Cover-More

The Leaning Tower of Pisa dominates the landscape in Pisa, Italy

You may be asking yourself, 'Tips for visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Why would I need tips for this?' Well, it’s simple, really. When you are planning to visit an iconic landmark like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you will undoubtedly run into crowds, and if you can learn how to avoid the crowds and learn from past visitors, why wouldn’t you? Read on to learn just a few pro tips for making your visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa memorable and safe.

Skip the Tour Guide

Instead of wasting money on a tour guide while in Pisa, read up on the history of the place yourself. Or, even better, download a city tour guide app that will work with your schedule. Check out Cities Talking for a flexible and informative app to take you through the attractions. Added bonus? The app knows where you are and will play information as you approach the site—plus since the content is downloadable, you can use this application with or without WiFi access.

By opting for an app or simply reading up on the location before you get there, you will have a significantly better experience than you would by distractedly following a tour guide around Pisa. You’ll also have the freedom to do what you want, when you want. Need to stop to capture the perfect image? When you aren’t tied down with a tour group, you can.

Plan Ahead

Instead of standing in an incredibly long line to get a ticket for entrance into the Leaning Tower of Pisa, think ahead. You can order pre-paid tickets in advance online at www.opapisa.it. The tickets will cost 17 euros per person when bought in advance, and you can choose your entry time (they go by half-hour increments). As a general rule, plan to be at Piazza dei Miracoli at least 30 minutes before your scheduled entry time. If you don’t buy ahead, you could be looking at serval hours of waiting in a line, and you may even find out all the tickets have been sold for that day—this is especially common during the European summer (June-August).

Beat the Crush

If you are going to chance not buying a ticket beforehand, you’re brave. The best way to potentially avoid the long lines for entrance is to arrive very early in the day or strategically before closing time. Come an hour before opening time at 10am or an hour before sunset for the fewest crowds of the day.

Take Better Pictures

Everyone knows the classic pose to take with the Leaning Tower of Pisa—striking a stance that looks like you’re holding it up so it doesn’t tumble to the ground. Feel free to take that picture, but try and get creative too. Maybe you can look like you’re karate chopping the tower, or holding it in your hand. The more you think about it, the more you’ll get inspired. Plus, half the fun of taking pictures with the Tower is watching how goofy everyone else looks while posing. Read up on tips for taking better pictures and get those glamour shots going.

Stay Safe

When you are visiting the leaning tower, be sure to keep an eye on your belongings. Pickpockets and thieves are more prevalent around the Piazza dei Miracoli ('the Square of Miracles') and tourist shops. Be smart and don’t become a target of their five-finger discounts.

Make a Day of It

Instead of taking the train to Pisa, spending an hour climbing the tower, and then returning to your city, make the trip to Pisa a full-day event. If you’ve brought your camera with you, you can wander the area and the other buildings in the vicinity for a different perspective of the iconic spot. Or, if you are travelling with companions, you can stop by local restaurants, delis or shops to put together an impromptu picnic. The Square of Miracles has a carpet-like lawn that is just begging to be used. It’s perfect for spending a day soaking in the sun and for lazing an afternoon away on a sunny day.

As always, use your common sense when travelling to a highly populated area and keep your wits about you when travelling. For an added layer of protection, consider travel insurance as your back up plan.

Image courtesy of Flickr user McPig