Pisa is a city in Tuscany, central Italy, built on the banks of the river Arno. The city has around 90,000 residents and contains more than 20 other historic churches, several medieval palaces, and various bridges across the Arno. Pisa was the birthplace of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), the father of modern science, who was also professor of “Philosophia Naturalis” at Pisa University, founded in 1343 and Alma Mater of three Nobel laureates (and five popes). Pisa University system includes also the Scuola Normale Superiore and the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. In the 11th century Pisa was one of the strongest cities of the Mediterranean sea.
What to visit in Pisa
Pisa is a beautiful medieval city, and September is one of the best time to visit it.
One day and a half could be sufficient to visit the entire city center. It is pretty easy to walk to the most important attractions:
- Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), where you can get on the top of the famous Leaning Tower, visit the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Camposanto (Graveyard) and the Sinopie Museum.
- Piazza dei Cavalieri, an ancient square where you can find the “Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa” historical headquarter.
- “Borgo Stretto” street and the Arno River. Along the river you can find several attractions such as “Logge dei Banchi”, the clock tower, the “Palazzo Blu”, and the “Chiesa della Spina”. Take the opportunity to take some pictures of the river from one of the several bridges of the city, such as “Ponte di Mezzo”. The river is amazing, especially on sunset hour and in the night.
- “Giardino Scotto”, a little but nice park.
- If you want to do some shopping you can go through “Borgo Stretto” and “Corso Italia”.
- Keith Haring‘s mural “Tuttomondo”, situated at the end of Corso Italia, close to the Pisa Railway Station.
If you are hungry, do not worry! The whole city is full of restaurants, bar and cafes. More information can be found here.
What to visit in Tuscany
Tuscany is as full of art and history as the city of Pisa, it counts seven sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Take the opportunity to go outside Pisa and visit the rest of the region. Since it could be uncomfortable to drive in the main cities, we recommend renting a car only if you want to visit places which are difficult to reach by train. You can find many car rentals at the airport.
- FLORENCE can be reached in 1 hour by train from the Pisa Central Station. Visit the beautiful Santa Maria del Fiore and S. Lorenzo’s Churches, Palazzo Vecchio and “Galleria degli Uffizzi”. Please, be aware that Florence needs a lot of time to be visited accurately. However, you can still enjoy it by having a walk in the city center and see the main attractions.
- LUCCA is famous for its ancient walls, can be visited in only one day and it is only 30 minutes away from Pisa Central Station.
- LEGHORN is is only 20 minutes away from Pisa Central Station. Visit the beatiful Terrazza Mascagni, a great chessboard-style terrace made of many white and black tiles.
- VERSILIA – VIAREGGIO AND FORTE DEI MARMI, the famous seaside towns of the Versilia, are only at less than 30 minutes by train.
- SIENA is a bit further away since it takes about 1:45h to reach it by train, but it is worth it! Siena hosts every year the famous horse race called “Palio”. Visit the “Piazza del Campo” square.
- VOLTERRA and SAN GIMIGNANO If you are planning to rent a car you can also visit other famous Tuscanian towns such as Volterra and San Gimignano
- CALCI CHARTERHOUSE
The Certosa di Calci (Calci Charterhouse) is only 15 minutes by car from Pisa. It is a huge monastery and it hosts the Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa. We strongly recommend visiting this place if you do not want to get too far from Pisa.
- PARCO DI MIGLIARINO, SAN ROSSORE, MASSACIUCCOLI is a huge natural park which covers a large area of the Province of Pisa and Versilia. The southern part of the park is reachable from Pisa in 5 minutes by car.