Pisa is a quaint little town, about an hour outside of Florence by train. It’s a fairly easy day trip, and it was one of my favorite places that I visited in Italy. Pisa could certainly be done in half a day to spend time in the other surrounding villages. However, if you’re like me and enjoy sleeping in and getting in a good workout before sightseeing on vacation, a mid-morning departure will suit you just fine!
I left Florence for Pisa on an 11:30am train scheduled to arrive at 12:30pm. My train ended up being a little late, but my reservation for the tower was for 1:30pm, so I had a few moments to spare. If you want to climb the tower, I highly suggest buying your ticket online a few days before so that you can have your time slot of choice!
Once I arrived at the train station in Pisa, I walked to the tower. It is about a mile walk, slightly uphill. On the way, you will pass through Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, the square directly in front of the train station and Tuttomondo, a beautiful mural in the street. Stop and snap some pics for the gram-I promise the background is amazing. (It might or might not be my current profile pic).
After your impromptu photo shoot, continue heading down the road toward Ponte Solferino where you will pass Santa Maria Della Spina, the smallest church you’ll ever see. Seriously. After crossing the bridge, there are so many shops and cafes. I struggled to settle on a place to eat because everything looked so great. You could even stop at the botanical garden, which I regrettably could not due to my allergies. I’m allergic to pollen and several grasses and my allergies were awful that day, so I was sure that the garden would have put me over the edge.
Finally, you will arrive at the Tower of Pisa, which is also right next to the cathedral. Make sure you leave time to store your bags in the lockers because you cannot take them up in the tower with you. With my cell phone, wallet, and selfie stick in hand, I was ready to climb the tower!
Out of all of the towers I climbed, Pisa was the most slippery. You could tell by looking at the stairs that many people had climbed before you. I also felt like I was on an amusement ride as I spiraled to the top. Once I reached the top, I took my time to take it all in. I walked around and sat down for a while. It was exciting to reach the top of something that I had only read about in books for so long. I didn’t want to come down!
When I reached the bottom and retrieved my belongings, I headed over to the cathedral and walked around the grounds. It was over 90 degrees while I was there, so I stopped for water several times along the way. I strolled from the Tower of Pisa to Piazza Dei Cavalieri, where I wa surprised to find cold brew at Caffe Dei Cavalieri Pisa! Of course I had to stop in because cold brew is life!
I sipped on my cold brew and continue to admire the old buildings! Coming from the US, I always love looking at buildings that are hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of years old!
It was then time for me to head back over the bridge toward the train station. On my way there, I stopped at La Bottega del Gelato for some dairy-free gelato. It was some of the best gelato I had during my entire trip! They were also really nice and accommodating when I explained that I had a nut allergy. With my gelato in hand, I walked toward Palazzo Blu, a colorful palace from the 14th century. Then, I walked along Corso Italia to view the shops.
After a wonderful day exploring in the July heat, I was more than ready to head back to my hotel in Florence and nap before dinner!
There area so many smaller cities and towns in Italy, and I know that Pisa was just the beginning of my journey through them!