23819 · By Katie Shaw
To celebrate experiences that bring Italy to life, here are a few of our favourite unique activities that truly take you to the heart of this beguiling country.Read more
The city of Pisa is famous the world over, thanks almost entirely to poorly designed foundations. The city's famous 'Leaning Tower' - the 'Torre di Pisa' - is the free-standing bell tower of Pisa's cathedral. The tower began to lean during its construction, due to only three metres of foundations, set in weak, unstable soil. As the building work progressed, the design was altered, with the upper floors being given walls that are taller on one side - meaning that the tower is actually curved.
The Tower of Pisa
The leaning tower is part of the cathedral complex, known as the 'Campo dei Miracoli' - the Field of Miracles. As well as the tower is the marvellous white marble Duomo, often overlooked by tourists who flock to see the leaning bell-tower, but a true gem in its own right and one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture, with its beautiful marble façade and sublime Moorish mosaics. Restoration work, which took place between 1990 and 2001, was undertaken to prevent the tower from leaning too far and possibly falling. However, as with other previous work to stabilise the structure, it was carefully planned not to correct the lean - in order to maintain Pisa's appeal to tourists.