Once we decided to stay in Cinque Terre, I knew I wanted to make a side trip to Pisa before continuing on to Florence. Pisa was my first day trip during my study abroad semester, and I have carried the memory of my sheer amazement at the tower in my some of my favorite travel experiences. I wanted my husband to have that same experience. I figured that a side trip to Pisa would work as the perfect mid-day stop between Cinque Terre and Florence.
“No doubt you have heard of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. That is where I spent quite a bit of time when I was stationed overseas.” – a letter from my Grampa when we were discussing the adventures I would have when studying abroad.
Side Trip to Pisa – Things to Know:
- Baggage deposit at Pisa Centrale is 4 euro per bag. Be judicious with your baggage and combine if you can.
- The Cathedral (along with the Tower) only has timed entry tickets. When we arrived on a Tuesday around 1:00pm, our timed entry was an hour and a half later. This didn’t work with the train tickets we had so we skipped going in to the Cathedral. In retrospect, I would have purchased our train tickets once we were done sightseeing. There are so many trains that run between Pisa and Florence that you won’t get stuck.
- Pisa is underrated for its beauty. The main streets between Pisa Centrale and the Field of Miracles are lined with many outdoor cafes and restaurants. Plan your visit to coincide with a meal. We really loved Quarto d’Ora.
Side Trip to Pisa – Other Great Moments:
- On our first trip, we grabbed food from a grocery store and had a picnic on a bridge.
- Walk from Pisa Centrale to the Field of Miracles. You’ll miss a lot of beauty if you take the bus or a taxi. It’s a 20 minute walk if you’re in good shape – and it’s worth every step. At the end of the road, you’ll make a turn and stop in your tracks and think, “I’ll be damned… it really DOES lean.”
- We were enamored with the outdoor cafe life, the open green space surrounding the Leaning Tower of Pisa and its Cathedral, and the beauty of the Arno. It’s definitely worth a visit – but make sure you see the Cathedral. (We’ve missed it twice now.) It was the first church I visited when I studied abroad and I have memories of the ethereal light peeking into the dark corners of the church. I was hoping to have that experience again, but alas, it will have to wait for another trip.