The Leaning Tower is actually the Campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the nearby Duomo, or cathedral, and is found inside the Campo dei Miracoli – Pisa’s most important square.
Building on the tower, which now sports a banana bend, began in the 12th century. The tower started leaning almost from the beginning of construction.
The Leaning Tower reopened in late 2001 after extensive shoring up work and it’s now possible to climb it, although you must reserve a time slot. Check out the website for the Leaning Tower of Pisa, although be warned it’s in Italian.
Take a funny photo
No visit to Pisa is complete without the obligatory “holding up the tower” photograph.
You’ll see scores of tourists telling their subjects to: “move a little to the right” as they line up the money shot. Why fight it, just join in?
Campo dei Miracoli
The Campo dei Miracoli, or the Field of Miracles, is an elegant square that’s home to the Leaning Tower, the Bapistry, the Duomo and the Campo Santo burial grounds.
The Cathedral, or Duomo is the oldest building on the site, completed and consecrated in 1118. It’s possible to visit all the sites on the Campo, although you will need to buy a ticket from the ticket office opposite the Leaning Tower.
The whole square is consistent with what’s called the arabesque style and incorporates intricately carved columns supporting tall narrow arches.
Pisa is flat as a pancake, which means it’s perfect for strolling around. Head away from the Campo dei Miracoli and into walk down to discover Pisa’s squares, arcaded streets and Romanesque churches.
Seek out Piazza dei Cavalieri, which houses Palazzo dei Cavalieri which is home to one of Italy’s leading universities.
Take a walk down Via Santa Maria towards the Arno River where you’ll find some lovely palazzos along the banks.