How to visit the leaning Tower of Pisa
If you're visiting Tuscany you will probably want to visiting the famous leaning tower of Pisa - sometimes mistakenly called the leaning tower of pizza, leaning tower of Piza or, my personal favourite, the learning tower of Pisa.
Here's how to do it:
Getting to the Tower of Pisa on Public Transport from the Airport or Railway Station
If you're landing in Pisa you may well want to visit the tower before you pick your car up - or perhaps at the end of your stay. You can leave your luggage in the left-luggage lockers in Pisa airport.
The Information Desk at Pisa Airport offers a Left Luggage service, every day including Sundays and holidays. You may check baggage every day from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM; pick-up times are from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. The daily rate for each bag is €7.00. At the left luggage counter you will be asked to allow x-ray scanning of each bag, just as though it were hand or hold baggage to be enplaned.
The desk you need is on your right as you exit "Arrivals", or on your left as you enter. It's at the very end of one side of the airport, the same side as the Bus Station.
Pisa Airport to Pisa Railway Station
Once you've left your luggage, walk to the opposite side of the airport where you will find the "Pisa Mover", a shuttle train that will take you to Pisa's main railway station. You can buy a ticket from the machines near the shuttle itself - in 2020 the fares are:
5 EUR one way, 10 EUR return.
From the railway station you can then get a local bus to the Leaning Tower.
Local bus to the Leaning Tower of Pisa
On arrival at the station you will need to buy bus tickets - you can get them from the Newspaper Vendor. They work on a timed basis - you can travel for 70 minutes with a 1.50 EUR ticket. You will need to stamp them on boarding the bus.
In October 2019 the company started allowing people to pay by touching in with a contactless debit card. This will work fine if each of you has a card - but the system will not charge the same card twice within a 70 minute period, so this might not work for families.
Coming out of Pisa station you will see a number of buses on the right - find the stop for LAM ROSSA - that's a red signed LAM bus - and ride to Torre 1. The ride will take around 10 minutes. You will see the tower on your right at the Torre bus stop.
Driving to the Tower of Pisa
The main warning if you're going to drive to visit the Tower of Pisa is: Beware the ZTL! The centre of the city of Pisa is banned to car traffic - this blocked area is known as the "ZTL" or Zona Traffico Limitato. There are warning signs - like the one above - to let you know where the area begins but they're not all that obvious - and neither are the cameras that will log your number plate and send you a fine a few weeks later.
So make sure that your route doesn't go through the centre of the city - into the green area in the map above. Normally if you're arriving from the motorway you won't be sent into the centre but it's worth being aware. Both the Parking Spots below won't need you to go into the ZTL to access them:
Where to park to visit the Tower of Pisa
If you're driving, the best car park is usually at the Tower Car Park - Google Maps link or at the Parking Lot Piza (sic). Take care not to leave valuables on view - this is a very popular tourist spot so all the usual warnings apply.
Visiting the Pisan Tower and the Campo dei Miracoli
The Square of Miracles, or Campo dei Miracoli has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1987. At the far side of this grassy square is the leaning bell tower, next to the beautiful Roman Catholic Duomo di Pisa built in the imposing Pisan Romaneque style and a vision in white marble. The square also houses the domed baptistery, where Galileo was baptised, and the "Camposanto Monumentale" which is the final resting place of notable Italians including Fibonacci. This square takes visitors through every stage of the lifecycle - from birth and baptism, through a life within the church, and to death - a miracle indeed.
How to buy tickets to visit the tower of Pisa
Climbing to the top of the tower is an unforgettable experience - the lean makes it feel as though the structure is tilting this way and that as you circle it. Only 45 people can climb up it every 15 minutes, so you reserve a 30-minute time slot when you buy your ticket (in person, or on the OPA Pisa website no earlier than 20 days ahead and no later than one day in advance).
OPA Pisa Website for Leaning Tower Tickets
Age restrictions apply: Children must be at least eight years old while older ones aged 8 - 18 must be with an adult at all times. Print your voucher and bring it to the Tower with you, no less than 15 minutes before your entry time or you may not be allowed in if you arrive later than this. If you're staying in one of our Tuscan Villas and would rather we organised the tickets for you just contact us here: Contact Us
To find a great villa close to Pisa, have a look here: Villas near Pisa, Tuscany