Battistero di San Giovanni (Pisa Baptistery), Pisa

Battistero di San Giovanni (Pisa Baptistery), Pisa (must see)

Construction on the Pisa Baptistery began in 1152. Designer Diotisalvi signed an interior pillar with the date 1153, but the Baptistery wasn't completed until 1363.

The impressive marble Pisa Baptistery is the largest baptistery in Italy and stands at 54.86 meters (180 feet) tall, making it almost as tall as its neighbor, the Leaning Tower. The lower portion represents Romanesque styling, whereas the upper sections with pointed arches are Gothic.

Two classical columns flank the portal. The lintel has two tiers. The lower tier portrays several scenes from John the Baptist's life. The upper tier shows John the Baptist surrounded by Christ, the Madonna, and angels.

The interior features 12 columns that represent the 12 apostles. A bronze sculpture of John the Baptist stands in the center of the baptismal font. The font's three steps represent The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Famed astronomer and scientist Galileo was baptized here in 1564.

The pulpit was sculpted by Nicola Pisano and completed in 1260. The artistry represents a new focus on more realistic art and represents the beginning of the Italian Renaissance period.

The Pisa Baptistery was built on the same sand as the leaning tower and leans 0.6 degrees. Visitors can climb to the viewing level and look out over the Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles).


Every half an hour, a guardian comes in to say a few words and demonstrate Pisa Baptistery's unique acoustics. This is a good time to be on the upper viewing level, as the acoustics here are impressive.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Pisa. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Battistero di San Giovanni (Pisa Baptistery) on Map

Sight Name: Battistero di San Giovanni (Pisa Baptistery)
Sight Location: Pisa, Italy (See walking tours in Pisa)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Pisa, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Pisa

Create Your Own Walk in Pisa

Creating your own self-guided walk in Pisa is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Galileo's Pisa Walking Tour

Galileo's Pisa Walking Tour

Among the names that hardly need introduction there is one of Galileo Galilei. The most illustrious son of Pisa, this 16th-17th century physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher went down in history as the “Father of Modern Science” and is forever cherished as one of the world’s greatest minds.

As Galileo's hometown, Pisa boasts a number of places linked to his life, of...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Pisa's Historical Churches Tour

Pisa's Historical Churches Tour

The city of Pisa is one of the richest in Italy when it comes to church heritage. This historic city is home to many great churches and cathedrals that have the most wonderful paintings, sculptures and architecture. Take this self-guided walk walking tour to see the most beautiful houses of worship in Pisa.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Pisa Palaces Walking Tour

Pisa Palaces Walking Tour

As you continue your acquaintance with Pisa, you will notice that there is a lot more to see here than just a "leaning" landmark. Indeed, just like Italy in general, this particular Tuscan city boasts a glorious heritage of wonderful palaces, fit to transport you back in time.

The most beautiful palaces in Pisa are found on both sides of the Arno River, forming a multi-colored ribbon...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Pisa Introduction Walking Tour

Pisa Introduction Walking Tour

The city of Pisa, in Italy's Tuscany region, is best known worldwide for its iconic Leaning Tower, as well as for being the birthplace of Galileo Galilei, whom considered by many as the Father of Modern Science.

The origin of the name Pisa is a mystery, while the origin of the city itself – as Etruscan – was confirmed only in 1991.

Founded on the seashore (which had since moved...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles