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Old 02-28-2013, 06:59 AM   #1
Candy Apple
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Did you get dizzy climbing the Tower of Pisa?

I had been thinking of doing the "Pisa--Climb the Tower" excursion, so I googled how many steps there were, just to be sure it would be doable for everyone in our group. I found the following website: http://www.frommers.com/articles/7695.html which said the following: "Pisa's tower isn't the tallest in Italy, but it does require considerable physical effort. For many, the sense of imbalance that comes from climbing the spiral stairs of a seriously tilting edifice is the most challenging part. The ascent takes about 10 minutes, but it takes another 5 minutes or so to recover from the dizziness. At the uppermost terrace, serious vertigo-sufferers will want to keep away from the low edge, which cantilevers thrillingly over the grassy piazza."

Now, I am rethinking this excursion. Has anyone climbed the tower? Did you get dizzy? I'm not worried about the 300 steps, but are we really going to get dizzy on this? I never get sea sick (and I've done 9 DCL cruises), but DH and DS's all have at various times. The only thing that makes me "sea sick" is looking at those huge plate glass aquarium windows and 3-D movies.

Should we do a different excursion?
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:06 AM   #2
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We climbed it in 07. Very fun and interesting. We did not get dizzy nor was it a hard climb.

Unless something has changed, you will be shocked by their lack of safety measures. it's not like what the US would do. The climb is a must do IMO.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:18 AM   #3
Stitch'sCousin
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Be very careful if you decide to climb the tower. When I was at the Tower of Pisa with my parents when I was 12 yo, we heard a loud bang and then lots of sirens. My parents quickly took my brother and me away from the tower without any explanation. My dad spoke Italian so he knew what was going on from the people talking around us. I did not find out exactly what had happened until I was an adult when my mom told me that a young child had fallen off of the tower and was killed.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:23 AM   #4
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We brought our 13 and our 7 yr old. Just keep them near you, you will be safe But it's true, they take very little safety measures.

Tons of people climb the tower and you don't hear of "tons" of people falling.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:29 AM   #5
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Hi there,

For those who have not visited the tower at Pisa before, if you look from a certain angle you could think that the tower was not leaning at all, my wife and I made a decision a couple of years ago whilst staying in Pisa to let our daughter 13 climb the tower and we laid down on the grass below to watch as it was a lovely sunny day. My daughter said "that you felt you climb up stairs and then you felt as thought were going down stairs to go up again"

We didn't get dizzy at all.

Save your money and climb to the top of the Vatican and enjoy an incredible view, and buy lovely ice cream in a small shop behind the deciples on top of the Vatican roof. Its a nice view from up there.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:32 AM   #6
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Wow. Thank you for sharing. We had planned on climbing, but we may be rethinking our plans.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:48 AM   #7
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I guess the steps don't have railings? It would be similar to the Notre Dame bell tower climb then?

Do they allow climbers to the Vatican dome on Sundays? Do you need tickets? It can be a long line to climb, right?
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tufbuf
I guess the steps don't have railings? It would be similar to the Notre Dame bell tower climb then?

Do they allow climbers to the Vatican dome on Sundays? Do you need tickets? It can be a long line to climb, right?
I would say the Bell Tower seemed safer No railings at the landings. I cant remember the stairs that well. They had little police barriers on the sides but they weren't bolted/secured. You could push past them. There is enough space to accommodate guests where you aren't on the side. Walking a mountain trail is more dangerous.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:23 AM   #9
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We climbed it in 2011 with our 3 girls who were 15, 10 and 8 at the time. The climb was not difficult at all. I believe children have to be at least 8yrs or older to climb. No dizziness at all. The view from the top was fabulous. The top was a bit shocking because there was no safety wall... it was basically chicken wire and metal posts. The stairs are very smooth and somewhat slippery in some places.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tufbuf View Post
I guess the steps don't have railings? It would be similar to the Notre Dame bell tower climb then?

Do they allow climbers to the Vatican dome on Sundays? Do you need tickets? It can be a long line to climb, right?
The steps are all inside. They wind upwards with the outer wall on your left and an inner wall on the right. Impossible to fall off the tower while climbing up. The steps are hundreds of years old marble, traveled by thousands of people, so it is possible to slip as you walk up. You won't go anywhere, but you could bang your knee on the next step.

Once you are at the top, stay clear of the sides. That is where you could fall. Just be cautious.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:07 AM   #11
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We climbed in 2010 and both me and my husband have vertigo problems. Neither of us got extremely dizzy climbing up, but I did feel "off" for a little bit. The stairs inside are marble and well worn so they're not completely flat, ie there is a groove in the middle from wear. There also isn't any handrails so you're holding onto the walls heading up and down. The staircase gets narrower as you go up, the last one(after the bells to the top) is approx 18" wide, very tight fit!!!
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:24 AM   #12
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We climbed in 2010 with our then 12 and 10 year old sons. As stated previously, not a hard climb -- just be prepared to keep going in circles There is a little bit of a "strange" feeling as you're climbing because the lean in the tower -- I wouldn't say you get dizzy but it is a strange sensation. Definitely worth the climb -- here's a photo of my boys at the top of the tower. When we went, they only allowed a certain number of people up to the top at any one time -- the stairwell from the "bell tower" area to the very top is extremely narrow and you can only allow folks to go in one direction -- so there was a security person directing traffic at this point and I suppose keeping tabs on how many people were on that uppermost section. We never felt that we were in any "danger" while we were up there - I think common sense kept us from leaning on the railing, but that's not to say we didn't stand against it.
Oh and here are the narrow stairs I mentioned:

And, here's a photo of the main stairwell that runs up from the ground and down from the bell tower:
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:41 AM   #13
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NC_Tink--Thanks for the pictures! I'll have to discuss it with the family.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:55 AM   #14
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We've climbed the tower twice and experienced no dizziness. I've climbed (294 steps) with my DGKs, 80 year old step father and my special needs brother. It's a wonderful experience.

Giotto's Bell Tower in Firenze is a bit more challenging (414 steps), but the view is spectacular!
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