Travelers in the know – or at least those who are prone to planning ahead – are finding it easier and easier to avoid lines in Italy and book tours in advance. Many sights are online and offer advance ticket sales, sometimes for a small fee and sometimes for free, allowing you to bypass the often hours-long line (think Florence‘s Uffizi in July) and get right to the sight-seeing. As a planner myself, I think these online ticket sales are fantastic things – I only advise you to not skip past the line looking too smug, lest you be tripped by another visitor who’s still got an hour or more of waiting ahead of him.
I’ve written before about getting advance tickets for Rome’s Colosseum (a new development, and very welcome) as well as Venice’s Basilica San Marco (and those puppies are free!), but here’s one I didn’t know about until I stumbled on this site recently. Some people feel like they haven’t seen Italy until they’ve seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa, so whether you’re going to make it a speedy one-hour visit en route from one city to another or you’re going to stay in Pisa a day or two, this is a great resource for planning your trip and getting a ticket in advance to climb the tower.
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Tickets to climb the Leaning Tower cost €15 if you just show up. Buying them in advance will cost you an extra €2, but if you’re on a tight schedule and you’re visiting at the height of the tourist season (which runs from May through September these days), you might want to make sure you don’t find yourself at the back of a long line. Worse yet, there are plenty of busy summer days when the limited number of tower tickets actually sell out.
To check the calendar and buy your tickets in advance, go to the ticket office website for Pisa’s Leaning Tower, and then follow the instructions. And don’t forget to print out your ticket voucher after you’ve reserved your time (in half-hour increments)!
You can also book Pisa day tours to make more of your visit while you’re in the city.