A well equipped title, we were only in Pisa for half a day. It did give us enough time to soak up and embrace this quaint town whilst also giving ample opportunity to think of a witty, yet overused title in reference to that wonky building in Italy. Here’s a snippet of our time there.
- If, like us, you’re not spending all day there, be prepared before you go! We spent a bit too long searching for the Leaning Tower than we hoped (although we did stumble across what seems to be the only free public toilet in Italy, in a square before the Ponte Di Mezzo)
- If you’re not interested by museums and a bunch of tourists trying to capture the perfect selfie (check mine for perfection), you won’t be missing much by skipping out Pisa. Sure, the leaning tower and duomo are exceptional but this felt like the first truly tourist town we went to. The endless stalls of selfie sticks outside the leaning tower grounds was a prime example of this.
- Shopping would be ok here. Decent sized high street, not overly crowded, good weather.. Everything London isn’t!
- The walk along the river is lovely, yet nothing we hadn’t already seen in Florence.
- The leaning tower has an entrance fee, as does everything in the vicinity other than the Duomo, where you have to get a reservation ticket by the nearby stalls.
- Pretty sure all major attractions in Italy are consistently covered in scaffolding; so become a photoshop master to get the best snap.
Oh Pisa. As soon as you walk out of the train station, it feels like a city away from the Italian cities we’d been to. A good row of taxi’s and a lack of authenticity in the air. We arrived mid/late morning and had to leave early evening in order to get to Rome to not be wondering the streets with all the night crawlers of Rome. A wander astray eventually led us to the high street, where we plonked down in a cheap cafe and unsurprisingly got cheap food. Onwards and upwards, the major positive of the day was the free public toilet! Oh, and the Leaning Tower, which was our sole focus of being here.
We headed straight there and nipped into a church on the way, which was less grand than the others we’ve dipped our feet into. Eventually, after a 15 minute walk or so, we arrived at the East side of the park, seeing the tower in all it’s glory. Limp & large is how I described it on the day, however that’s probably an injustice of the architectural magnitude of this Italian wonder. Infamously known for being built on soft ground, hence the wonkiness, the builders continued and finished the tower in 1372. Nearly taking 200 years to be built, I would’ve recommended to the Roman’s to ask for aid from the German’s, who are highly efficient. We gawped in awe at the tower for a good while whilst Rachael got the traditional “Pisa pose,” whereas I nailed it in one. The duomo and baptistery are equally grand and beautiful but unfortunately our time wouldn’t push to a visit.
I think we started to have fatigue on our trip by this point, as we were losing the love to look around and got particularly frustrated when “Selfie Stick – €1” was barked repetitively in our face. Nevertheless, we trudged on and looked around some other sites and scenes, the River Arno, Santa Maria Della Spina (a small church on the river), Parrocchia Di San Martina and the park by Fortezza Nuova, which was a lovely space to rest our legs and play on urban trampolines.
A casual stroll back, followed by our ritual trip to one of the cheapo supermarkets for a lovely homemade sandwich for our train journey and our trip to Pisa was over. Sorry it’s short and sweet and there will be a hell of a lot more to explore, however for a young couple not particularly interested in all the museums, this is a good base for a quick trip in Pisa!