The beautiful Tuscan city of Pisa has far more photo opportunities than just its famous Leaning Tower. The winding streets of the city’s historic center straddle the River Arno and are home to cozy bars and organic food restaurants alongside impressive historic and architectural attractions.
Explore the city on foot or by bicycle, or use public transport, because car parking spaces are scarce. The Leaning Tower, the freestanding campanile (bell tower) of the Duomo, is where most people are headed. While there, negotiate with street vendors for souvenirs.
The tower and cathedral sit at the center of the walled Piazza dei Miracoli, which has two more examples of Pisa’s diverse architecture: the Pisa Baptistry and the Camposanto, the cemetery.
Walk past the trees of the Piazza Martiri della Libertà on your way to the historic center of Pisa. At Knights’ Square, study the facades of the Palazzo della Carovana and Palace of the Putean College, which now house the students of the prestigious Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa.
After a day of walking the historic district, order a bowl of sullo scio, a type of soup, or a pasta in one of its cafés. Then do as the local families do and stroll along the banks of the Arno. Don’t miss the picturesque, but tiny, Gothic church Santa Maria della Spina.
Pisa has hot summers and mild winters. As in most typical Tuscan cities, there is not much nightlife, so you’ll be able to rise early to visit the fresh produce market in Piazza delle Vettovaglie or shop for fashion in the nearby arcade of Borgo Stretto.
Many people see Pisa as a steppingstone to the rest of Tuscany, by making use of Pisa’s nearby international airport and, after a quick visit to the Leaning Tower, taking the fast intercity train to Florence or beyond. However, it is recommended to stay overnight if you want to experience Pisa’s true beauty.