Pisa

Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Italy, that is best known for its world famous Leaning Tower. But the Tower isn't the only thing to see – there are other architectural and artistic marvels in this beautiful city.

53 things to do

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Torre Pendente

The structure was originally conceived as the cathedral's bell tower. Construction began in 1173 and the tower started leaning soon afterwards due to subsidence of the ground underneath its base. A project to keep the tower from leaning more and tipping over finally reached a successful conclusion in 2001, and the tower is again open to those wishing to climb it. Climbing the tower requires a reservation-based ticket for €18. Tickets can be bought for the tower on the day, for a specific entry time. This could be 45 min-2 hr after the purchase time, but there is a lot to see while you wait. It is better if you [http://boxoffice.opapisa.it/Turisti/ buy tickets online] for €18 well in advance (up to 20 days). The tickets are non-exchangeable, effectively non-refundable, and only good for the tower, so they're a bit of a risk to purchase in advance. Make the effort to climb, though, and you'll be rewarded by the view. Curiosity: the famous Pisa leaning tower is not the only one, due of the marshy land that they are built on, there are other 2 towers in Pisa: the Bell Tower of San Nicola Church, near the banks of Arno and the Bell Tower of San Michele of Scalzi Church. For safety reasons, children who will not have turned 8 by the end of this year are not permitted to enter. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult. ID may be requested to certify the age.


Battistero

Large round Romanesque dome with many sculptured decorations and a fine view up top; climb this if you want a great view with the Leaning Tower visible in your photos. Arabic-style pavement, pulpit by Nicola Pisano (father of Giovanni), and fine octagonal font. At regular intervals, the ticket-checker-guard at the entrance comes into the baptistery and gives an audio-treat of echo-effect. The guard shouts out few sounds which when echoed sound like pure beautiful music. You can also cast your inhibitions to the wind, stand by the wall, and sing long notes that turn into chords by yourself, as the echoes go round and round the dome of the building.

SEE   —  Map


Piazza Garibaldi '''and''' Piazza XX Settembre

Two opposing town square, one at each end of Ponte di Mezzo (middle bridge), and are considered the center of the city. From Piazza Garibaldi starts Borgo Stretto, an old street with lots of shops that, together with Corso Italia starting in the opposite direction from Piazza XX Settembre, create a pedestrian area (interrupted only by the bridge) that is considered the center of the city. In Piazza XX Settembre you can find the Logge dei Banchi, a building created to host textile market in 1600, and the town hall, in the Palazzo del Comune.

SEE   —  Map

Pisa Caffè dell'Ussero

It is a monument to Italian culture in the 1400s Palazzo Agostini, on Lungarno. Its walls are covered with glorious mementos from its most famous visitors of the Risorgimento when they were students: Carlo Goldoni, Gacomo Casanova, Vittorio Alfieri, Filippo Mazzei, John Ruskin, Domenico Guerrazzi, Giuseppe Giusti, Renato Fucini, Giosuè Carducci, Cesare Abba, Giuseppe Montanelli. In 1839, it was seat of the meetings of the first Italian Congress of Scientists.

DRINK   —  Lungarno Pacinotti, 27


Casciana Terme

the thermal water used at Casciana Terme since ancient times, has in recent years seen its applications extended to modern rehabilitation therapies, cardiovascular and respiratory treatment, in the improvement of the digestive functions and their treatment, because its natural, relaxing action enables patients to regain their functional equilibrium and the enjoyment of pleasures they had lost.

DO   —  Map

Babette

This nice café is on Lungarno Mediceo, really close to the center of the city. The place has a strong personality; you can tell it's owned by art and culture lovers. You can pick up a book and read while having a glass of wine or a cup of hot chocolate, or even have a meal. Sometimes concerts take place in this café, and there are also evenings dedicated to special themes.



Millibar Pub Pisa

Millibar Pub Pisa has long been a popular meeting point for students and tourists. Good drinks, good music, good food and a friendly atmosphere. For sports fans there is a giant screen and projector, three 46" plasma TVs, a private room to enjoy the game in full comfort a stadium-like sound system. MC Alessio for a night of Karaoke on Tuesdays


Pizzeria Il Fornaccio

A pizzeria just outside the walls. Pizza is very good and the appetizers (antipasti) possibly even better. Very affordable. Authentic informal Italian pizzeria atmosphere. The place is not very big and popular with locals late in the evening, so it is best to arrive early (before 8PM) or reserve a table, especially during week-ends.



