Leaning tower of Pisa
Italy

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Address of the Leaning Tower of Pisa: Piazza del Duomo, 56126 Pisa, Italy
Opening times: Opens everyday except Mondays from 10am-6pm (timings could could vary, check before you travel). Ticket costs 17 euros per person if purchased on the day (15 euros online).

Torre di Pisa/The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the bell tower of the Cathedral of Pisa, renowned for its tilt. I remember looking at pictures of this marvellous piece of architecture when I was at school and wishing to visit it one day! I knew little about the beautiful Pisa Cathedral and the Pisa Baptistry (Pisa Baptistery of St. John/Battistero di San Giovanni) which are also standing side by side to the Leaning tower in the Cathedral Square or Piazza del Duomo/ Piazza dei Miracoli in Italian. We didn’t have time/energy to stand in the queue to climb up the tower with our little baby as we had to catch the train back before it get dark. I must admit I was very disappointed that I couldn’t spend more time there but at least I was very lucky to have visited it. It wasn’t particularly a nice day weather wise to get photos but it didn’t rain. We were staying in Chianti for few days and travelled to Pisa one afternoon to see The Leaning Tower. Read more about the tower and cathedral before you head to Pisa as it will give you a better understanding of its world-famous architecture. It seemed that most of the tourists were interested in posing for the cliché pictures outside of the leaning tower!

Some basic facts about the Leaning Tower of Pisa

  • The construction of the tower began in 1173 and it was completed by three stages taking about 199 years in total.
  • Five years later in 1178, while progressing into the second floor, the tower began sinking due to poor design of its foundation works. The tilt increased in the following decades and it was stabilised and was partially corrected during 20th and 21st centuries.
  • The tower now leans about an angle of 3.99 degrees (total displacement of 3.9metres from the centre) as opposed to 5.5 degrees prior to the restoration works in 2001.
  • It is unsure who was the original architect of these Romanesque architectural wonders in the square as the speculations are between Guglielmo Bonanno Pisano and Diotisalvi.
  • There are 297 spiral steps to climb to get to the top of the Leaning Tower and there is no lift!

Our route planning from Chianti to Pisa

We had rented a car for our stay in Tuscany (via Hertz car rentals– I wouldn’t recommend them as we had a very bad customer service, very good car though!). We tried to minimalize the travel in public transport so that our 6month old daughter can spend as much as time in the comfort of her car seat and she can be fed and changed in the car comfortably (we try our best to avoid the nappy changing in public toilets as I found it very unhygienic at some places). With this in mind, we drove to the nearest train station called Empoli with ample car parking facilities. We parked roughly for about 3.30hours and it only cost us 3euros. Train tickets were easily attainable, there was hardly a queue and we didn’t have to wait much for our 30min train journey to the Pisa station. The train ticket from Empoli to Pisa one way was 5.60 euros per person (pic of the ticket is attached). You can also check prices/book train tickets in advance using the Trenitalia website.  Whichever way you choose, you must validate your ticket on the day before travel using the designated little machine in the station, see the photo below. You could either get the bus or walk for 25mins from the Pisa central train station to get to the Leaning Tower. We preferred the walk one way to enjoy the views and even baby seemed really happy in her carrier swinging her legs away and smiling to all the passers-by!

The Address of the car park near the Empoli station: Metropark Parcheggio di Empoli, Viale Palestro, 50053 Empoli Fl, Italy.

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