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How many steps are there in the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa has stood, slightly askew, for hundreds of years. This iconic crooked landmark in Italy was supposed to stand straight. But it gained its famous sideways slant thanks to the unstable soil on which it was constructed and poor planning. This free-standing bell tower accompanies a cathedral and baptistry in the town of Pisa in Tuscany. There are eight floors within the tower, including the top level that houses the tower’s bells. How many steps are there in the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Take a guess from the options below and then learn more about this mistake turned beloved tourist attraction.

Leaning Tower of Pisa in Pisa, Italy

Leaning Tower of Pisa (Photo credit: quixoticsnd, Depositphotos.com)

Do you know how many steps are in the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

a) 112
b) 212
c) 297
d) 348

Scroll down for the answer!

Piazza dei Miracoli, home to the Leaning Tower, the Pisa Cathedral and the Pisa Baptistry

Piazza dei Miracoli, home to the Leaning Tower, the Pisa Cathedral and the Pisa Baptistry (Photo credit: Antartis, Depositphotos.com)

Why is the Leaning Tower of Pisa famous?

This tower is famous because it’s leaning. The tower stands at an angle of 5.5 degrees (about 15 feet). When it was built between the 12th and 14th centuries, it was a feat of medieval architecture and was likely one of the tallest bell towers in all of Europe. Today it is one of the most recognizable manmade structures in the world. And, it’s a favorite spot for tourists to strike a pose while pretending to hold up the tower.

Tourists love to pretend to hold up the Leaning of Tower of Pisa

Tourists love to pretend to hold up the Leaning of Tower of Pisa (Photo credit: frantic00, Depositphotos.com)

What else is Pisa known for?

Pisa is home to Piazza dei Miracoli, which contains the Pisa Cathedral and the Pisa Baptistry, and the leaning bell tower. This is recognized as one of the greatest architectural complexes in the world. Pisa is also is the birthplace of the famous early physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei.

Statue of Galileo Galilei at the courtyard of the Uffizi Gallery in nearby Florence

Statue of Galileo Galilei at the courtyard of the Uffizi Gallery in nearby Florence (Photo credit: anamejia18, Depositphotos.com)

How did Pisa get its name?

No, pizza was not invented in Pisa. That honor belongs to Napoli, Italy. In fact, Pisa isn’t even an Italian word. The town of Pisa got its name from a Greek word, which means “marshy land.” 

Pizza in Pisa

Pisa is NOT the birthplace of pizza, despite their similar names (Photo credit: CITAlliance, Depositphotos.com)

Who designed the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

For years, the architect of the Leaning Tower of Pisa remained a mystery. An etching in found one of the tower’s stones, however, has identified Bonnano Pisano as the creator of this selfie spot. Pisano also constructed the San Ranieri Gate, which depicts the main episodes of the Life of Christ and which can be found at the right transept of the Pisa Cathedral.

San Ranieri Gate, constructed by Bonnano Pisano

San Ranieri Gate, constructed by Bonnano Pisano (Photo credit: Wikimedia)

Will the Leaning Tower of Pisa eventually fall over?

We hope not! According to experts, the Leaning Tower of Pisa should remain standing for another 200 years or so, thanks to refurbishment projects. In fact, it may not ever fall if the engineers have calculated their fixes correctly.

Leaning Tower and angel statue in Pisa

Leaning Tower and angel statue in Pisa (Photo credit: vladacanon, Depositphotos.com)

Answer: there are 297 steps in the Leaning Tower of Pisa!

The Leaning Tower of Pisa’s own website states there are c) 297 steps in the spiral staircase within the tower. Meanwhile, according to Wikipedia, there are around 294 steps in the Leaning Tower of Pisa. One staircase has two additional steps, for a total of 296. 

Steps in the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Steps in the Leaning Tower of Pisa (Photo credit: Lonewolf1976 at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa!

Pisa makes a lovely day trip by train from Florence during a tour of Tuscany. Learn what you need to know about visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa via TripAdvisor or book your Pisa tour via Viator now!

The famous Leaning Tower of Pisa

The famous Leaning Tower of Pisa (Photo credit: d.travnikov, Depositphotos.com)

More Travel Trivia

Do you love learning facts about the world? Then you’ll love quizzing yourself with additional travel trivia questions! Test your global knowledge with the questions below.

How many years did it take to build the Golden Gate Bridge?

What is the largest country located entirely within Europe?

Which country has the most islands?

Take a look at additional travel trivia questions!

How many steps are there in the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

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Would you like to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or do you think it’s a tourist trap? Let us know in the comments below!

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments
  1. Wow! I’m so amazed by this structure… poor planning results to great view! Good that it wasnt rebuilt ‘coz the slant contributes uniqueness and mystery to this structure. Such an amusing blog, great info… Just like visiting as well!

  2. Would love to see the tower but I think I’d feel a little ridiculous trying to hold it up. 🙂

  3. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

    Jailyn – Thanks so much for your kind words about Travel Mamas!

  4. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

    Lisa – You wouldn’t look silly pretending to hold up the tower because everyone else is doing the same thing! I had my photo taken “holding” up the tower years ago. I’d post it but my scanner doesn’t work anymore.

  5. I wasn’t even close to guessing right. I thought there’d be way more steps than that.
    Pretty sure you have to take a picture of yourself holding up the tower if you find yourself in Pisa. I think it’s a law or something.

  6. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

    Steve – As always, you make me LOL.

  7. Liz Pollock says

    My Grandaughter Kaitlyn Barbour and l (Liz Pollock ) are going to pisa on Wednesday 5th April 2017 and on my bucket list is to climb the leaning tower of pisa so here to counting the steps Kaitlyn ????????

  8. Elsie Sutter says

    How strenuous is walking up the stairs in the Pisa,
    do not know if I am able to climb all those stairs. Let me know what you think.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Hi Elsie- I visited the Leaning Tower of Pisa many years ago but I don’t think we climbed to the top because the line was too long. If you are fit, a climb to the top should be no problem. If you are not very mobile, you may want to skip it. It really depends on your health. You may want to ask your doctor before giving it a go.

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