Leaning Tower of Pisa (Florence (Firenze) - Italy)

From the Historic City of Florence, after the last stint at Santa Maria Novella, I took the 1 hr journey by bus to reach Pisa. I went directly to the hostel, dropped my bag and went straight to Pisa. It was about 6PM and by this time it would have been closed. Since anyways, I didn't have any ticket to climb the Pisa, I decided to see it all from outside, so I can spend the next day in the other places in the complex.

I took the bus from the hostel to Pisa and guess what, some random stranger, a tourist, asked me if the bus goes to the Tower! Well, I was following Google Maps and was hoping it wouldn't mis-direct me. Did I look like a local to him? Anyways, I said, I was getting down there as well. He was a Brazilian and on an Pan-Europe backpacking trip. 
Walking down the passage that goes across Baptistery and Cathedral, and then leads to the Pisa, it was one mesmerizing walk!!! That's one more of the 7 Wonders of the World struck off my list!!!

The whole complex consists of Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), Cathedral, Baptistery, Sinopias Museum, Cathedral Museum and Leaning Tower ofcourse. The construction of the whole place began in 1064 CE. The tower as such was built in 1173 - 1372 CE. However the construction was halted several times in between including for an entire century due to wars!


It being leaning, is actually a construction problem, a mistake to be precise. The foundation was not laid properly added with the fact that the ground was soft on one side than the other, caused its leaning even as it was being constructed, just as they reached 2nd floor in 1178 CE. I read somewhere that the foundation was just 3m for this super structure, though I don't know of the authenticity of this info. Stupidity, right??? As they reached the higher floors, they tried to compensate this with, increasing the height of pillars on the slanting side to make it appear straight, but again in total vain. Finally, The 7 floors were completed in 1319 and the bell chamber was added in 1372. 

The detailing in this was not much, its very less. But whatever is there, is pretty much interesting. Roaming all over Europe. I've been seeing such weird mythical creatures, many a times, eating other mythical creatures in ancient structures that were built around 10th C CE. A lady at Switzerland, told me there were connection between the Pagan traditions and these symbolization!!!


Much later it was closed for public in 1990 as its tilt got too much! Cables were attached in the 3rd floor against the leaning direction and were secured a few 100m away, bells were removed to reduce strain, blocks of weight were added to increase pressure, soil was also removed from this side to make this side sink down a bit and it worked!!! After 10 years of stabilization efforts, it was re-opened in 2001. 

Btw, see the 2nd pic of this post??? See how I stand all alone in front of Pisa!!!! That's one of my treasured photograph. That was taken on Day 2, when I went there early in the morning at about 8:30AM and there were hardly anyone at all and I got my solo photo-op there with absolutely no one around in front of one of the 7 Wonders of the World!!!

My complete Florence (Firenze) travelogue: 
Firenze Town: David by Michelangelo, Galleria dell' Accademia, Uffizi Gallery, Historic Centre of Florence, Loggia dei Lanzi, Santa Maria Novella
Pisa Town: Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa Cathedral & Baptistery, Pisa Camposanto, Pisa Town

To Get There:
Nearest Metro Station: Pisa S.Rossore
Nearest Bus Stop: Cammeo
Entry Ticket to Pisa Tower (incl Cathedral, Baptistery, 2 Museums & Compasanto): €18.00
Only Baptistery, Museum, Compasanto: Any 1 at €5.00; Any 2 at €7.00; All 3 at €8.00
Cathedral entry is free with any ticket bought.

Timings:
Tower, Baptistery, Compasanto, Museum : 9:00 to 18:00
Cathedral: 10:00 to 18:00

Here are some tips:
There are way too many sites that sell tickets for entry and I had a tough time to figure out which is real and which is fake, so let me make your life easier - Official Pisa Tower Tickets by OpaPisa
I didn't take any transport within Pisa Town and walked about the whole town! Its a small town with River Arno in its midst and its best experienced walking about. But yes, 1 day transport passes are available for the buses, which I took once just to experience it. There are no trams here and its too small for metro.
There are so many people who opt for Pisa Airport to fly in/out of Florence (cheaper option!). So the buses from Florence to Pisa are usually Airport Shuttles and drop at the airport. A short local bus ride from the airport or half an hour walk takes you to the town centre / leaning tower!

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

29 comments:

  1. पीसा की मीनार रेतीली भूमि पर होने की बात पता लग रही है।

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  2. This iconic structure is close to my heart! I had dreamt visiting it since childhood and my spouse and kids too. Finally when we got to see it we were stunned to silence for several moments. That first glimpse was awesome. I can well imagine your thrill to get photographed in front of it. :)

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  3. It's amazing to see all the detail work within the architecture. Beyond it's lean, its a really gorgeous building.

