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Italy map
Area (sq km): 301,230
Population: 58,103,033
Nationality: Italian
Local Name: Italia
Language: Italian,
German,
French
Time Zone: +1 GMT
Currency: 1 euro = 100 cents
Rate: www.xe.com
Capital: Rome
Dialling Code: +39
Electricity: 230V/50Hz
Internet Code: .it
Religion: Roman Catholic,
Protestant,
Jewish
Climate: Mediterranean,
Mountain
Government: Republic
Inoculations: None
Driving: Right
Int'l License: Not Required
Banking: M-F 8.30-13.30,
14.30-16.00
Major Airports: Bologna(BLQ),
Florence(FLR),
Genoa(GOA),
Naples(NAP),
Palermo(PMO),
Rome(FCO),
Torino(TRN),
Venice(VCE)

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most beloved icons of Italy. It is located in the medieval town of Pisa, Tuscany, near the Arnos River. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a 7-floor beautiful belltower (campanile) which is part of the Piazza del Duomo.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The awesome Piazza del Duomo, with its Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral, the Baptistry, the Camposanto (Cemetery) and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Contrary to some rumours, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was not built tilted. Its inclination is due to soil subsidence and in spite of strenuous efforts to stop it, it is said that the Tower is still slightly sinking at a rate of 1 mm a year.

Origins of the Leaning Tower of Pisa

The origins of the Leaning Tower of Pisa go back to 1173. It is said that its first architect was Bonanno Pisano. The style is Romanesque and white marble was one of its main original components. The construction, due to various interruptions, did not end until 1372, when the bell-chamber was finished.

The weak ground started to subside when the third floor was built in 1178 and the Tower began to lean towards the southeast. Works were stopped and construction was re-started about 90 years later, by then, the ground had settled down. In order to compensate the existing inclination, higher floors with one side higher than the other were erected. The Tower of Pisa is 55.86 metres high on its lowest side and 56.70 metres on its highest.

Visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa

When planning a visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, it is best to try and go early if you want to avoid the long lines. It is open to visitors from 8:00am Children under eight are not allowed. Climbing can make some people dizzy, as there are 296 steps to the top of the Tower. Cameras must not be forgotten, after all, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most photographed sites in the world.

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