Italy: Make a Leaning Tower of Pisa Model

The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Torre pendente di Pisa) is a bell tower and one of four buildings located in the Piazza dei Miracoli, a cathedral complex in Pisa, Tuscany, Italy. It is one of the most recognised building in the world because of it's four-degree lean!

Construction on the tower began in 1173 and it was completed in 1372. The tower began leaning while it was being built, as the ground beneath it was too soft to support the weight (14,500 metric tonnes). Because of this, construction came to a halt for almost a century while they were deciding what to do! The tower is between 55.86 metres and 56.67 metres tall - depending on which side you measure it.

The Tower of Pisa actually used to have a 5.5 degree lean - most engineers would agree that it was a miracle that the tower didn't topple. Because of this, the Italian government began an almost 20 year restoration project in 1990 that corrected the lean so that it now only tilts 3.97 degrees!

In this activity you can make your own Leaning Tower of Pisa model!

Make a Leaning Tower of Pisa Model

You will need:

Download the leaning tower model here


  1. If you would like to, begin by colouring in the Leaning Tower Template.

  2. Cut along the solid lines.

  3. First, glue together the top piece of the Leaning Tower. Glue the walls first, before folding the tabs in and gluing down the 'floor' and 'ceiling' of this piece.

  4. Run a line of glue down the tab of the main piece of the tower and then stick it down to form a cylinder. Because of the length of the cylinder, we found it helpful to place a peg on either end of the cylinder to hold it in place while the glue dried.

  5. Fold the tabs in on the 'ceiling' of the main tower piece and glue these inside the cylinder. We had to use a chopstick to push the tabs against the walls of the cylinder so that they would hold down.

  6. Allow to dry.

  7. Now glue the top piece of the tower to the centre of the main piece of the tower.

  8. Allow to dry.

The model should stand up by itself, but if yours is a bit wobbly glue or tape it to a cardboard base.

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