The Riddle of the Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most famous structures ever built. It has been loved and admired for 800 years and is one of the most visited sites on earth.

The Tower’s grand and beautiful design is unique, but it has become renowned for the most famous flaw in the history of architecture.  Nature made it lean, and a series of human errors have made it famous. The Italian government has appointed a scientific committee to devise a solution to the problem of the Tower.

A co-production between Pilot Productions and Paneikon for NOVA (US), Equinox on Channel 4 (UK) and AVRO (Netherlands) the film incorporates 3D computer animation to give a definitive description of the tower’s construction, explain why it leans and what can be done to stop its collapse.


Written and Directed by Christopher Durlacher


Professor Giorgio Macchi: An Italian Structural Engineer. “The Tower is something unique in the world.  You can come here a hundred times and you are always amazed by what you see.”

Professor John Burland: A British Soil Engineer. “It’s the ultimate engineering challenge. Stabilising a building which is about to fall over and about to blow up.”

Professor Carlo Viggiani: An Italian engineer. He has been studying the Tower for 35 years and is still uncovering surprises.

Italian Workmen: The struggle to save the tower has taken over a decade.