Pisa is not the Leaning Tower
This is something I would like to say loud and clear: Pisa is not the Leaning Tower. Well, when I have tours in Pisa the most common thing I hear people say is: “Look, that is Pisa!” as soon as they see the tower suddenly from round the corner. I was used to give up and say to myself: “All right, they don’t know. Now I am about to explain…” But today I am in the right mood to clear it up once and for all.
The tower of Pisa is not a name, it means that the tower is situated in a city called Pisa. Actually, people that come to Italy and stop here have no clue that Pisa is a real city and not the name of the Leaning Tower. The question is that the popularity of the tower conceals the city itself and unfortunately there’s no exact information. I work in Pisa as a tour guide and every time this happens I feel frustrated.
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The Leaning Tower is first of all a bell tower, known in Italian as “campanile”, that rings the bells calling the people to attend mass in the “Duomo”, the cathedral. In the centuries, as well as today, people can climb the 294 steps to reach the top and enjoy a vista upon the city. Well, this is really funny because as soon as we get to the top we have the amazing view of the whole city of Pisa, and that is the only way to comprehend that there is more than the single tower, Pisa is a real city.
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The Leaning Tower was started in August 9 1173 and was completed in around 200 years because in the construction phases the ground subsided and the tower began to sink and tilt. Right after it was corrected and balanced but there is still an inclination of 4,60 meters, or an 5.5° angle. Actually, we can find such details and description everywhere and the best way to appreciate the tower of Pisa is to join me in a classic tour of the city.
The Leaning Tower shares the famous “piazza dei miracoli“, that is the miracles square with other remarkable buildings such as the “Duomo”, the “Battistero” and the “Camposanto monumentale” which I always recommend to visit in my tours in order to appreciate the whole group of buidings as one.