The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most well-known landmarks in Italy, thus making the city of Pisa an incredibly popular tourist destination. If you’ve been to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you might have left asking yourself what exactly is so special about it? The answer is not much; at least not if you compare it to the other beautiful cities throughout Tuscany that have tonnes more to offer visitors than a leaning tower. If you’re on the fence about whether to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa or not, this article might help you with that decision.
Since I was already traveling throughout Tuscany and Pisa was only a short distance away, it would be have been silly for me to give up a chance to visit, so I jumped at the chance to see it in real life without doing much research beforehand. In hopes of sparing you a potentially underwhelming experience in Pisa, here’s what you can expect when you arrive at the Leaning Tower of Pisa:
1. The Crowds
This shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but after visiting a few cities throughout Tuscany that were bustling, but in a charming and enjoyable way, I did not expect the Leaning Tower of Pisa to resemble a mess of people wanting to take a selfie with the tower at just about any cost. Be prepared to wait about 20 minutes for a decent spot to take the famous holding up the tower photo.
2. Souvenir Stalls
In order to actually get to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you have to walk through an outdoor market (basically just stalls set up along a narrow path) with men at the side trying to sell you sunglasses and the like. It’s not that walking through the shops is a horrible experience, it’s just that it really takes away from the fact that you’re walking towards a historical structure. From the moment you enter, everything feels overly commercialized.
3. Lack Of Culture/History
Get ready to be surrounded by the likes of Chinese restaurants, a Subway sandwich shop, and – of course – McDonalds, all adding to the authenticity of visiting the leaning Tower of Pisa. Similar to the last point, having these establishments surrounding the Leaning Tower of Pisa changes the setting from what should be historical and rustic to a massive contradiction.
4. Nothing Else To See
Aside from the Leaning Tower of Pisa and a cathedral (which, don’t get me wrong, is beautiful) there is nothing else to see within that area. Sure, you can walk down a few streets with some overpriced eateries and souvenir shops, but save yourself the time and spend that walking around some other truly remarkable places in Tuscany.
Hopefully that’s given you a better idea about whether you think it’s worth it to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa. At the end of the day, I’d say if you’re already in the area and can travel to Pisa relatively easily and quickly, then you should take advantage of it and head on over. However, if coming all the way to Pisa is going to be a long and troublesome journey, I don’t think it’s worth your time to spend an hour or so taking photos of the Leaning Tower of Pisa just to go home straight after.