The first stone of the world-famous Tower was laid on 9 August 1173. If we know the architects of the other monuments in the Square, the Leaning Tower bears no signature, which adds to the centuries old controversy about its original architect. The year 1185 saw the onset of the subsidence and the consequent inclination that involved the suspension of construction work for nearly a century.
The building was resumed by Giovanni di Simone, who had been working on the Church of San Francesco (old town). The architect showed outstanding ability in limiting the consequences of the leaning, which allowed work to be continued until 1284. The last ring of the Campanile was constructed by Tommaso Pisano around mid-15th century.
The interior spiral staircase has nearly 300 steps until the top of the Tower. It is therefore not suitable for people suffering from dizzy spells.
Access is allowed to the belfry and top of the tower, but not to the middle floors.
It is forbidden to lean from the balustrades and go out on the walks at the different levels. It is also forbidden to walk under the bells or strike them with anyhing.
Bags and containers must be left at the cloakroom near the meeting point. Cameras and videcameras are allowed.