Scuola Normale

Was founded in 1810, by a Napoleonic decree as a branch of the ''École Normale Supérieure of Paris''. Recognized as a "national university" in 1862, one year after Italian unification, and named during that period as "Normal School of the Kingdom of Italy". (Superior Graduate Schools in Italy i.e. Scuola Superiore Universitaria)

OTHER   —  Piazza dei Cavalieri, 7

Santa Maria della Spina

A very small Gothic church built in 1230 to house a thorn from Jesus's crown, it's considered one of the best expressions of Italian Gothic. It is so small that in 1800, it was moved from the Arno riverbank to a place some metres higher, one stone at time, to protect it from flooding. It's usually not open to the public.

SEE   —  Map

Museo delle Sinopie

Skipped over by many visitors, this museum is a treat for art lovers. After WWII many of the surviving murals and pieces of murals from Pisa's Campo Santo were detached from the walls to try to preserve them. It was unexpectedly discovered that the artist sketches underneath survived. These were moved to this museum.

SEE   —  Map

Tuttomondo

Keith Haring mural. Keith Haring visited Pisa and fell in love with the town, so he decided to paint this amazing mural as a gift to Pisa. Though extremely large, it is easy to miss so look out for it; it is located between via Giuseppe Mazzini and via Massimo D'Azeglio just off Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II.

SEE   —  Map

San Giuliano Terme

Water with beneficial effects and calciferous magnesic sulfate water, naturally rich in vital curative elements, gush forth at the foot of Mount San Giuliano at the Spa out of different springs and are gathered in two groups called the "East Baths" (40°C temperature) and the "West Baths" (38°C temperature).

DO   —  Map

Museo Nazionale di San Matteo

This is a fantastic history and art museum, which houses almost all of the original artwork from all the churches in and around Pisa. Although fairly small, it is one of the biggest for Tuscan Renaissance art, hosted in the rooms of the San Matteo monastery. A gem overlooked by most tourists.


Piazza dei Cavalieri

A small town square with many historical buildings that hosted the political powers of the city in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, but most of them are not accessible to tourists, as they are now property of the University of Pisa or Scuola Normale Superiore (a prestigious elitary school).

SEE   —  Map

University of Pisa

One of the oldest universities in Italy. Formally founded on September 3, 1343 by an edict of Pope Clement VI, although there had been lectures on law in Pisa since the 11th century. The University has Europe's oldest academic botanical garden i.e. Orto botanico di Pisa, founded 1544.

OTHER   —  Lungarno Pacinotti, 43

Camposanto Monumentale

A huge cemetery building with lots of interesting art, including a collection of ancient Roman sarcophagi and splendid medieval frescoes by the "Master of the Triumph of Death". There is also a 19th century statue of the famous mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci, a native of the city.

SEE   —  Map

Hostel Pisa

FA youth hostel with dorm beds and private rooms. Walking distance from Pisa train central station and Pisa international Airport, 24 hr reception. Free WIFI. Laundry, kitchen, street parking (free from eight 8PM-8AM), dining room in-door & out-door, guest lounge, theatre, TV room.


Duomo di Pisa

A splendid cathedral, containing artwork by Giambologna, Della Robbia, and other major artists. Fine Romanesque style with double aisles and a cupola, a huge apse mosaic partly by Cimabue, and a fine pulpit by Giovanni Pisano in late Gothic / early Renaissance style.

SEE   —  Map

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo

Has sculptures and paintings formerly preserved in the Cathedral and the cemetery. Some of the more unusual are bronze griffins from Syria captured by the Crusaders. You can also capture nice photos from the Tower and the Duomo from its balcony.

SEE   —  Map

Palazzo dell'Orologio

A XIV century building that has replaced the Torre della Fame (tower of hunger), where the Conte Ugolino della Gherardesca was imprisoned and left to die of hunger with his sons, as cited in the Dante's Divina Commedia.

SEE   —  Map

Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies of Pisa

Special-statute public university, emerging from ''Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa'' and operating in the field of applied sciences. (Superior Graduate Schools in Italy i.e. Scuola Superiore Universitaria)


Palazzo della Carovana

The main Scuola Normale Superiore building, with an elaborate façade, by the important Italian Renaissance artist and architect Giorgio Vasari - who is also said to be the first historian of art.

