The Best Things To Do In Pisa

Written By: Chris Manning

A vacation in Pisa means experiencing the thrill that comes from visiting a place known all over the globe for its leaning tower and the luminaries which graced the city with their presence. It also means retracing their steps and getting to discover two other leaning towers too! The city of Pisa is located in northern Italy close to the coast. It lies south of La Spezia and Massa, west of Florence while Bologna is situated to its north east. In the city renowned for its for architectural marvels, you will get to explore its history in the Museo Nazionale, stroll across the river Arno on the Ponte di Mezzo and enjoy an unforgettable shopping experience on Borgo Stretto. With all these and so much more to see and do, there is no doubt that an extremely enjoyable holiday awaits you in this northern Italian city.

Although pretty different from its neighbor Florence which is renowned for its classical beauty, Pisa comes with its own charm and character which make it a delightful vacation spot in its own right. And its Leaning Tower is definitely an amazing trump card which ensures it is able to attract crowds of tourists yearly. One of the most convenient options of arriving from Florence which is just 63 km away is by AV train with a trip lasting about one and half hours at the most. Pisa’s main station, Pisa Centrale is also connected to major cities making it extremely easy to plan a trip from any of them. The city’s buses are extremely well run and are a favorite means of getting around the city. You may also opt for car hire although it is worth noting that driving in the city center is strictly limited to residents who need to have a permit.

It is one of Italy’s most famous architectural buildings and landmarks and now you will be able to view it up close. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is about 57 meters high and you will be able to climb it and enjoy amazing views of the city. And it isn’t the only leaning tower there either: the bell towers of both San Nicola and San Michele of Scalzi also rise at an angle above the ground, making Pisa the city of ‘leaning towers’. Vacationing in Pisa also comes with loads of opportunities to come face to face with Italian history, art and culture. While there you will be able to visit the Palazzo Blu which is one of the most renowned art galleries in the city. You will also be able to retrace the steps of one of Italy’s most famous scientists Galileo Galilei at the Palazzo Reale where he gave the Duke of the city an astronomy lesson.


Pisa Cathedral (Pisa Duomo)

Dating back to the eleventh-century, when you visit the Pisa Cathedral (Pisa Duomo), you’ll enjoy a beautiful Roman Catholic cathedral highlighting the fascinating Pisan Romanesque architecture. The building has undergone several renovations over time, so admire the stunning façade of the outside, then head inside to explore the pillars and stunning gold ceiling, as well as the original mosaic that surrounds the altar!


Leaning Tower of Pisa

Internationally famous, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a must to visit! The bell tower started leaning during construction in the twelfth-century, and currently has a 4.1-metre lean (it had reached 5-metres). Climb to the top of the 55-metre-high tower and enjoy magnificent views, but make sure to buy a ticket in advance as it is very popular!


Pisa Baptistery (Battistero)

As you explore Pisa, you will come across the unique Pisa Baptistery (Battistero). With construction spread from the twelfth to fourteenth-century, the brilliant white marble building displays both Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles, with ornate arches and a roof topped by a dome. As you head inside, you will be struck by the stunning interior; admire the ornate decorations as you climb to the gallery for stunning views! You may also notice that the building has slight lean, being built on the same ground as the more famous Leaning Tower of Pisa!


Piazza dei Miracoli

The Piazza dei Miracoli is the central hub of attractions in Pisa; a walled square covering nearly 9-hectares, take time to enjoy its space while exploring the famous sites that surround it. Take a seat and people-watch for a while – as tourists hurry between the sites – and admire the magnificent wall art and statues.


Knights’ Square (Piazza dei Cavalieri)

Stand in the centre of Knights’ Square (Piazza dei Cavalieri) and you are in the midst of history, dating back to the Roman era, when this was the main square of the city. Renovated in the sixteenth-century, it became a political hub, and is surrounded by palatial buildings and the church of the Knights of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri

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