Pisa is a cute little university city located on the Arno river, and is known for one thing – you know, that leaning tower.
It also makes a quick day trip from Florence, and while there is not much more to do than what can be done in a day, here are some reasons you should definitely make a quick little day trip from Florence to Pisa:
It is easily accessible (and a cheap entry point into Tuscany)
Pisa is easily accessible by air or train. Trenitalia offers frequent service from Florence to Pisa, but you can also travel easily to and from other cities in Italy. The Pisa airport is a hub for Ryanair, and there are very affordable flights (which was the reason I ended up making the stop there, on the way into Florence). Once you fly into the Pisa Airport, it is a short bus/taxi ride away into the Pisa Centrale Station, where you can drop off your bags.
It is a city easily explored on foot
From the train station to the Leaning Tower of Pisa (which, let’s face it, THAT’S WHY YOU CAME TO PISA), it is about a 20-minute walk. This makes for a lovely stroll, where you pass through the Walking Street (Corso Italia), and the lively piazzas.
It has pretty river views…
Pisa is along the Arno river, and it has some beautiful views. There are all the colorful little buildings, and even a little church along the river. And, it’s hard to beat that view with the late afternoon light!
It is a charming, rustic Tuscan city.
The streets have so much charm and it’s got that rustic Tuscan vibe. It is also one of the most romantic cities in Italy. I strolled up Via Santa Maria, which leads you to the Leaning Tower. It was the perfect little street to stroll through, and the perfect intro to the Italy part of my trip.
There is delicious food!
There are a bunch of restaurants on Via Santa Maria. I had lunch at Il Pepperoncino, and it was delicious! It was a cute spot, and the pasta was cooked to perfection. Also stop by Filter if you’re in the mood for a cup of coffee (which, after waking up at 4am that morning, I definitely was).
To see the Leaning Tower
Because, let’s be real here – that’s why everyone comes to Pisa. And be sure take ridiculous, touristy photos with the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
It is worth a climb up the tower (because, you may as well since you’re there). The climb up is a bit strange – you feel like you’re going to fall over because the tower is leaning. But once I got to the top, I enjoyed the view of the river, the green Tuscan hills, and the red-roofed houses.
Go see the Bapistry and Cathedral
Right across the piazza from the tower is the Bapistry and Cathedral. I did not do the Bapistry because I was in a time crunch, but I hear it is worth the climb up for the unique view of the tower. The Cathedral is gorgeous inside, and definitely worth a visit!
And there you have it – a perfect afternoon in Pisa! Have you ever been? Anything else to see/do?
Caroline is a Southern California based traveler, writer, and photographer. She travels all around California, the US, and the world in search of the most colorful places, the most delicious food, and bucket-list adventures. Her aim is to inspire other travelers discover how to add more adventure and joy to their lives. On Pictures & Words, you’ll find detailed guides + itineraries, along with vibrant photos to help you plan the the most epic trips. When she’s not traveling, Caroline also runs half marathons.