Pisa is a beautiful city located in Tuscany, Italy, and is famous for its leaning tower. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Italy. Pisa offers a lot of things to see and do for those who visit the city.
In this article, we will explore top tourist attractions, how to spend a day in Pisa, where to stay, and day trips to take from the city. We will cover in detail about Best Things to do in Pisa.
What is Pisa?
Learn about the city of Pisa
Pisa is a city in central Italy, located in the Tuscany region. It has a rich history and is known for its art, architecture, and culture. Pisa has a population of about 90,000 people. It is a beautiful city with many attractions for tourists to enjoy.
What is the history of Pisa?
Pisa has a long and important history. It was a significant maritime power in the 11th and 12th centuries and became a wealthy city through its trade with the Mediterranean and the Near East. Pisa was also an important center of learning, with its university dating back to the 14th century. The city has been ruled by various powers, including the Medici family, and has been an important center for art and architecture for centuries.
Where is Pisa located?
Pisa is located in the western part of Tuscany, Italy, about 80 kilometers west of Florence. It is situated on the Arno River, close to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
How many days in Pisa should I spend?
The ideal number of days to spend in Pisa depends on your interests and what you want to see and do. Pisa is a relatively small city, and most visitors come primarily to see the Leaning Tower and the nearby attractions. Here are some general guidelines:
- Day Trip: Many tourists choose to make Pisa a day trip, arriving in the morning, exploring the Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles) with the Leaning Tower, the cathedral, and the baptistry, and then leaving in the afternoon or evening. A day trip is sufficient if you have limited time and are primarily interested in these famous landmarks.
- Two Days: If you’d like to explore more of Pisa beyond the iconic sites, consider spending two days. This allows you to delve deeper into the city’s history and culture, visit museums like the Museo delle Sinopie and the Palazzo Blu, and stroll around the charming streets of the old town.
- Three or More Days: Pisa is not a large city, so spending three or more days is usually unnecessary unless you have a specific interest in Tuscany and want to use Pisa as a base for exploring the surrounding region. From Pisa, you can take day trips to nearby cities like Florence, Lucca, or Siena, which are rich in art, history, and culture.
What are the top tourist attractions in Pisa? What to do in Pisa Italy
Explore the Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the most popular tourist attraction in Pisa and is recognized all over the world. It is a bell tower that started to tilt as it was being built in the 12th century due to its foundation on soft ground. The tower was closed to the public in 1990 as it was leaning too far, but it was reopened in 2001 after extensive restoration work.
What is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta?
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, also known as the Duomo di Pisa, is a breathtaking example of Romanesque architecture. The cathedral was built in the 11th century and features a beautiful facade and interiors. Visitors can admire its impressive golden ceiling and many beautiful decorations.
Discover the Baptistery of Pisa
The Baptistery of Pisa is a stunning Romanesque building which dates back to the 12th century. It is the largest Baptistery in Italy and is famous for its acoustics. The Baptistery is located next to the Cathedral and can be visited with the same ticket.
What to do in Pisa in one day?
Visit the Piazza dei Miracoli
Piazza dei Miracoli, also known as the Square of Miracles, is a large square in the center of Pisa. It is named after the Cathedral, Baptistery, and Leaning Tower that are located within it. Visitors can explore the many attractions of the square and enjoy the beautiful architecture and sculptures.
Go on a walking tour of Pisa
Another way to spend a day in Pisa is by going on a walking tour of the city. You can explore the narrow streets of Borgo Stretto, visit the Old Citadel and see the River Arno. The University of Pisa is also worth visiting, as it has a historic and magnificent building.
See the city from the top of the tower
Climbing to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the top things visitors can do while in Pisa. The tower has 294 steps and offers an amazing view from the top. Visitors can book tickets in advance to avoid long lines.
What are the best things to see in Pisa?
Marvel at the frescoes in the church of Santa Maria della Spina
The small Gothic church of Santa Maria della Spina is located near the river Arno and is known for its beautiful frescoes. The church was built in the 14th century and has been beautifully preserved. It is considered one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in Tuscany.
