Although I had a strong desire and a wish to visit both Siena and Pisa during the visit to Firenze, as the travel dates were approaching I realized that this idea might not be the best one.

Pisa central station

We did have a flexible schedule, but I didn’t want to stress with more traveling within the travel itself, so form the list of two destinations, it went to only one – Pisa.

Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II

Situated 88 kilometers west of Firenze, on the river Arno, Pisa is easy reachable with fast trains for a 10 euro one-way ticket. Easy and simple with several departures per day it’s a perfect one day getaway destination wherever you’re staying in the near; Firenze, Siena, Livorno and even Bologna.

Although the city is worldwide known for its leaning tower, it’s actually a student city. Pisa is a home to University of Pisa established in mid 14th century and Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, founded by Napoleon in 1810.

However, there are few that bothers with that info. Students. The tourist visits are destined for something else. Around five million tourists travel to Pisa each year to do a silly selfie with the 14th century bell tower of the Cathedral. We, or should I say, my other half, was no exemption.

Piazza dei Cavalieri

The famous bell tower or leaning tower of Pisa is part of one of the finest architectural complexes in the world.

The cathedral complex named Piazza del Duomo is dominated by four religious buildings: the Cathedral, Baptistery, Campanile, and Camposanto Monumentale or Monumental Cemetery.

Partly paved and partly grassed, the complex is also the site of the Ospedale Nuovo di Santo Spirito (New Hospital of the Holy Spirit), that houses the Sinopias Museum and the Cathedral Museum.

The Cathedral is a medieval Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the oldest of the three structures
The cathedral is a notable example of Romanesque architecture, in particular the style known as Pisan Romanesque
All of the ecclesial structures were built using white Carrara marble, with recurring horizontal lines in blueish-grey stone
Construction began in 1063 and was completed in 1092. Additional enlargements and a new facade were built in the 12th century and the roof was replaced after damage from a fire in 1595

Closed during our visit, the Baptistery of St. John is considered to be the largest baptistery in Italy, being 54.86 m high, with a diameter of 34.13 m.

The cylindrical structure is a perfect example of transition from the Romanesque style to the Gothic style with the Romanesque rounded arches in the lower section and the rich Gothic figurative program in the upper part

The youngest of the structures in the Piazza is the famous leaning tower.

If you ever find yourself in Pisa, do not think a second about visiting the tower, because the feeling of being sober but standing drunk tilted to one side is worth the wait and the price of the entry ticket 🙂

The view form the top is definitely worth while
Looking at Camposanto, the burial ground that lies over the ruins of the old baptistery of the church of Santa Reparata, the church that once stood where the cathedral now stands
Pasquareccia bell

After a visit to the cathedral complex, there was only few thing left; another church, lunch and gelato : )

Although the complex in the Piazza del Duomo is the most visited religious buildings destination, Pisa has over twenty churches, all worth the visit but not the time. However the one that caught my attention was Chiesa di Santa Maria della Spina.

The small church standing on the river was erected around 1230 in the Pisan Gothic style.

The church is truly a gem of Gothic architecture in Italy. Small structure with rectangular ground plan built of marble, laid in polychrome bands and exterior full of sculptural decoration with tarsiae, rose-windows and numerous statues
Contrary to the rich exterior, the interior is quite simple; just a single room with a ceiling painted during the 19th century reconstruction and now used as an exhibition space / Il respiro della forma-The breath of form, Gianfranco Meggiato
Il respiro della forma / Gianfranco Meggiato


On the way back to the station we found a decent trattoria for a lunch before heading back to Firenze for a dinner 🙂

Cantina Vasari

The restaurant had several lunch options and decent prices so it was a perfect choice.

If I had to summaries the food experience in Pisa that would be; delicious! But, we haven’t had bad food in Italy. Never. Maybe better in some locations and fantastic in others.

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