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’.


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I like to travel while having a base from which to roam. Home is a small farm on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia, where I grow organic vegetables and fruit, keep a few chooks (chickens) and Dexter cattle. The place offers some country peace and quiet, and wildlife, as well as quick access to the inner suburbs of the city for my regular contrasting visits. I enjoy walking, camping, swimming and snorkelling, photography, reading, listening to and playing music, and good food and wine. A major flaw in my character is being susceptible to sales of air flights.

9 thoughts on “Leaning in Pisa”

  1. No, it wouldn’t be as popular and wouldn’t even be passed by the certifiers as up to scratch. I first visited the tower in 1992 but you were not allowed in. We visited again in 2010 at Mr Tiffin’s insistence and I was happy that we could actually scale it. Thanks for joining in – I’ve added you to the link.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I chose not to climb the tower without regret. Having climbed quite a number of towers, admittedly not leaning, in the previous 3 weeks, I failed to see the need. Apart from that, it was €18. What a rip.


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