Pisa, Tuscany – Back in Italy

It only took us a few days after our return from Rome before we had a new trip to Italy planned. As you might recall, we visited the Italian capital in June after a month in Athens. A few months later, in September, we were once more on Italian soil, this time in Pisa. We had left Little A with her grandparents on Åland as we began exploring new Italian cities. Pisa was our first stop on our journey that would take us via Florence and Milan to Bergamo – from where our flight home was going to depart just a few days later.

A Late Arrival in Pisa

Our flight from Stockholm-Skavsta arrived in the evening at Galileo Galilei Airport in Pisa. It was already dark outside when we headed out of the terminal building. We knew that it was not a long walk to our hotel. It was close to the train station. The matter was just to find out which exit would take us in the correct direction. Well, ending up on the parking lot meant that we had exited the building somewhere and were able to use the GPS services on our phones to guide us.

Once we also found our way out of the parking lot, it was just an easy straight walk. We headed towards the train station and our hotel. The walk felt quite safe as we passed by restaurants and other places where people were gathering. It was only an area near the train station that was less well-lit and where we were a bit more suspicious to the people we saw ahead of us. 

First Night in Pisa

What is the first thing you would do when arriving in Italy? As it was getting late and we were hungry we opted for pizza and as usual, we chose to explore the wrong streets. We really have a knack for not finding food when we are looking for a decent place to eat. Looking for a pizzeria along a few streets where we thought there would be some didn’t help much – none were still open. I have always thought that Italy would be open as late as Spain. Apparently not. Instead, we headed back towards the hotel and actually passed by the hotel to look in the other direction. Only about 50 meters later we found a restaurant that seemed popular.

The restaurant was quite crowded and we got one of the very last empty tables. Pizza and wine do really create good conditions for long and interesting talks. This time we had the chance to enjoy this aspect of Italy as well. We love to bring Little A around Europe and hopefully around the globe one day, but I’m quite sure that she found her grandmother more interesting than our talks. Truth to be told, though, her grandmother talks more than the two of us combined. 

Some Exploration Before Departing

Soon after finishing the simple hotel breakfast we were out exploring Pisa. We had decided to take the train to Florence around lunchtime, so we only had around two hours to see Pisa. There is one attraction in Pisa that nobody should miss. So, we headed up the streets towards the so famous tower – the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We did not have high expectations as we expected a big crowd. Instead, we enjoyed our walk and the streets that were starting to wake up – after all, it was a Sunday. Pisa is a famous university town and it is also one of the oldest towns in Italy. In fact, it turned out to be bigger and more impressive than we had imagined.

As we spotted the 55-meter high tower from the 14th century we didn’t really notice that it was leaning. Instead, we saw that the area around it was very impressive, with the city walls as well as the Piazza dei Miracoli with the Pisa Cathedral in its center. The bell tower is, of course, amazing as well, maybe not because of its size, but more due to the fact that it is still standing. It is leaning quite dramatically even though it has been standing like that for hundreds of years. 

The tower is really a must see when in Pisa, but I do not understand how it can be so popular to pretend to keep the tower standing for the photos. It really looks ridiculous when whole crowds are doing the same pose. If you go you will probably also find some people who are a bit more creative.

Leaving Pisa, Heading to Florence

Our stop was short, but the Leaning Tower of Pisa is not the kind of attraction that we like to stay around for too long. The tour groups usually scare us away as we hunt for areas that are a bit calmer and more relaxed. Luckily Pisa surprised us in that regard. If you exclude the tower, most of the city was really peaceful and the streets were a joy to walk along. But this was just a short pit stop before heading to Florence, so we were soon on the train heading to one of our two main destinations of this trip.

All in all, we were very happy with our short stay in Pisa. The pizza was good and the town is pretty. I think it’s a good stopover when heading to other parts of Italy. We recommend this city!

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