I’d been to Pisa before and so in a lot of ways, I wasn’t expecting to see anything new yet this trip to Pisa both surprised and impressed me!I managed to cram in more sights this time and see aspects I’d missed out on the first time around and gain a fresh perspective on Pisa! Needless to say, this afternoon in Pisa and my new ‘discoveries’ meant I had to lots of stuff to tell you about visiting that will hopefully help when you visit Pisa – even if you have been before! Let’s get started shall we? 🙂
1.) If you’re visiting Pisa, visit Florence or indeed vice versa! They’re about 50 mins to 1hr away by bus or by train (which costs just as little as £6 each way) so you definitely need to see both – even if you’re visiting just for a weekend!
2.) The Leaning Tower of Pisa is just one of many other amazing sights to see. It is by far the most popular but not necessarily the most impressive! How impressed you are with the others totally depends on what sort of sights you’re into of course but there are other impressive sights to see in that square.
3.) The Cathedral is actually one of the most ornate and indeed amongst the impressive Cathedrals you will see in Italy! No one ever really tells you this but it is so impressive inside (photos don’t do it enough justice). I know this sounds controversial but it’s easily more impressive than the Duomo in Florence!
4.) The best view of the Cathedral (especially for photos) is from the Baptistry (there’s a little cut out in the window offering great a great view and enough space to poke a camera out.
5.) Take a bottle of water around with you. Even if it’s empty, you can fill it up at the water fountain
6.) The tickets for access to the building is sold on the opposite side of the road and are fairly reasonable. It allows access to multiple buildings (you can select which ones). Definitely make sure you get tickets for the Cathedral. Prices are available on the official website here.
7.) Take one of those stereotypical tourist photos! It’s just gotta be done! 🙂
8.) Take photos of people taking those stereotypical tourist photos… It always makes for a good giggle later on.
9.) One of the best places to have a meal here is a restaurant at the first junction near the gates closest to the Leaning Tower (it’s the gates where once you step in, the Tower is on your left and the Cathedral on your left). Actually, as I type this, I realise these directions are confusing. And I remembered I took a photo of the street name to remember where the car was parked! 🙂 The restaurant is the one on the corner of Via San Ranierino (the street closest to where the card was parked) and Via Cardinale Maffi Pietro! I’m not proud that I had to take a photo to remember where the car was parked but it sure beats being lost and trying to find it later! 😉
10.) The train between Pisa Airport and Pisa Centrale station takes just 5 mins. The walk from Pisa Centrale to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and all the other sights is mere minutes from there. If there are enough of you, maybe take a taxi over but you’d be better off exploring it by foot!
11.) There are typically queues to climb the Leaning Tower so if you plan to, leave enough time for this.
12.) Parking is quite affordable by the way so feel free to drive here and park. Plus, a lot of tourists don’t drive to the sights so you should do fine for parking space.
And here’s what we got up to in Pisa!
First things, first – we got the obvious sights ticked off!
This is Baptistry (below) that I mentioned with the great view of the Cathedral!
We ventured into the Baptistry first (once we got the tickets) as this was going to close before the other attractions.
There are some pretty narrow stairs leading to the top!
But the view was definitely worth it!
And here’s what the view of the Cathedral looks like from the Baptistry!
Next stop, we ventured to the Cathedral where I was genuinely impressed by how beautiful and ornate everything was! Just look at the gold ceiling below!
Next stop – Camposanto Monumentale which is an amazing specimen of Gothic architecture! Every corridor is more impressive than the next!
Finally, we hot footed it to lunch! ( I was so hungry by this point) and right after lunch and headed off to Florence! But not before checking out other tourists still attempting to get “the photo”! I know I was doing the exact same thing just a few hours ago but it still makes me laugh seeing other people doing it together!
Oh and I saw this ADORABLE family chatting happily away… so fricking CUTE!!! 😉
The restaurant I was telling you about is on the street behind the Leaning Tower and you can get an amazing freshly made pizza, salad and a drink for about €7! #BARGAIN (And not with a compromise on quality either – that pizza was so good!)