Leaning in Pisa

Italy’s leaning tower of Pisa is one of the most celebrated engineering failures in the world, the lean resulting from inadequate foundations.

Construction of the tower began in 1173 and finished 199 years later. As a specialist in slow home renovations, I find that construction time reassuring.

The building’s purpose is to serve as a bell tower for the neighbouring cathedral, although these days its main function is to provide visitors with a ticketed climb. Would it be so popular without the lean?


This is my contribution to Tiffin’s A-Z Guidebook, this month starting with the letter ‘P’.