Pisa’s Leaning Tower may be more famous, but the nearby baptistery (battistero) is equally captivating. Clad in white marble with intricately carved rows of Romanesque and Gothic arches and a cupcake dome, the baptistery is one of the essential sights in the city’s UNESCO-listed cathedral (duomo) complex.
An excellent example of Pisan Romanesque architecture, the Pisa’s Baptistery (Battistero) sits just outside the cathedral (duomo) on the Field of Miracles (Piazza dei Miracoli). Inside, you can admire the beautifully carved pulpit by Nicola Pisano and ornate marble baptismal font, and then climb the stairs to the gallery for a bird’s-eye view. While on the gallery, try out the building’s remarkable acoustics by whispering sweet nothings beneath the dome.
The duomo complex is one of the most popular destinations in Tuscany and can be very crowded in the summer. Booking a skip-the-line Pisa tour in advance is essential to avoid a long wait at the ticket office and ensure a time slot to visit the cathedral, baptistery, and bell tower. Consider a small-group tour to see the highlights of Pisa, or a Leaning Tower family tour if you’re traveling with kids.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Visitors with tickets can use the Opera della Primaziale Pisana building’s restrooms, and store bags and luggage in the cloakroom for free.
- There are a number of restaurants and cafés located around the perimeter of the square.
- The baptistery is accessible to wheelchair users.
- You must wear modest attire covering shoulders and knees to enter the church and baptistery.
How to Get There
The Piazza dei Miracoli is about 1 mile (1.5 kilometers) north of the Pisa train station, across the River Arno, and there are trains from Rome, Florence, and Venice each day. From the station, you can walk through the historic center of Pisa to the Field of Miracles (Piazza dei Miracoli), or you can take a bus from the station.
When to Get There
The duomo complex is most crowded from late morning through the afternoon, so try to arrive in the early morning to enjoy the church, baptistery, and bell tower before the throngs of daily visitors arrive.
Other Sights in the Piazza dei Miracoli
In addition to seeing the baptistery, you can tour the cathedral, Leaning Tower, Monumental Cemetery (Camposanto Monumentale), and Sinopie Museum, which displays preparatory sketches for the cathedral’s frescoes. Visit the Duomo Opera Museum (Museo dell’Opera del Duomo) to see works of art removed from the cathedral and baptistery over the centuries.