Everyone has to go to the leaning tower if they are in Italy…I think it’s one of those mandatory things like Rome. Frankly, I wasn’t that impressed. The town of Pisa itself was alright but not my favorite. And the square where the tower and duomo are is soooo crowded that it’s not super enjoyable to me.
The leaning tower is the bell tower to the duomo, even without leaning it is an impressive bell tower. It was built over two centuries by at least three different architects. About five years after the first stones were laid they noticed it was a bit crooked due to the fact that the foundation was only 13 feet thick and the tower was large and heavy. Each architect attempted to straighten it out a bit so when you look at it it’s not just a straight building that is leaning, it sort of curves where they tried to correct it a few times.
After completion there were many attempts to slow down the steady leaning of the tower. Some worked, but some made it worse like in 1838 when they decided to pump all the groundwater out and it actually increased the lean rate to a millimeter per year. So in 1990 they closed the tower and spent $30 million dollars trying lot’s of ways to fix it. What eventually worked was digging fifteen foot holes on the north side and allowing the tower to sink more on that side to straighten it by about 6 inches.
Due to erosion and weather damage 135 of the 180 marble columns have had to be replaced.
For 2 Euro you can go inside the duomo. I wasn’t super impressed, but it was pretty.