When it comes to picturesque Italian cities, Pisa undoubtably shines as one of the best. Nestled in the heart of Tuscany and steeped in a deep history with many architectural marvels, the compact little city of Pisa has much more to offer than just its iconic Leaning Tower.
Here’s everything you need to know when planning a visit:
How to get there?
Pisa is very easily accessible by plane- you can fly straight into the Pisa International Airport Galileo Galilei Airport from most countries. Once arrived, you can jump on the PisaMover which links the airport and train station and be in the city centre in just a few minutes. This is worth noting- Pisa centre is so close to the airport! I was actually able to walk out the airport and be at my accommodation within a fifteen-minute walk, saving me those precious euros on the PisaMover. My accommodation was then only a twenty minute walk to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, showing again how tiny the city is!
Pisa Central Station is also very well connected to other major Italian cities so it’s also super easy to visit from places like Florence, Lucca, Rome and beyond.
Where to stay?
Like I mentioned, Pisa is small! This means there are lots of options right in the city centre, or you can save money by staying slightly outside (but still walking distance).
If you are looking for luxury, take a look at the Hotel Relais dell’Orologio, which boats a prime location and elegant décor.
If you prefer a charming boutique experience, consider Hotel San Ranieri which offers a more modern design.
I also stayed at an AirB&B which was affordable and in a good location.
Best things to do?
1. Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Of course, no trip to Pisa is complete without visiting the infamous Leaning Tower. Located in the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles), the tower’s tilt is the result of an architectural mishap that turned it into a world famous icon. Visitors can climb to the top for a breathtaking view of the city and surrounding area- just remember to book your ticket in advance! You can also purchase a queue jump ticket to skip the crowds.
2. Pisa Cathedral
Adjacent to the Leaning Tower stands the stunning Pisa Cathedral, which is an absolute masterpiece of Roman architecture. You can book tickets for free online (although some sections are paid) – don’t miss the ornate pulpit by Giovanni Pisano!
3. Keith Harring’s ‘Tuttomondo’
For art enthusiasts, a visit to Keith Harring’s Tuttomondo (translating to ‘all the world’) mural is a must. The vibrant piece takes up entire wall of a building and represents Harring’s commitment to spreading messages of unity and love through his artwork. The art is located conveniently close to Pisa Central Station and definitely should not be missed while in the city.
4. Wander the River Arno
The Arno is the river that runs through the middle of Pisa and continues all the way through to Florence. It’s banks provide a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and the colourful houses that line the water are a photographers dream. One of my favourite moments of Pisa was getting an ice cream in the evening and sitting with the locals on the walls by the river.
5. Relax in a park
If you’re seeking a relaxing break from the business of the city centre, or just fancy getting out of the sun for a few hours then Giardino Scotto is the perfect spot! Enjoy a leisurely picnic, admire the blooming flowers or simply unwind in the shade of the trees with a good book.
6. Visit Piazza dei Cavalieri
If you want to experience some more of Pisa’s rich history, head straight to Piazza dei Cavalieri. The historic square was once the political centre of the city and is now home to the Scuola Normale Superiore, one of Italy’s most prestigious Universities. The stunning architecture makes it a captivating spot for history lovers and photographers alike.
7. Indulge in the Local Cuisine
No visit to Italy would be complete without a LOT of eating! I had some fantastic pizza at Pizzeria Zero Zero and Gelateria De’Cotelli is very famous for it’s exotic ice cream flavours. I also had the best coffee of the entire trip at Cavalieri Speciality Coffee – we headed back here for again and my chocolate croissant was absolutely delicious.
So there you have it! Your complete guide to a weekend in Pisa. I definitely wasn’t expecting to fall in love with Pisa as much as I did, and I was blown away by it’s complete beauty. I also loved how small it was- it’s walkability and proximity to the airport makes it the perfect destination for a weekend city break.
Feel free to reach out to me with any other Pisa related questions, and check out my Instagram highlights for more!
Lot's of love,