The Leaning Tower of Pisa is world famous, but there’s much more to this compact, livable and loveable Italian city than wonky architecture. The River Arno bisects the town, giving the place an attractive waterside feel. There are some stunning buildings along the waterfront, some of which belong to the local university.
Thanks in part to the student scene here, Pisa is a vibrant yet laid back destination that’s rich in art, culture and history. It is also convenient for Florence, making it a cinch to combine the two in one trip. You could base yourself in the more peaceful location of Pisa and take one or more day trips on the train to the neighbouring city. There are several trains per hour, and the journey takes just over 60 minutes. The station is located on the southern side of Pisa and is within easy walking distance of the central area and many Pisa hotels.
The famous leaning tower is situated in a very pleasant square on the north side of Pisa. It’s as popular a spot with locals as it is with visitors, and students in particular tend to hang out here in their lunch breaks. This gives the Piazza dei Miracoli (literally ‘Square of Miracles) a lovely, local feel, and it’s a great place to soak up the sun as well as the atmosphere.
The square is also known as the Piazza del Duomo, and is home to a complex of beautiful and historically significant structures, including the UNESCO listed world heritage site Camposanto Monumental which borders the northern edge of the square. There is also Pisa Campanile, the Baptistry and a Cathedral. The leaning tower is actually the bell tower, and the entire square is owned by the Catholic Church, who consider the site sacred.
South of the square, the city streets are awash with Italian chatter and life, and you can sample some great food in the local cafes and restaurants. An ice cream or gelato from one of the outlets is a must - there are some particularly good ones right by the river, which is a very pleasant spot for a stroll too. South of the river are some lovely shops, especially along Borgo Stretto or Corso Italia, which are also home to a clutch of lively bars.
We can book all kinds of accommodation, from cheap hotels in Pisa for budget travellers to the more sumptuous 5 star hotels in Pisa offering superior levels of comfort and convenience. Why not take a look?