Now that the covers are off since it's restoration, the Leaning Tower is once again a top destination for any visitor to Italy. For this reason, it is absolutely essential to book ahead for tickets to go up the tower. There are several websites you can go through but I used the official site for the Campo dei Miracoli attractions at www.opapisa.it. Here you can buy a joint ticket for the Baptistery and Duomo but the Leaning Tower has a seperate ticket (currently 18 Euros). You can only reserve the ticket online around a week in advance and you must specify the day you want to visit as well as choose the exact time from a list, as tourists are only taken up in small groups to minimise the impact on the tower. The climbing of the tower is a fascinating experience - the leaning effect is most pronounced at the bottom and as you climb your senses are fairly discombobulated. Be aware that the climb up the tower is NOT for the faint-hearted despite the relatively short amount of stairs so take this into account before ordering the tickets. You reach the level of the tower just below the lantern-like top and, if you feel brave, you can negotiate the last breathtakingly precarious steps right up the top. Once there, the tower commands wonderful views across Pisa and to the mountains in the distance. You only get a matter of ten minutes to drink in the views before you have to climb back down again as the tower officials run a strict routine with the next group waiting to come up after you. Some might feel the money is not worth it but I'm not one of them, having been inside one of the most iconic - and quirky - buildings in the world. It's an experience that should not be missed.
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