Perhaps one of the world's most beloved architectural mistakes, the Leaning Tower of Pisa's imitable tilt has made the UNESCO World Heritage site an icon of Tuscany and all of Italy. Travelers flock to take the must-have photo in which they pose as if holding up the famous leaning tower, which was originally intended as a bell tower for Pisa Cathedral. If you're up to the challenge of ascending the leaning tower's 294-step spiral staircase, you'll be rewarded with stunning views over Pisa. And you won't have to worry about toppling over—thanks to expert engineering using cables and counterweights, the tower is completely stable.The Basics
Due to the Leaning Tower of Pisa's global renown and unstable subsoil, tickets to the 12th-century tower are strictly limited and visits are timed. With that, booking in advance is a must and skip-the-line tickets are highly recommended—jumping a long queue could save you hours of precious sightseeing time.
All Pisa tours cover the Leaning Tower, generally depart from Florence or Rome, and often include other Pisa sights such as the Piazza dei Miracoli and the Piazza dei Cavalieri, which boast the sublime Pisa Baptistry and Duomo, a marvel of Romanesque architecture. Travelers short on time can combine a visit to Pisa with whistle-stop tours of Lucca, Siena, San Gimignano, and Florence, all of which travel through the serene Tuscan countryside.
Things to Know Before You Go
Book skip-the-line tickets in advance to avoid disappointment and dodge the long lines.Opt for a private tour of Pisa, Tuscany, or the Cinque Terre to travel with a tour guide who will customize your itinerary.Children under the age of 6 are not permitted to ascend the tower.
How to Get to the Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is located on Piazza dei Miracoli, locally known as Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square). From Pisa Central, take either the LAM verde, 2, 4, or 13 metro line to station Pacinotti 1, from where the tower is about a 10-minute walk. From Florence, the RV Express train departs for Pisa every 30 minutes and takes one hour; from Rome, take a direct train to Firenze and make your connection to Pisa from there. If arriving in Livorno by cruise ship, catch a bus or metro into the city center and you'll find that direct, 15-minute trains to Pisa Central Station depart regularly.
When to Get There
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is open daily. Hours are from 9am to 6pm in November, February, and March; from 10am to 5pm in December and January; from 9am to 8pm from April to September; and from 10am to 7pm in October. If visiting in June, expect large crowds and festive euphoria in equal measure—La Luminara di San Ranieri celebrations take place on June 16, illuminating the city with thousands of candles and fireworks.