Pisa, information and advice on the "leaning tower" city
Pisa is a beautiful coastal town in Tuscany, famous for its leaning tower, but worth visiting for much more. The best way to explore Pisa is on foot or by bike as the town is very small. Its size and convenient setting make it a great base for exploring the Tuscan Coast.
- Relax in the peace and quiet of the Tuscan countryside, enjoying the breathtaking views from your pool, maybe even sipping on a glass of local wine. Then, when you have the urge to explore, hop in the car and you can be in Pisa and other local towns in a matter of minutes. We have a wide range of villas near Pisa.
Here is a map of Pisa and the surrounding area.
Although Pisa is best known for the world famous Leaning Tower, those
who come here with their minds already made up that the Tower is the
only thing to see may miss the rest of the architectural and artistic
marvels of this beautiful city.
The half hour walk from the Campo dei Miracoli to the train station runs through a pedestrian area with lots of interesting sights, shops, and restaurants. As Pisa city centre is very small, the best way to see Pisa is on foot, enjoying the sights and the atmosphere.
Pisa has regular trains to and from Florence (usually three per
hour), to and from Lucca (usually every hour) and is also accessible by
bus, and has an international airport.
Pisa Centrale is the main train station of Pisa. Rome to Genova
trains stop at Pisa Centrale. If you are planning an in-route visit to
Pisa, it is also convenient since Pisa Centrale has Left Luggage service
open from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Pisa Galileo Galilei Airport is the main airport of Tuscany and is served by several airlines operating hundreds of weekly flights to national and international destinations. Numerous companies offer charter flights to and from a number of European and non-European destinations. Flying to Pisa is really cheap and easy: the most recognized low-cost airlines serve Pisa. The airport is close to the city centre - it takes only a few minutes to reach the centre by bus, train or taxi. It is even possible to walk , which takes around 20 minutes.
- The Piazza dei Miracoli or Field of Miracles is to
the north of central Pisa. It's an UNESCO World Heritage site and
contains the city's most famous sights:
- The Leaning Tower, The structure was
originally conceived as the cathedral's bell tower. Construction began
in 1173 and the tower started leaning soon afterwards due to subsidence
of the ground underneath its base. A project to keep the tower from
leaning more and tipping over finally reached a successful conclusion in
2001, and the tower is again open to those wishing to climb it.
- Pisa Cathedral, the splendid cathedral,
contains artwork by Giambologna, Della Robbia, and other major artists.
Fine Romanesque style with double aisles and a cupola, a huge apse
mosaic partly by Cimabue, and a fine pulpit by Giovanni Pisano in late
Gothic / early Renaissance style.
- The Baptistry, A large round Romanesque dome
with many sculptured decorations and a fine view up top; climb this if
you want a great view with the Leaning Tower visible in your photos.
Arabic-style floors, pulpit by Nicola Pisano (father of Giovanni), and
fine octagonal font. At regular intervals, the ticket-checker-guard at
the entrance comes into the baptistery and gives an audio-treat of
echo-effect. The guard shouts out a few sounds, which when echoed sound
like pure beautiful music. Do not miss it. You can also cast your
inhibitions to the wind, stand by the wall, and sing long notes that
turn into chords by yourself, as the echoes go round and round the dome
of the building.
- Cemetery, a huge cemetery building with lots
of interesting art, including a collection of ancient Roman sarcophagi
and splendid medieval frescoes.
- On June 16th Pisa holds the Luminara festival, held for the patron
saint's day (San Ranieri). At sunset, all the lights along the Arno are
dimmed and more than 10,000 candles are lit, which makes for a
spectacular sight from the Ponte di Mezzo. Various activities are
organized in the streets and the night ends with a big fireworks
- Another summer attraction is the Gioco del Ponte, an annual historical event held on the last Sunday of June, in which the two sides of the city (Tramontana and Mezzogiorno, geographically split by the Arno river) participate in a historical procession, then challenge each other to a physical match in which their 20 person teams, try to conquer the "Ponte di Mezzo" (the main bridge in Pisa) by pushing a trolley in order to force the rival team off the bridge.
As a general rule, prices are higher near the Leaning Tower. A good
alternative is to head instead to the central area (5-10 minutes walk
from Piazza dei Miracoli) where you can find good, value for money
restaurants. Here are some good spots for eating.
- Osteria di Culegna, Via Mercanti (on the main
road). Reasonable prices in a friendly environment, good food and
typical Tuscan recipes. Closed on Sunday.
- Numero 11, 47-49,Via San Martino. reasonable prices, good food and generous portions in an informal setting.
- Vineria di Piazza, Piazza delle Vettovaglie. Serves great wine and a few, good, cheap, traditional dishes.
- Il Montino, Via del Monte. Great place to get fine pizza and excellent focaccine at a very cheap prices. You can eat in or take away.
- La Stanzina, Via Calvalca close to Piazza
delle Vettovaglie. Good food at reasonable price in a cozy environment.
Many of the recipes come from southern Italy.
- Osteria dei Cavalieri, Via San Frediano very close to Piazza dei Cavalieri. Quite expensive but very good. Traditional Tuscan dishes.
- La Mescita, Via Cavalca very close to Piazza
delle Vettovaglie. An expensive but very good choice. They serve both
traditional and more sophisticated food.
- La Reginella, Via di Gello at via Filzi. 15 minutes walk from the tower or take bus number 2. Great pizza,
- Funicolì, Via L. Bianchi 33. An excellent
pizzeria just outside the walls, not far from the Leaning Tower. It is
not a touristy place and the prices are reasonable. Pizza is very good
and the appetizers (antipasti) are even better. The place is not very
big so it is best to pop in early and reserve a table, especially during
- La Lupa Ghiotta, Viale Francesco Bonaini, 113
((from the station walk towards piazza Vittorio Emmanuele, then turn
right in Viale Francesco Bonaini)), 050.21018. Has very good food at
reasonable price in a cozy environment.