You would have thought that to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa would have been on my bucket list but it never has been and I’ve never been overly bothered about seeing it, I’ve also never been bothered about going to Pisa as I couldn’t recall seeing any other photos of the town apart from the Tower and there were way more places in Italy that were high on my wish list.
However as we know, life works in a funny way and when I decided last minute to go to Italy for a week and wanted to visit Florence and the cheapest airport to fly into was Pisa it seemed a shame to not stay there the night and see what I could find besides the Leaning Tower and I’m so glad I did!
Of course the first thing I went to see was indeed the Leaning Tower of Pisa and as everyone says, it really does lean a lot more than it looks in photos!
It is an incredible building and I’ll admit that it was good to see this iconic icon after seeing it in so many photos. I too, took wayyy too many photos of it at pretty much every angle (except the angle where I attempt to hold it up, however mainly because I was on my own!) and I fully appreciated the tower and the architecture of it but I made sure that I soon went off to explore the rest of the City to see what else I could find!
Firstly, right next to the Tower is Pisa Cathedral and the Baptistery of St John which are both gorgeous buildings that compared to the Tower probably don’t get the photo justice and appreciation they deserve.
Then there are the beautiful streets of Pisa, I was out of my hostel by about 8:45am and it was the ideal time to see the streets while they were a bit quieter and what incredible streets they are, there are so many terracotta coloured buildings with balconies and beautiful shutter windows, small, cobbled streets which just made me ask ‘when can I move in??’.
As you start walking away from the Tower and head South you’ll hit the river which runs right through the middle of the city and it is lined with more beautiful terracotta buildings and the Tuscan mountains in the background. When I was there in the morning the sun was shining right off of the water and it looked so peaceful and beautiful and it was also a nice place to walk along at night too as it was all lit up.
I can imagine that if you only visited Pisa for the day or for a few hours that you wouldn’t venture South of river and instead stick to the North where the Tower is but it’s certainly worth crossing the river giving this area some of your time. If not only to find some places which sell food at much cheaper prices!
Personally I love wandering around areas of a city that are filled with locals over tourists and this is what this area felt like, there were other tourists around of course but not the masses of people following an umbrella with headsets on that you see by the tower!
Another thing I love is finding residential side streets, Pisa is quite a small city compared to some of Italy’s bigger cities like Florence and Milan so finding these side streets was really easy, and as it was still morning they too were very quiet with just the odd moped going past!
Due to time constraints I only had time for an evening and morning in Pisa however I’m glad that I did this over visiting as a day trip from Florence or even heading straight to Florence and not even seeing Pisa.
I also arrived just in time to see the sunset which was gorgeous, admittedly I was by the tower at this time however it was a lot quieter at this time of day than it is during the day so if you can fit a sunset in then I would suggest it!
I arrived in Pisa Airport and got a local bus right into the City, it was just outside the airport exit and it’s the red line going to Lam Rossa (or LR on the bus screen) and paid €2.00, it took about 20 minutes and as my hostel was close to the tower i got off around there. This bus also goes past Pisa Central train station which is very close to the airport.
There is another train station in Pisa called Pisa San Rossore and this is where i got my train to Florence from, the train did then go to Pisa Central but as San Rossore was just a 10 minute walk from my hostel and the Tower so it seemed silly getting a bus to the Central station first.
I got my ticket to Florence at the station and it cost €8.40, it seems that this fare doesn’t change no matter whether you buy it online a few weeks in advance or just 10 minutes before at the station!
Pisa is a fairly small city so wherever you stay you will be centrally located to see all of the city and it won’t take you too long to walk around!
To SEE my trip to Pisa check out my YouTube video of my week in Italy here!
**Have you been to Pisa, what else would you suggest to do than just seeing the Leaning Tower??**