Pisa Travel Guide

Introduction to Pisa

Pisa is located in western Tuscany on the banks of the river Arno. The city started life as a seaside settlement around 3000 years ago, and has an ancient and fascinating history. It was one of the four great maritime republics in the middle-ages and many of its historical landmarks date back to this time.

Today it is a modern city and known the world over for the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, however there is so much more to the city! Hotels in Pisa range from cheap and cheerful to unbridled luxury. Traditionally a university town, it boasts stunning monuments and plays host to much art and culture. It is also full of good restaurants, bars and cafes to rest those weary feet after a day’s sightseeing.

Other things to do in Pisa

The Piazza dei Miracoli, Field of Miracles is a Pisa must see. This square contains Pisa’s most beautiful and famous sights including the LeaningTower, the Duomo (cathedral), Battistero (Baptistry) and the Camposanto (cemetery). These incredible buildings blendMoorish, Gothic and Romanesque architectural features and are truly breath-taking.

The Leaning Tower was re-opened to the public in 2001 after works to reduce its tilt, and visitors are now able to climb the steps to the top with a guide. The Camposanto, also known as the Holy Field has been described as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. Don’t miss a walk in the square at night when it seems a different place, peaceful and uncrowded with the buildings beautifully illuminated.

Take a break from sightseeing with a picnic or stroll in the BotanicalGardens, 16th century gardens which are part of the University of Pisa. It is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the tourist trail.

Eating and drinking in Pisa

Like many cities, Pisa offers a wide variety of food choices catering for all tastes. From the ‘tavola caldas’, restaurant/take-away for the more budget conscious, to the higher end and pricier ‘Trattorie’ restaurants, traditional and often family run establishments serving Italian food as its best.

Not surprisingly, pizza and pasta frequent menus in Pisa along with the ever present staples of olive oil, ripe tomatoes, cheese and homemade Tuscan bread.

As a general rule its best not to eat near the Leaning Tower as prices can be expensive and quality is low. Instead, take a short walk away and you’ll find yourself in the central area packed with good and reasonable priced restaurants. Via San Martino area, close to the south bank of the river and the Piazza dei Cavalieri are also popular places to eat.

Pisa climate

Pisa boasts a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry weather in summer and milder, wetter weather in winter. July and August are the hottest months with temperatures often reaching above 30C. Winter temperatures average around 12C but have lower rainfall than in the autumn months.

When to go to Pisa

Although a great city all year round, spring and autumn are the best times to visit Pisa, with temperatures at their most pleasant and fewer tourists making the city less crowded. December, although much cooler can also be a great time to visit, with the main tourist attractions blissfully quiet and the added bonus of a Christmas market.

Flying to Pisa

Flights to Pisa arrive at Pisa International Airport Galileo Galilei is 2km south of town and is Tuscany’s main international airport. Choose from bus, train or taxi to take you into the centre. Trains take around 5minutes but run only twice per hour direct into Pisa Central Station. Buses run around every 15mins taking passengers to Central Station and Piazza dei Miracoli, the journey take about 15mins. A taxi will cost around €6-8.

 Pisa Deals

Hotels in Pisa

Car hire in Pisa

Images by Flickr/Velo Steve

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