Pisa, Italy is probably one of Italy's most underrated towns. Located in the Tuscany region of Italy, and known by many for the famous 'Leaning Tower of Pisa'. Sitting at 58.36 meters high. Now I had no expectations going to Pisa, not knowing what it had on offer, apart from the tower and I was pleasantly surprised and blown away by the beauty of this city! On this certain day I had used up my data so I navigated my way around with a map I was given (I went old school in other words), with so much to see. So if you're heading to Italy, take the time to at least spend a day there, which I think is plenty of time to see the city, but definitely do it, you won't regret it.
How to get there?
Getting to Pisa was quite easy. I arrived with Ryanair from Frankfurt, Germany. The flight was quick only taking 1 hr 30 minutes. Ryanair offer cheap flights from Frankfurt, and had I only brought carry on it would have been a lot cheaper. From the airport, I caught a taxi to my hotel on the outskirts of Pisa, which was 12€. The taxi's were easy to find with a taxi rank just outside the exit.
Where to stay?
I stayed at Casa Betania, a small hotel as mentioned on the outskirts of Pisa. There was a bus stop just a few hundred meters up the road, which made getting into the center easy. The hotel was great and staff were extremely helpful with ordering takeaway for me because of the language barrier and ordering taxi's. For those staying here in the future, catch bus no. 13 to the main station in Pisa, and navigate your way around the city from there.
Things to do
Now if you wondering whether there are many things to do in Pisa, I can guarentee you won't be bored and the city will keep you busy for 24 hours.
Walk around the Piazza's
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele
Piazza dei Cavalieri
Climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa
To purchase tickets to climb the Leaning tower, there are signs to a building behind the tower and it costs 18€. Now it may seem a little expensive, but it's a once in a lifetime experience. It's also good to note that with the ticket you also get free entrance to the Cathedral just to the left of the Tower. Once you buy your ticket(s), next door are lockers, where you will need to leave your bags (sorry guys but you don't get a choice, no bags are allowed up to the top, but you can take them into the Cathedral). I was a bit worried about leaving my personal belongs (apart from my camera) but someone is always there and they escort you to the locker, ensure your stuff is in there and you close it and keep a key card that opens your specific locker. Only 45 people are allowed up at one time and you get given a specific time, entrance to the tower happens every 15 minutes. Just be aware that when you get given a time and you happen to be late when entering the tower you won't be allowed up or get a refund. So make sure you're there earlier if not on time! The view at the top is lovely, however the gates are quite high so it's bit difficult to get a photo. Also to note; you're at the top when you reach the bells, if you don't see any bells you haven't reached the very top yet. I thought I had seen it all and was about to leave when I realised there was another set of stairs to a higher level.
Walk around the Cathedral
So with a ticket to climb the tower you get free access to the Cathedral, I would definitely have a look, there are two sections to the Cathedral, one for those who want to pray, and the other side for those who visit and take photos. The church is quite beautiful, with large painting on the wall.
Take photos of the Baptistery
This was probably my favourite building in Pisa, the outside is beautiful with the detailed architecture. The dome looking building can be entered, for an extra 5€. Unlike the other buildings, you have access to the grass area outside to sit and enjoy the building.
Visit Fortezza di San Gailo
The fortress grounds were lovely, immaculate and has a park in the middle for children to play on, or big kids if you're young at heart. The only thing that disappointed me, and I felt like a kid that had just been told no, was that you couldn't walk the fortress as all staircases and access points had been drawn off.
Walk around Botanico
Entrance to the Botanic Garden is 4€ and gives you access to the museum as well. The Botanic Gardens were founded in 1543 and was the first academic Botanic Garden in the world. It's central role is for academic activities for the University and scientific research. The grounds are quite lovely, with a few greenhouses to have a look at. If you're not sure where the museum is, open the pamphlet the ladies give you before entering, because there is a picture of the building which is to the right as you enter.
Get lost down alleyways
The buildings in Pisa are beautiful, and every alleyway I looked down encouraged me to explore them. I had no problems walking down the alleyways and felt completely safe in Pisa on my own. Obviously always have your wits about you, but it's a lovely city to get lost in.
Where to eat?
Bar and Food 62
On my way back from the Tower of Pisa, I stumbled across this resturant. There is a whole street with plenty to choose from, but this place looked busy, so I thought it was a good choice. I ordered the Seafood Risotto and it was amazing! The service was good and my take away coffee was perfect.
So who's adding Pisa to their list of places to go?
J E S S I C A x