To be honest we had no intentions on visiting Pisa while we were in Italy, we heard that there was the tower, the cathedral and very little else to see in the town. After spending an amazing two days exploring the five villages that make up Cinque Terre we were moving to the Renaissance city of Florence when we noticed that we needed to change trains in Pisa. With the unexpected turn of events, we thought it would give us the perfect opportunity to tick off the Leaning Tower of Pisa on places that we have been. Over the two weeks in Italy we found that the Leaning Tower of Pisa is not the only leaning tower in the world, let alone in Italy.
The leaning Tower of Pisa
The world’s most famous leaning tower, Pisa is located about an hour from Florence making it very easy to do on a half day or day trip from the city. We managed to stop in on our way to Florence which we recommend because there are some amazing villages, cities and wineries in Tuscany.
The creamy white marble tower looks like an eight tiered wedding cake that’s flopped to the left. The tower took nearly 200 years to construct, standing 55 metres high, unfortunately by the time the third tier was built the tower had already started to lean due to it being built in sandy soil. The tower has survived war, elements and restoration schemes. The tower was closed from 1990 to 2010 to stabilize the building.
People take photos pretending to hold up or push the tower down. Some climb over 300 stairs to reach the top but to be honest we did neither, we sat on the lawn admiring the tower, thinking this small town of Pisa has done an amazing job at marketing one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.
Would we make a special trip to Pisa just to see the tower, we would have to say, no
Towers of Asinelli and Garisenda, Bologna
Bologna is one of those cities that goes under the radar with international tourists but Italians find it one of the most beautiful cities in the country. The reason we were here was to try the food that is famous in the city from tagliatelle al ragu (bolognaise sauce), lasagne to Bolliti Misto coming to Bologna just for the food is worth the trip. Little did we know that we would find not one but two leaning towers.
The leaning towers of Asinelli the tallest of the two and Garisenda take up prime land near the Bologna Cathedral. The towers were built in the 12th century and have tilted because they weren’t built on a solid foundation. The smallest tower is closed to the public but you can still clamber up the 498 steps in the confine space of the Asinelli tower.
As you climb you can actually feel the incline of the stairs inside the towers, the view of blazing reds and crimson orange of the terracotta tiles of the roofs makes the climb all worth it. This climb is not for people who are claustrophobic
San Martino Church
Burano island, near Venice is well known for its kaleidoscope of colours of its buildings from the different shades of blues, greens, reds and oranges. The picturesque fishing village is also known for its lace.
In the background of the town known as the drunk tower by locals is the bell tower of the San Martino church built in the 15th century.
These are three of the towers that we saw that lean in Italy but there are a few more.
We were also surprised to see that this tower leans
Big Ben the clock tower of the palace of Westminster has began to lean. First noticed in 2011, the leaning Tower of London has a lean of .26 angle degree, rather small in scale compared to the other towers mentioned, the lean has already cracked the walls of the House of Commons
The tower having been built in 1858 has had a lot built underneath it including an underground line, car park and sewers which may have led to the destabilization of the ground to cause the lean.
It’s now cool to have a lean like this building featured below
Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi, UAE
In 2010, Capital Gate in Abu Dhabi built to lean 18 degrees westward, was named by Guinness Book of Records as the world’s furtherest leaning tower.The tower is a 35 floor skyscraper
Have you been to any of these towers or other leaning towers of the world? We would love to hear about them