that cheesy travel shot.

Tourists posing at The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Tourists posing at The Leaning Tower of Pisa

I spent a really pleasant hour wandering the Field of Miracles and marvelling at the tipsy tower. There’s more to Pisa than the tower and I saw many more sights on my walk to Pisa airport. I also had the best gelato ever. Here’s how to get to the Leaning Tower of Pisa from Centrale Station, Pisa.

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A visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Field of Miracles

 

 

 

Travelbunny Highlights 2014 | The Travelbunny

Thursday 13th of August 2015

[…] the flavours and wines and searching out the hidden treasures of Tuscany with a stop off at Pisa on the way to the […]

laura

Tuesday 10th of March 2015

we are headed to Pisa airport to go to Tuscany for Easter and I want to visit the tower, to say i have seen it. Really interesting post!

Suzanne Jones

Tuesday 10th of March 2015

I visited on the way back from Tuscany and I'm actually very envious that you're going for Easter - you'll have a fabulous time, Tuscany is beautiful.

elPadawan

Friday 1st of August 2014

I did go to Pisa. When I was a teenager. And there were no digital cameras available yet... So no picture to show for it :p

Suzanne Jones

Saturday 2nd of August 2014

I've got lots of film photos too - it's nice to look through them now and then but I like digital too - don't have to wait for them to be developed!

Pisa - Much More than a Leaning Tower » The Travelbunny

Monday 28th of July 2014

[…] you plan to see The Leaning Tower of Pisa, before flying out from Italy’s Galilei Airport or before taking the train to Florence from […]

Lucy

Thursday 24th of July 2014

I popped into Pisa briefly en route to the airport a few years ago – long enough to see the tower but that was it, but looks like there's lots more to see. Loved watching people doing the 'holding up the tower' pose, from a distance it looked like they were doing some sort of tai chi class!

Suzanne Jones

Sunday 27th of July 2014

That's exactly what I thought - all practising their tai chi!