tours of Tuscany, from hiking and biking through the Tuscan countryside to unforgettable villa visits. ">Ready to go on some stunning tours of Tuscany? If you’re an Italo-phile in search of historical and cultural excursions, exploring this region’s scenic landscapes, imposing architecture, and full-bodied wines should be at the top of your bucket list. |
Known as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, the area has plenty in store for tourists who are looking to quench their cultural thirst. But where to start your trip? Of course, I only have one answer to this question: the Leaning Tower of Pisa! Let me tell you what’s so special about this iconic landmark, and how you can get the best insights into its exciting back story on your next holiday.
Why does the Tower of Pisa Lean?
Let’s start with the question that’s probably at the tip of your tongue: why does the Tower of Pisa lean? Although this quirky feature of the marble bell tower has made it world-famous, it certainly wasn’t intended to tilt when construction began in 1173. As the tower began to climb high into the sky, constructors faced a harsh realisation: the Romanesque edifice couldn’t be adequately supported by the soft soil that served as its foundation.
But what to do? Abandon the project? Impossible, considering the tower’s striking design. Instead, its development was put on hold for almost one hundred years, which allowed the unstable ground to settle just enough to continue construction.
Although the tower continued to lean in the following years, builders worked tirelessly to attain their goal, and finally completed the 60-metre structure in 1399. In subsequent decades, word spread like wildfire that Pisa had erected a beautiful – albeit very crooked – tower, which became the city’s most renowned and architecturally thrilling monument.
Could the Tower Topple?
Whether you’re a dare devil or an overly cautious traveller going on tours of Tuscany, you’re probably wondering the same thing: could the Tower of Pisa fall over? Luckily, the answer is no – at least for now. Thanks to a major restoration project in the twentieth century, the tower’s tilt was corrected by about one and a half degrees, and the almost-collapsing structure was saved, ensuring that it will stand up straight (well, relatively…) for at least another two centuries. What great news for tourists who are looking to venture inside the tower and climb its 251 steps!
How Can I Learn More About the Tower?
I’m glad that you asked. There’s so much to learn about this breathtakingly beautiful structure. For example, did you know that Galileo was christened in the baptistery in the sixteenth century? Or that the tower’s cemetery stands on soil from Jerusalem’s Hill of Calvary?
If you’re looking to fully immerse yourself in the tower’s history, I highly recommend researching the best tours of Tuscany: specifically ArtViva’s private tour. In this popular two-hour outing, you’ll be able to ask our friendly and professional guides everything about Italy’s trademark building – from construction anecdotes to the tower’s contemporary relevance, they truly know it all.
And what’s more, you’ll receive a thorough and engaging tour of the surrounding square, known as the “Field of Miracles.” Although you will not be able to view the tower’s interior on this tour, we will not only enable you to enjoy this experience to the fullest extent with your newfound expertise, but are also happy to help you organise this aspect of your visit to Pisa. To find out more about this fantastic entryway into Tuscan history and culture, get in touch with us today!
Rose Magers is an Australian-born Italophile and the founder of ArtViva. With an international reputation for excellence and creativity, ArtViva are at the forefront of escorted day tours in Italy. Rose has indulged her own passion for history and the arts by designing an innovative range of exceptional experiences and tours of Tuscany, from hiking and biking through the Tuscan countryside to unforgettable villa visits.
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