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Side Trip to Pisa

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.

journey of doing - side trip to pisaP I N I T

journey of doing - side trip to PisaP I N I T journey of doing - side trip to PisaP I N I T journey of doing - side trip to PisaP I N I T

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.

journey of doing - side trip to PisaP I N I T

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.

journey of doing - side trip to PisaP I N I T

journey of doing - side trip to PisaP I N I T


  • Van @ Snow in Tromso - I’d definitely love to visit Pisa! Your photos make it look even more amazing than I thought it to be – so pretty! And thanks for linking up with us for the first time 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis - What a fascinating experience and planning a picnic around it sounds like the way to go. Walking really helps you take in all the fine details.ReplyCancel

  • SMD @ Life According to Steph - I’d surely visit Pisa, especially if it was just a day trip. I love day trips.ReplyCancel

  • Kate @ Green Fashionista - Love the sweet note from your Grandpa! I really need to get myself back across the pond, and to Italy of course. Absolutely gorgeous <3
    Green FashionistaReplyCancel

  • cara - All of the buildings are so beautiful! Looks like an awesome time!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren @ Lauren on Location - Okay .. so I have to admit that when I visited Pisa I wasn’t that impressed. Our tour guide also didn’t show up and we were only there for a day stranded to fend for ourselves … so that probably had something to do with it!

    I love reading posts that go against my impressions though, because it shows me that places are always worth giving a second chance and that every city has something special to share! I’ll need to go back one day and try again! 😀

    Thanks for sharing and for linking up Sara!!ReplyCancel

  • Ahila - Your photos of Pisa look beautiful and thanks for the tips, regarding timed entry and walking. I am sorry I missed Pisa during my trip to Florence. Next time 🙂 #WanderfulWednesdayReplyCancel

  • Isabel - So beautiful! Thanks for linking up!ReplyCancel

  • kerri @ cheshire kat - What a lovely city! I mean it just looks so tranquil. great photos and tips chica!

    xoxo cheshire katReplyCancel

  • Darcy - Wow your pictures are amazing! So fun you got to go back!

  • Joanna - It’s true that Pisa is underrated. Many people don’t see any other parts of it apart from Piazza dei Miracoli. And it’s a shame. After all, it’s an Italian town with cutsie narrow streets and Italian charm! Plus delicious food on the side streets. We also combined Pisa with Florence and Cinque Terre 🙂 Just that we stayed in Pisa for two nights, made a day trip to Florence in the meantime and then headed to Cinque Terre to hit the trails. It seems like you had a great time!ReplyCancel

  • Christine - I love the little piece of family history connected to Pisa for you! Must have made it so much more special.ReplyCancel

  • Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld - Great shots, I love how you captured the fine details of the architecture so well. I went to Pisa for a very fleeting visit, I mean I literally took the tower photo and left, it’s a shame I didn’t have longer there! So pleased that you linked up with us! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Friyay: Progress for the sake of progress » journey of doing - […] booked the first connecting leg of our Italian adventure.  We’re officially flying into Pisa!  Cinque Terre, Tuscany… the possibilities are endless from […]ReplyCancel