If you”re looking to sample the best that the Tuscany region of Italy has to offer, you certainly need to spend some time in Pisa. With its wealth of historic attractions, exciting festivals and amazing food, stopping here will definitely be the highlight of your trip to Italy and there are often many late deals to be found that can make your visit to Tuscany quite affordable.
Want to know what exactly makes the city so special? Read on to find out more!
Piazza del Duomo
There is no shortage of fantastic architecture and landmarks to be found in Pisa, but without a doubt the most famous ones are located at Piazza del Duomo.
As duomo is the Italian for cathedral, it really should be of little surprise that it is in this public square you will find the amazing Pisa Cathedral. Next to it is the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa, with many people who see it taking a photo where it looks as if they”re holding it up – joining them in this makes for a classic souvenir. Climb to the top of the building to take in wonderful views of the rest of the city, as well as Piazza del Duomo”s other landmarks.
These include the 12th-century cemetery Camposanto Monumentale and the Baptistry of St John, two beautiful structures that have contributed to the square being nicknamed Piazza dei Miracoli, or the Square of Miracles.
Pisa”s Knights Square is another must-see while in the city. The former headquarters of the Order of the Knights of St Stephen, here you”ll discover the historic Church of Saint Rocco, which was built in 1575, and a statue of Cosimo I de”Medici, the first grand duke of Tuscany.
Museums and festivals
Of course, it”s not just Pisa”s astounding public spaces that make it a great place to visit on a Tuscany tour, it is also rich in culture and home to a wealth of amazing galleries and museums.
Situated on the banks of the River Arno is the wonderful Museo Nazionale di San Matteo (or National Museum of St Matthew), which contains numerous sculptures and paintings that date back as far as the 12th-century. The Lungarno Simonelli Museum, meanwhile, houses excavated Roman boats and other artefacts from this era.
If you time your trip to Tuscany right, you could arrive when one of Pisa”s vibrant festivals is taking place.
Each June 16th witnesses the Festa di San Ranieri, where the locals honour the city”s patron saint by lining the banks of the Arno with torches, while the Pisa Cathedral becomes the location of the International Festival of Holy Music every September with choirs from across the country performing.
Tuscany is a region famous for its high-quality cuisine and Pisa”s no exception. Make sure you sample the best of what the area has to offer by trying local specialities like ciechi alla Pisani (baby eels in garlic and tomatoes). If you want a slice of pizza – you are in Italy after all – visit Il Montino and have the cecina, which includes chickpeas as a topping.
Exploring the rest of Tuscany
By booking car hire from Pisa Airport, you”ll be well-placed to see the rest of Tuscany – whether you choose to visit other bustling cities like Florence or wish to explore smaller towns like Cecina and Empoli.
Whether you”re planning to make Pisa the mainstay of your time in Italy or you”re keen to see lots of other places too, leave a comment and let us know!