SEE   —  Map

Chiesa di Santo Stefano

Designed by Giorgio Vasari in the XVI century for the Ordine dei Cavalieri di Santo Stefano (Order of Chivalry of Saint :tephan), a chivalry order founded to fight piracy in 1561.

SEE   —  Map

Santo Sepolcro

A Romanesque octagonal church with conical spire by Diotisalvi, who also built the baptistry - a Templar church, striking and forceful. Usually is not open to the public.

SEE   —  Map

Eden Park Resort Pisa

A resort in the Tuscan countryside near the banks of the Arno river, 4 km from Pisa. 30 cottages surrounded by mountains, valleys and picturesque historical villages.


Ussero Café founded on 1775

A monument to Italian culture in the 1400's Palazzo Agostini, on Lungarno. In 1839, it was seat of the meetings of the first Italian Congress of Scientists.


University botanical garden

The first university botanical garden of Europe, created by the will of Cosimo de' Medici in 1544. It is open weekday mornings and is free to the public.

SEE   —  via Luca Ghini 5

San Ranieri Hotel Pisa

4 star hotel, some rooms have sky view, all rooms have WiFi. There are also a restaurant, ample parking space and conference facilities.

SLEEP   —  +39 50 971 951 —  Via Mazzei, 2

Michele Guest House B&B

Rooms with private bathroom and shower, fully furnished, A/C, LCD TV, free internet access, coffee machine, guided tours are available.


Claudia Ferri B&B

Apartment with 4 B&B rooms, close to Pisa city center. Prices per room from €45 per night (single room) to €125 (4-bedded room).


La Cittadella

A fortress built to guard the access by the river Arno and the shipyard in the middle age, when the sea was closer to the city.

SEE   —  Map

Airone Pisa Park Hotel

Outdoor swimming pool, free internet access, restaurant, bar, English cable TV, bicycle, free car parking and family rooms.


Giardino Scotto

A fortress converted to a public park which opens in summer for open air cinema, music shows and other events.

SEE   —  Map

Walking Street Hostel

Friendly, helpful staff. Great atmosphere. Nice beds and dorm set up. Free WiFi. Breakfast included.


Trattoria da Cucciolo

The food is good and served in a tasteful quasi-homely ambiance. The staff is friendly and helpful.

EAT   —  Vicolo Rosselmini 9

Osteria Bernardo

This fine restaurant overlooks the Piazza San Paolo Orto and has a sober and comfortable ambiance.


Ritz

Good coffee, fine service and the best dressed baristas. They also sell French wine and Champagne.

DRINK   —  Borgo Stretto

Royal Victoria

Understated (though slightly tatty around the edges) old world elegance on the banks of the Arno.


Millibar Ristorante Pisa

A new modern restaurant & cocktail bar. Millibar Ristorante Pisa is a great restaurant


Hotel Francesco

Near the tower, rooms with private bathrooms. Check for special offers on the website.


Pizzeria L'Arancio

Affordable pizzeria which also serves good foccacia. Relaxed student-like atmosphere.


Gelateria Naturale Artigianale De' Coltelli

Ice cream made using quality ingredients, many of which are locally sourced.


Pizzeria Pisa Le Tre Forchette

In the old town, within the walls of the Church of St. Peter ( 1072 AD).

EAT   —  +390506160891 —  Via Palestro 39

Sottobosco

Bar which also sells books. Has an upright piano and Jazz nights.


NamasteIndia Ristorante

Authentic typical Indian food. 5-min walk from railway station.


Vittoria

A small, charming hotel with a range of rooms available.


Villa Kinzica

En-suite single, double, and triple rooms.


La Lupa Ghiotta

Has very good food in a cozy environment.


Orzobruno

Artisan organic beer and organic food.


NH Cavalieri

Rooms are modern with good views.


Pisa Tower Hostel

Free internet and kitchen.


Athena

Small hotel with 12 rooms.


About Pisa

The leaning tower
The leaning tower
Pisa would not be Pisa without the University. The city is animated by the students, who organize parties, shows, and cultural events, and fill the central street of the city at night. The University of Pisa has 60,000 students in a city of 90,000 inhabitants (200,000 in the metropolitan area). You'll notice the student flair in the city once you leave the touristy Campo dei Miracoli.


Source: wikivoyage