Leaning Tower Of Pisa Tickets
Tickets
English
EUR
Language
Currency
Contents

Pisa Camposanto | Italy’s monumental graveyard

Leaning Tower of PisaPisa Camposanto



If there’s a sacred place where death and devotion intertwine, it’s at Pisa Camposanto (or Camposanto Monumentale). The last of the buildings was constructed in the Square of Miracles (or Piazza del Duomo) in 1277, and this sacred burial ground is along the northern boundary of the Square. It contains tombs of prominent Pisan personalities, along with frescoes and marble busts. Christians believe that the Camposanto stands for death and the afterlife, completing the cycle-of-life theme of the various monuments in the Square of Miracles.

Things to know before visiting Pisa Camposanto

  • Not all Leaning Tower tickets include access to Pisa Camposanto; make sure your ticket includes access by opting for entry while booking your tickets.
  • Book combo tickets that include access to other buildings in the Square of Miracles so you get a holistic perspective of Pisan architecture, culture and tradition.
  • While there's no strict dress code, respectful attire (covering shoulders and knees) is recommended, especially if you plan to enter the Pisa Cathedral.

Architecture of Pisa Camposanto

Imagine a long, rectangular building with an open courtyard in the center. This is the basic layout of the Camposanto, and is called the cloister.

Made mostly of marble, the interiors and facade of the Camposanto have a polished feel. With 43 blind arches (that have no openings) on the external facade, there is a sense of rhythm and continuity in style. The intricate carvings atop the arches indicate the preference for a Gothic style of architecture. 

There are two main doorways, but the original entrance features a decorative Gothic tabernacle with a sculpture of the Virgin Mary and Child surrounded by saints.

Destruction and restoration of Pisa Camposanto

During WW2, the Camposanto was bombed and a fire broke out. The flames engulfed the buildings, burning for three days. This damaged the roof, the sculptures and sarcophagi, and severely compromised the frescoes. Some frescoes were saved and a temporary roof was erected to prevent further destruction. The sinopie, or practice drawings beneath the frescoes were also removed; they are now housed in the Sinopie Museum in the Piazza del Duomo.

Some early restoration methods, like using calcium casein glue, caused unintended consequences — like mold penetrating the adhesive. Later, innovative methods like using bacteria to remove organic material without damaging pigments were employed. New, safer supports were created for the frescoes. Controlling temperatures within the ambient temperature range was also crucial to safeguard the fragile frescoes from further disintegration.

Frequently asked questions about Pisa Camposanto

Is entry to Pisa Camposanto free?

No, you will have to ensure that your Leaning Tower ticket includes access to the Camposanto. Opt for a ticket variant that grants entry to the Camposanto. Better yet, buy a combo ticket like which grants you access to all the buildings in the Square of Miracles.

Why was the Pisa Camposanto included in the Piazza del Duomo?

It was included to house the tombs that were scattered around the Cathedral, and also act as the final resting place of important Pisan personalities like a few members of the Medici family. It stood as a representation of human mortality. It complemented the symbols of birth (via the Pisa Baptistery) and life (via the Pisa Cathedral) in the Piazza del Duomo, or Square of Miracles

What can you see inside the Pisa Camposanto?

Besides housing tombs, the Camposanto was also used as a canvas for frescoes, imbuing the space with a haunting and somber beauty. There are also sarcophagi and other funerary monuments you can see inside.

Where do I go if I want to see the remnants of the destroyed parts of the Camposanto?

Visit the Sinopie Museum to see the sinopie, or tracings of original frescoes before they were painted upon.

Is Pisa Camposanto wheelchair-friendly?

Yes, this monument is accessible to wheelchair users.