While the Tower was built as a freestanding tower bell for the nearby Cathedral, today its purpose is very different.
In fact, nowadays the bells are seldom used.
Today the Leaning Tower of Pisa is used to make money!
How much money? ...keep reading...
The Leaning Tower of Pisa has been fighting gravity for almost 850 years.
The construction of the Tower was finished in 1372. Since then, the world has changed quite much.
After a decade of consolidation works, the monument is now used to attract tourists.
Today the Leaning Tower of Pisa is just used to make #money.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa sports intricate architectural patterns and one of the primary reasons the Tower was built the way it is, is to showcase the prosperity of the city of Pisa.
In fact, at the beginning of the second millennium, Pisa was a city with a great military power and its domain extended over a large part of the Mediterranean Sea.
Pisa financed its economy with frequent raids to other Mediterranean cities and gathered a multitude of treasures and resources.
Besides the military operations, Pisa was a well known commercial harbour and most of the important business going on in the Mediterranean Sea was passing through its docks.
When the Tower was built, money was not an issue.
The building was planned to be over 58m tall and it was being built essentially to burn money... just because they could.
Interesting enough, today circumstances reversed completely. What was initially planned as a total waste of money ended up in becoming a money-making machine.
How many people visit the Tower?
On a typical working day, the Square of Miracles (the grassy field where the Tower is located) it is extremely crowded and it looks something like the photo at the top of this page.
It is estimated that 6 million visitors make their way to Pisa each year, mainly as a quick stop to see the Tower when travelling through Tuscany or visiting the nearby Florence.
Given its architecture, it is physically impossible for all these people to actually step into the Tower.
The maximum capacity of the Leaning Tower is of 500 000 - 600 000 visitors per year.
In fact, the Tower is open every day of the year for at least 8 hours and people can enter in groups of 50, every 15 minutes.
Consequently, every hour the Tower can receive 200 visitors.
That amounts to about 1600 persons per day (200 visitors x 8 hours).
Over one month, a total of 48 000 people have set foot in the Tower (1600 people per day x 30 days).
Of course the number of people actually visiting the Tower changes day-by-day... but there is always a fairly long queue at the entrance of this Monument, so it is safe to assume an occupancy rate of at least 80%.
With 48 000 visitors per month, the Tower accounts for about 576 000 paying visitors in one year (48000 visitors per month x 12 months).
Even considering the occupancy rate of 80%, this number is close to half million visitors per year ...460 800, to be exact.
How much Money does the Tower make?
Half million visitors per year is quite a number... it is over five times the size of the population of Pisa (about 90 000 people).
So, how much money does that bring into the pockets of the Owners of the Tower?
The math is pretty easy.
The standard cost of the ticket to the top of the Tower is 18 EUR when bought on site (tickets can also be bought online).
Other types of tickets are available (skip the line, guided tour, ...) but for the sake of simplicity let's just don't consider them in this calculation.
18 EUR x 460 800 visitors/year =
8 294 400 EUR/year
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a golden goose that lays eggs worth more than 8 million EUR each year!
...and this comes just from the Tower...
Yes, that's just the cherry on top of the cake.
The Square of Miracles ("Piazza del Duomo" in Italian language) is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List and the Leaning Tower is not the only remarkable monument it hosts.
There are in fact other 5 major monuments which access is subject to fee, namely:
- Baptistry (Battistero)
- Sinopie Museum (Museo delle Sinopie)
- Monumental Cemetery (Camposanto Monumentale)
- Opera del Duomo Palace (only exhibitions)
- Opera del Duomo Museum (exhibitions and museum)
Depending on your "shopping strategy", visiting all these places might double the cost of your experience in the Square of Miracles.
The Tower is the main attraction of the Square (it is priced at over 3 times the other monuments) and people often include Pisa in their trips to Tuscany just to see the Leaning Monument.
However, once in Pisa, not everyone gets on the Tower (remember, only half million visitors go on the Tower every year, against the 6 million people that come to visit the Square) but the rest of the crowd does visit some of the other monuments.
Assuming that 50% of those 5.5 million people actually visit other monuments in the Square and spend in average just 5 EUR, we count 13 750 000 EUR of additional revenues brought to Pisa by its Tower, each year.
Summing up the different streams of revenues, the Tower generates over 21 million EUR each year.
Interestingly enough, the Cathedral can be visited for free!
The stabilization works performed in the 90s lasted over one decade and generated costs for 30 million EUR.
This huge investment paid itself back in just 18 months!
The Leaning Tower generates revenues of over 20 million EUR/year.
Do you want to know more?
funny enough, this is the only page on the entire internet where you can read the exact number of steps in the Tower... because we went there and counted them!
find out why Tower was built, along with the other monuments in the Square of miracles.
everything about the recent stabilization works and the people who performed them.
answers to the most asked questions about the Tower.