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  4. I didn't know The Leaning Tower of Pisa was a wonder of the world, I'm even more excited to see it now! I really want to photograph it with my fish eye and make it look like it's leaning a lot more than it is! The hour bus ride from Florence sounds pleasant. I didn't know about the Baptistery and Cathedral, these look like Instagrammable buildings too. You are alone with the tower, well done, I'll go early and I hope I can recreate your picture, just with me in it!

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  5. Wow! This is much more gorgeous that I anticipated. We've been to Italy 3 times, but always skip Pisa. Now I'm thinking we should make it a stop next time we go. Those details are so intricate! I didn't realize the Leaning Tower of Pisa was a wonder of the world, either.

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  6. Your pictures of the leaning tower are so beautiful. It is somewhere I have always dreamed of going but have not made it there yet. Hopefully soon because we hope to fly via Italy on our next travels

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  7. I just wrote my experience in Pisa too - what a coincidence! I liked the Leaning Tower and also roamed around the town itself which wasn't so perfect and ideal. But the cathedral was breathtaking as well as the Baptistery!

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  8. It is everyone’s childhood dream to see Leaning Tower Of Pisa at least once. I am glad that you captured the small details on the monument. It is often dwarfed by the popularity of the main building.

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  9. I can't believe you managed to capture a picture of yourself infront of the tower without a huge crowd! I suppose thats one of the benefits of getting there early! If i ever visit (and i'd really like to), ill make sure to do the same! It's one of those places that I feel you have to tick of the bucketlist so hopefully i'll get there one day!

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  11. Such an iconic piece... and the pictures have been captured so well.. Hope to visit this place by 2018.. Cheers!!

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  12. Wow, a foundation of just 3 meters. That's crazy! We missed going to Pisa last month in Italy. It's so good you added the travel info in your post. It's the one thing most of us look for, but have difficulty finding.

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  13. Lovely pictures of Pisa with detailed description. You have given detailed information about the constuction and the mistake of not proper laying the foundation which is very interesting. Also about the selling of ticket information is very helpful as many people purchase from various sites which are fake and they get duped.

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  14. Great article with fantastic pictures. I still find it strange looking at photos of the leaning tower of pisa and thinking how is it still standing!

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  15. I wanted to visit so bad when I was in Italy but ended up going to Genoa instead. Especially since most people come to Pisa strictly to take pictures with this and leave. Nonetheless, I would still love to visit! Thanks for all the great tips on what to expect and how exactly to get there. It can get pretty confusing.

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  16. Informative guide with beautiful pictures. Yay you could get a picture with not many people around and thankfully you didn't get onto the wrong bus.

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  17. Lol, I love when other tourists ask me for directions- as if I know where I'm going! I missed Pisa when I was in Italy, but the details in your photos make it look more beautiful than I imagined. I will have to make a stop there next time.

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  18. It must be one of those 'off the bucket list' things to take a photo in front of the Tower of Pisa. Glad you are not trying to be funny with holding it up, like everyone else. Good advice to go early morning.

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  19. Oh looks like you had fun! It's an amazing building. Imagine the horror someone felt when they realised that the foundations were not right and the whole building started to slide down. Who thought it would become a tourist attraction.

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  20. But the flaw of the structure gives that amazing appeal so it wasn't that bad after all. However since you mentioned that the land is soft, is it still safe for people to climbed up?

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  21. Its leaning structure makes it gained a unique beauty. However, is it still safe for people to climbed up? You said that the land is soft.

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  22. The leaning tower has been on my bucketlist for such a long time,...and I still havent been to Italy as yet. Thanks for sharing how to get there using public transport...it sure is helpful information! Love seeing the mythical creatures...I wish I could know the stories behind each one of them!

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  23. The leaning tower was stunning when I first saw it. I mean it really leans! I too, missed out the tickets to climb it. I so wanted to see the view from atop. And I am glad you got your solo pic too :D

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  24. This is a great post. I am planning on going to Italy next year and have been on the fence about Pisa. Saving this one for sure!

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  25. Wow. I hope I can also visit the 7 Wonders of the World. The architectures in your photos look mesmerizing and fascinating.

    ❀ Grace ❀

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  26. I also use google maps when venturing new places and also hoping I won't get lost. The leaning Tower of Pisa looks really mystifying and even if its such a mistake on the foundation, it's a nice architectural wonder.

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  27. This was one of the places my wife and I visited during our honeymoon, so it has a sentimental value for us. Really picturesque, great that they thought of turning it into a tourist destination despite the problem with its foundation.

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  28. I have been to Pisa a few years ago and this autumn, I will be moving nearby for a month, to enjoy the Tuscan countryside. I found Pisa to be a lovely city to explore, and I loved the entire place, not only the leaning Tower.

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  29. Some of the statue carvings reminded me of the statue in Harry Potter's Ministry of Magic. Will be cool to see this in person one day

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