Hello everyone! Whenever we talk about Pisa, the first thing we think of is the Pisa Leaning Tower. Of course, the leaning tower is worth visiting for its stories, history and unintended tilt. However, I discovered that in Pisa, there are so many more things to see besides THE leaning tower. Do you know that there are actually 3 leaning towers in Pisa? One is the famous one, one is close to the airport and the other one is hidden right in the city.
It’s very convenient to go from Florence to Pisa by train as it takes only 1h 20min at most. When you are at Pisa Central Station, you can choose either to go to Piazza dei Miracoli (where the leaning tower, cathedral, baptistry and cemetery are) by foot (24 mins) or by bus (around 17 mins). I suggest that you should have a walk as Pisa is also a very nice city. I suggest that you can walk a bit to Provincia Di Pisa first and you will notice a small tourist office. You only need to pay 50 cents and the guy will give you a map of Pisa with the other attractions in the city (including the other leaning towers) pointed out. I suggest that you plan a whole day in Pisa.
Piazza dei Miracoli
After around 30 mins you will be at the Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles). The square is dominated by four great religious masterpieces: the Pisa Cathedral, the Pisa Baptistry, the Campanile (Bell Tower), and the Camposanto Monumentale (Monumental Cemetery). What’s more, this site is also the site of “New Hospital of the Holy Spirit”, where Sinopias Museum (Museo delle Sinopie) and the Cathedral Museum (Museo dell’Opera del Duomo) are located. In 1987, the whole square was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The price for entering the tower is 18 Euros. Reduced-price tickets are not available. Admission is free for disabled visitors with their helper, upon presentation of suitable certification to the cashier.
For Baptistery, Camposanto, Sinopie Museum, if you choose one of them the ticket is 5 Euros, two of them the ticket is 7 Euros, all of them the ticket is 8 Euros in total.
The ticket for the cathedral is free, but you need to get a fixed time ticket from the ticket office. However, if you have any of the tickets above you get a ticket to enter the cathedral without fixed time.
Opera del Duomo Museum is currently closed for renovation.
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Reduced prices and free tickets
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please click here to check the accurate daily opening hours for all the tourist attractions.
Advice before ticket purchase
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Pisa Leaning Tower
I guess THE Leaning Tower is the first thing you wanna know about, so let’s start with it.
Pisa Leaning Tower is the third oldest building in the square of miracles after the cathedral and the baptistry. The tilting began when it was under construction and increased over the decades till it was finally stabilized by efforts from the 20th to the 21st century. When you actually see it, you will say:”WOW! It’s really tilting!” The tilt is more dramatic than I expected.
It is famous around the world for its unintended tilt as well as the stories that happened in it. According to Wikipedia, 1. Galileo Galilei is said to have dropped two cannonballs of different masses from the tower to demonstrate that their speed of descent was independent of their mass. 2. During World War II, the Allies discovered that the Germans were using the tower as an observation post. A U.S. Army sergeant sent to confirm the presence of German troops in the tower was impressed by the beauty of the cathedral and its campanile, and thus refrained from ordering an artillery strike, sparing it from destruction.
Thanks to the engineers and scientist, now the tower is stabilized and visitors can climb up this masterpiece again, However, you can imagine how many people would be interested. It is strongly recommended to book tickets in advance online. You can also buy it on site but there is high possibility in busy seasons that all tickets are sold out.
Trust me, The Leaning Tower might be the most famous but is not the most beautiful. When you enter the Pisa cathedral, all you will think of is fabulous, glorious, wonderful. The coffer ceiling, the altar of St. Rainerius, the marble columns, the compound with the Pisa Griffin high above the apse on a column and the white marble statue. Everything is just beautiful.
The construction began in 1064 and became model for the distinctive Pisan Romanesque style of architecture. The mosaics of the interior, as well as the pointed arches, show a strong Byzantine influence.
According to Wikipedia, Galileo is believed to have formulated his theory about the movement of a pendulum by watching the swinging of the incense lamp (not the present one) hanging from the ceiling of the nave. That lamp, smaller and simpler than the present one, is now kept in the Camposanto, in the Aulla chapel.
The Pisa Baptistries the second oldest building right after the cathedral in Square of Miracles. It is the largest baptistry in Italy, 54.86 m high, with a diameter of 34.13 m. The Pisa Baptistry is an example of the transition from the Romanesque style to the Gothic style: the lower section is in the Romanesque style, with rounded arches, while the upper sections are in the Gothic style, with pointed arches.
As you can see from the first picture, actually this building is also leaning. When you climb up, it gives you a great view of the front of the cathedral.
Because of my underestimation of Pisa, I didn’t have enough time to visit the other attractions. I thought I was just gonna have a look at the bell tower, how long could that take? However, after I read about it in the train I realized this was a huge mistake. Again, please plan a whole day in Pisa if you really wanna explore the square or the city not just the leaning tower.
One other important thing is to validate your train ticket even if you’ve bought it for a fixed time.
Wish you a great adventure in Pisa. 🙂