Admire the Knight’s Square (Piazza dei Cavalieri)
Piazza dei Cavalieri is a beautiful square that was once the centre of political power in Pisa. It features the Palazzo dei Cavalieri and a monument to Cosimo I de’ Medici, as well as other important buildings.
Explore the River Arno
The River Arno flows through Pisa and provides picturesque views of the city. Visitors can take a walk along the river or enjoy a boat ride. The river is also home to the Romanesque Church of San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno, which is worth visiting.
Take a self-guided Bike Tour in Pisa
If you are a fan of cycling then you can take a self-guided trekking bike tour, or e-bike tour, into the nature of Monti Pisani, from Lucca to Pisa! You will be immersed in nature, caves and vegetation during your ride, up to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Where can I stay in Pisa?
Find the best places to stay in Pisa
Pisa offers many accommodation options for visitors, including hotels, hostels, and apartments. The best places to stay are in the central part of the city, as they are close to the main attractions and offer easy access to cafes and restaurants.
What are the top-rated hotels in Pisa?
How can I book a hotel in Pisa?
Visitors can book a hotel directly through the hotel’s website or through travel websites such as Booking.com, Expedia, or Hotels.com. There are also many travel agencies that can help visitors find the right accommodation for their needs.
What to eat in Pisa?
Pisa, like the rest of Tuscany, offers a delectable array of Italian cuisine. Here are some traditional dishes and foods to try when you visit Pisa:
- Pappa al Pomodoro: This is a classic Tuscan bread and tomato soup. It’s a comforting and flavorful dish made with stale bread, ripe tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and basil.
- Ribollita: Another hearty Tuscan soup, ribollita, is made with bread, vegetables, and cannellini beans. It’s a thick, satisfying dish, often seasoned with olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese.
- Cecina: This is a popular street food in Pisa and other parts of Tuscany. It’s a thin, savory chickpea pancake, often seasoned with rosemary and olive oil.
- Pecorino Cheese: Tuscany, including Pisa, is known for its high-quality pecorino cheese, made from sheep’s milk. You can enjoy it on its own, with bread, or in various dishes.
- Bistecca alla Fiorentina: While Florence is more famous for this dish, you can find a delicious Florentine T-bone steak in Pisa as well. It’s typically a large, thick-cut steak, grilled to perfection and served rare.
- Pasta Dishes: Tuscany is known for its pasta, so try local specialties like pappardelle with wild boar sauce (pappardelle al cinghiale) or pici, a thick, hand-rolled pasta often served with a rich meat or tomato sauce.
- Schiacciata: This is a Tuscan flatbread that comes in various flavors. It can be savory with olive oil and salt or sweet with sugar and sometimes grapes.
- Tiramisu: This popular Italian dessert, made with layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese, and cocoa, can be found in many Pisan restaurants.
- Wine: Tuscany is renowned for its wines, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Super Tuscans. Enjoy a glass of local wine to complement your meal.
- Gelato: For dessert or a refreshing treat, savor some authentic Italian gelato from local gelaterias. It comes in a wide variety of flavors.
What are some day trips from Pisa?
Take a day trip to Tuscany
Pisa is located in Tuscany, which is a beautiful region of Italy known for its picturesque landscapes, vineyards, and medieval villages. Visitors can take a day trip to Florence, Siena, or Lucca to explore the beautiful countryside and experience the local culture and cuisine.
Visit Florence from Pisa
Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy and is located about an hour’s drive from Pisa. Visitors can explore its many attractions, including the Uffizi Gallery, the Ponte Vecchio, and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.
Go to the beach from Pisa
Pisa is located close to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and visitors can enjoy a relaxing day at the beach. Marina di Pisa is one of the most popular beach destinations and offers a variety of water activities and beach facilities. In conclusion, Pisa offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy.
What to buy in Pisa?
When you visit Pisa, you’ll find a variety of souvenirs and local products to purchase as mementos of your trip. Here are some items and products that make for great buys in Pisa:
- Leaning Tower Souvenirs: You can find a wide range of souvenirs related to the Leaning Tower, such as miniature replicas, T-shirts, mugs, and keychains. These items are readily available in gift shops around the tower.
