Climbing Up the Leaning Tower of Pisa (Pisa Tower)


I'm scared of heights.
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The famous leaning Tower of Pisa is located inside the Pisa’s Cathedral Square or Piazza del Duomo (aka Field of Miracles). It is actually the bell tower (Campanile) of the Cathedral beside it.
Construction of the tower began in 1173 and it began to lean before the builders had progressed to the third floor. The sinking was attributed to the shifting of the weak and unstable soil where the foundation was set. The soft ground was said to be made up of sea shells, clay, and sand. To correct the flaw; the engineers built upper floors with one side taller than the other to make storeys shorter on the uphill side. The tower is actually curved because of this.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Note: bags should be left at the designated office in
the orange building seen on this photo before climbing the tower.)

The tower is actually slightly "curved" because engineers built one side taller than the other
trying to correct the flaw. Notice the people on the 4th storey. They are going to the top.


The construction was stopped for almost 800 years because of wars and debt, which allowed time for the underlying soil to settle. Otherwise, the tower would have toppled for sure. Efforts to stabilize the tower include injecting cement grout to the foundation in the 1920′s. Another is removal of soil from underneath the raised side. The first time this was done, the tower was straightened by 18 inches, bringing it back to its 1838 position. In 2008, the same was done and engineers announced that for the first time, the tower stopped moving and is stable for at least 200 years.

The Tower of Pisa has 8 storeys including the top-most portion holding the bells. I hate heights but I’m proud to say I made it to the top.
Construction history of Pisa Tower

On my way up. Notice the concave middle part of the steps, marking the trail of visiting guests. Aiming the
top of the tower is a real challenge for me as I am afraid of heights. Special thanks to my Nike LunarGlide
for the grip... some parts of the stairs are slippery wet because of the rain earlier that day.

The arcades are protected with railings (did not stop my knees from shaking).

The Crocifisso (Crucifix), one of the 7 bells in the Campanile
(the Leaning Tower of Pisa). It was cast in 1572 by
Vincenzo Possenti and weighs 2462 kgs or 5416 lbs.

The top of the leaning Tower of Pisa

View from the top: the Baptistry (far left), the Cathedral (center), and the Camposanto (top to top-right)

If you are planning to climb the Tower of Pisa, the rate is € 15 per person. It is open on the following schedules: 
November to February: 10am – 5pm
December 25 to January 1 (winter holiday): 9am – 6pm
March 1 and March 3: 9am – 6pm
March 20: 9am – 7pm
March 21 onwards: 8:30am – 8:30pm
April 1 to June 17, September 5 to September 30: 8:30am – 11pm
October: 9am – 7pm

My knees were trembling when I was on the topmost storey of the leaning tower. Not to mention my struggles climbing up and going down. Still, I survived the Pisa Tower challenge – too much for an acrophobic like me.

(RediscoverMore is a blog also maintained, but no longer updated, by me.)

39 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your gorgeous photos. My family and I visited the Tower of Pisa in 2001 - but unfortunately it was closed due to restoration and stabilising work being done on it. We did get to take lots of photos though and I loved it. Maybe one day I will go back and climb it! I hope so.. Thanks for the lovely memories xx

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  2. You are brave! That might be a little scary. I would love to actually see it some day though.
    Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thank you, Laura! Have a good one, too :)

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  3. Mile fois montrée et toujours aussi séduisante et attirante. Tes superbes photos le prouvent encore une fois.Je te souhaite de passer un beau week-end.
    Je t'envoie mes amitiés depuis la France.

    Roger

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  4. Wonderful post Lea. What an achievement for you to reach the top.
    Loved the pictures.
    Yvonne.

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  5. You did it! Congratulations! And thank you for showing us the view and sharing the history. Interesting! I love that shot of, and from, the deck. I too have a hard time with heights, but just until I get used to them. When I first get to the top of something like that I can't go near the rail because I feel like my body is going to fling itself off. It just takes some time adjusting to it though. I'm so glad you did it, and I bet you are too. Love that you give us prices, etc. for all the sights. My kids have been to Italy, but I have not. Maybe one day!
    Liz

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  6. I love all your photos Lea!!!These are amazing!!Nice job!!Thanks for sharing!!!Kisses!!

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  7. Great post. But you're braver than I am. I would not, repeat, would not, have climbed to the top. I'll let you do it and take pictures and then I can enjoy the photos without all the terror of high places! :-)

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  8. Congratulations Leah, what great that you've gone all the way up, I'm afraid of heights, I would not go up.
    It is a beautiful view at the top.
    Greetings Irma

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  9. Nice blog post! Good story, nice pictures!

    Greetings to you and all your followers from The Netherlands!

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  10. Brilliant post, fine pictures and detailed information.

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  11. No one does travel, destination and factual fun like you do Lea! Another great post!
    Thanks for sharing:-)

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  12. Hi Lea,
    Incredible images, wonderful, great post, congratulations!
    You know? a while ago I also planned to do a posting about the famous leaning tower.
    Hugs, have a beautiful weekend.

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    1. Thank you, Carolina! Have a blessed weekend :)

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  13. congrats on your climb! what a fun and interesting g post!!
    happy weekend.

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    1. Thank you, Annmarie! Have a good one, too :)

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  14. Hey Lea,
    Very nice shots of this famous tower. It must be very nice to see him in real.
    The shots of the Cathedral are impressive.

    Many greetings,
    Marco

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  15. I so am a Fan of that Tower! :)
    But if I every got there I, too, would not be able to climb it. Just as you, I am afraid of heights!

    Thanks for this beautiful blog entry with such great images & info.

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  16. Hi Lea, thanks for your comments at my blog. I've already answered your question at my shot of today. It's lovely to see this photos of a place that i've already been on vacations ;)

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  17. Thank you for all the info, you are very brave to look over the top, I know I couldn't, Annette

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  18. This tower is amazing, as is the story behind the building of it. I am afraid of heights too, but I think if I was there I would not be able to resist going up to the top. The only place we have been to in Italy is Sicily, it was absolutely beautiful.

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  19. It 's so nice Lea, go for a walk Italy with you!
    When I was a child, the Tower of Pisa, there was none of the security that we are now!
    The steps were already so... and get to the top, as if suspended in the air was always exciting!
    I'm born and lived in Lido di Camaiore, in Versilia,my first 25 years.
    We went to Pisa, half an hour by car, sometimes just to mingle with visitors at sunset on the Square of Miracles!

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  20. Hi,
    where did you shoot the photo that named "Construction history of Pisa Tower"?
    And is the description standing front of the tower?

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