Leaning awkwardly 5.5 degrees from the perpendicular, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most famous structures in the world. The Engineer in charge, Bonanno Pisano, tried to recompense for the leaning of the tower by structuring the new stories to be a bit taller on the short side, but to no avail. By May 2008, the leaning of the tower stopped and a vast improvement of 48cm was observed.
The tower also had much history aside from its gauche structure. Allies during the World War II discovered the Nazis using the tower as an observation post. During 1987, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was publicly announced as a part of the Piazza del Duomo UNESCO World Heritage Site together with the cathedral, cemetery and baptistery.
The Leaning Tower is located in the northwest area of Pisa, sharing one same area with other important buildings. At this area, known as Campo dei Miracoli, next to the famous Leaning Tower, there are other three great and unique buildings: the Camposanto or Holy Field; the amazing Duomo or Cathedral of Pisa of 1000 years; and the Baptistery or Battisterio of circular shape.
Visitors may enter the tower by purchasing tickets that give you a pre-set 30 min. visit. Only 30 people can enter at one time. In the summer especially, it is recommended to reserve the tickets ahead. Even though it costs you a few extra dollars, it saves you time and assures you a chance to climb the steps. The pickup area is right next door to the tower at the Opera Museum.
Once inside the tower, you can ascend the off-kilter circular staircase that may make you feel sea-sick (bobbing side to side). You’ll be climbing 294 steps and there are people to make sure visitors climb the stairs as quickly as possible; they are strict about enforcing the 30 min time cycle. You’ll have around 20 minutes at the top of the tower to stop panting and enjoy the view.