- Pisan Marbled Paper: Pisa is known for its marbled paper, which is often used for stationery, notebooks, and other paper products. You can find beautifully crafted marbled paper items in various stores throughout the city.
- Pisa-Themed Clothing and Accessories: Look for clothing items like T-shirts, scarves, and hats that feature Pisa’s iconic landmarks and symbols, such as the Leaning Tower or the Duomo.
- Local Food Products: Tuscany, including Pisa, is famous for its food products. Consider purchasing items like olive oil, balsamic vinegar, truffle products, or locally produced wines, which make for excellent gifts or souvenirs.
- Pecorino Cheese: Tuscany is known for its high-quality pecorino cheese. You can buy various types and flavors of pecorino from local cheese shops.
- Tuscan Pottery: Handcrafted pottery is a popular local product in Tuscany. Look for colorful ceramic dishes, plates, and vases featuring traditional Tuscan designs.
- Lucca and Pisa Liqueurs: Lucca and Pisa are known for their liqueurs, including Limoncino (lemon liqueur) and Pisa’s own version of limoncello. These liqueurs are often available in decorative bottles.
- Artisanal Leather Goods: Tuscany is renowned for its leather products. You can find leather bags, wallets, belts, and accessories in various stores, often made from high-quality Italian leather.
- Local Art and Crafts: Pisa has a vibrant arts and crafts scene. Explore local art galleries and artisan shops for unique paintings, sculptures, and handmade crafts.
- Antiques and Vintage Finds: If you enjoy antiques and vintage items, you can browse the local markets and shops for unique pieces of historical interest.
- Gold and Jewelry: Pisa has many jewelry shops, and you can find beautiful pieces made from gold and other precious metals.
FAQ : Things to do in Pisa
Q: What are the must-see tourist attractions in Pisa?
A: The must-see tourist attractions in Pisa include the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the baptistery, the Piazza dei Cavalieri, the Church of Santa Maria della Spina, and the Knight’s Square.
Q: Is visiting the leaning tower of Pisa worth it?
A: Yes, it is worth visiting the leaning tower of Pisa. It is one of the most iconic landmarks in Italy and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can climb the stairs to the top and enjoy breathtaking views of the city.
Q: What other attractions can I see at the Piazza dei Cavalieri?
A: The Piazza dei Cavalieri is home to the Palazzo dei Cavalieri, the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, and the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, which is one of the most prestigious universities in Italy.
Q: What is the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Pisa?
A: The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo is a museum located near the Pisa Cathedral. It features a collection of sculptures, paintings, and other works of art related to the cathedral and its construction.
Q: Is it best to visit Pisa on a day trip or stay longer?
A: It depends on your preferences and travel plans. If you want to explore Pisa and its surroundings in depth, it’s best to stay for a few days. However, if you only have limited time, you can still see the main attractions in one day.
Q: What are the best cafes and restaurants to visit in Pisa?
A: Some of the best cafes and restaurants in Pisa include La Mescita, Osteria i Santi, Lo Schiaccianoci, and La Botteghina. You can also find plenty of places to grab a quick snack or a drink throughout the city.
Q: Can I visit the beach while in Pisa?
A: Yes, you can visit the beach while in Pisa. Marina di Pisa is a popular beach town located just a few kilometers from the city center.
Q: What is the University of Pisa?
A: The University of Pisa is one of the oldest universities in Italy, founded in 1343. It is known for its excellence in research and teaching in various fields such as science, engineering, humanities, and social sciences.
Q: Are there other attractions to visit around Pisa?
A: Yes, there are many other attractions to visit around Pisa, including the city of Lucca, the Tuscan countryside, the city of Florence, and the coast of Italy.
Q: What are some of the best churches to visit in Pisa?
A: Some of the best churches to visit in Pisa include the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Church of Santa Maria della Spina, the Church of San Sisto, and the Church of San Piero a Grado.
Q: Is Pisa worth visiting?
A: Pisa, located in Tuscany, Italy, is famous for its iconic Leaning Tower and the stunning Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles) is definitely worth visiting.