7 Top Things To Do in Pisa
When mentioning Pisa, most of the people immediatly picture the Leaning Tower in their mind. However, the city of Pisa is not only about this peculiar building, but it offers much more to its visitors. As locals, we would like to give you our recommendations about 7 Unique Things To Do in Pisa. This way, you will know what to do during your day in this magical city.
A brief introduction about Pisa
The city of Pisa is located on the western coast of Tuscany and it is today world-wide known mostly for its Leaning Tower. Pisa benefited of the priviledged location along the coast in the past. In fact, the city even turned to one of the four Maritime Republic in the 11th century. This prosperous period is testified by the many monumental buildings still standing today in the city. The artistic and architectural heritage you can find in town belongs to the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
Below you can read about our 7 Top Things to Do in Pisa during your stay, in order to experience it fully.
1 – Visit Piazza dei Miracoli
The first of our 7 Unique Things you should do in Pisa is visiting the beautiful architectural complex in Piazza dei Miracoli. Here you find the world-wide famous Leaning Tower, as well as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Baptistry and the Campo Santo. They all belong to the same religious project designed in the 11th century and the marble Cathedral was the first of them to be built. The interior is worth a visit for the many gold decorations and the stunning frescos. Additionally, we recommend you to have a look inside the Baptistry to admire the decorated pulpit and font. The same is valid for the monumental cemetery and its beautiful courtyard. Today the extended green lawn in the Square of Miracles is a common meeting place for visitors and local students. Everybody loves it and comes here for chilling and meeting friends.
2 – Climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Considering its fame, the Leaning Tower of Pisa deserves to be treated indipendently in our list of 7 Things To Do In Pisa. Part of the big architectural complex mentioned above, the Tower represents the cathedral’s bell tower. However, the building was erected later in the 12th century and the recurring battles involving Pisa together with the tilting problem made its construction works last for almost 200 years. After many restorations, the tilt seems to have stabilized and the tower is today 55.86 meters high from the ground on the low side (56.7 on the high side). It leans at 3.99 degrees.
If you wish to admire the Square of Miracles from another perspective, we innvite you to climb the 294 (or 296, it is a mistery!) marble stone steps and reach the top of the tower. The view from there is worth the effort!
3 – Pass over Ponte di Mezzo and enjoy the Lungarno in Pisa
Ponte di Mezzo is the most beautiful bridge of Pisa over the river Arno and his name refers to its location in the middle of the town. Its official name is actually Ponte Ugolino. The original bridge actually bombed during the WWII and the actual construction dates back to 1947. Take a walk over the bridge and admire the view over the Lungarno district and the elegant buildings along the river banks. This is the perfect place to spot the beautiful architecture around and take the best pictures. To fully appreciate the Lungarno, you should absolutely take a walk along the river and discover the many historical monuments on the way.
4 – Explore Borgo Stretto
Still full of beautiful buildings to admire but also rich in boutique shops and charming cafès is the street known as Borgo Stretto. It is located in the very heart of the historical center and starts from Piazza Garibaldi, just next to the above mentioned Ponte di Mezzo. This is the perfect place in town if you like shopping.
5 – Admire the beautiful Piazza dei Cavalieri
From Borgo Stretto, you can easily reach the stunning rounded Piazza dei Cavalieri. Here you find the actual seat of the Scuola Normale di Pisa, one of the mot prestigious universities in Italy. In addition, the building played an important role in the Middle Ages. It was indeed the fulcrum of the political and civic power in town. The square even became the seat of the Order of the Knights of St. Stephan during the 16th century. In the square you can admire the stunning facade of the Palazzo della Carovana, housing the main building of the Normale di Pisa. Giorgio Vasari designed the incredibly beautiful facade representing many zodiacal signs and allegorical figures.
6 – The Guelph Tower and the historical walls
You can find the Guelph Tower along the river. It dates back to the 15th century and it was part of the old defensive fortification. Moreover, the old citadel and the main ship-building area during the 13th and 14th century were located here. If you wish, you can dedicate some of your time to climb it to the top.
Part of the old defensive system are also some of the city walls still standing today, whose construction started in 1155. That was a prosperous period in the history of the city, that started thinking about possible attacks. Not everybody knows that the well-preserved walls are also open to the pubblic. Actually, you can walk on them for 3 km and admire some of the city districts from a different perspective. There are 4 different entrances to access them. One of them is located in the famous Square of Miracles (Piazza dei Miracoli).
Find out more about the old city walls in Pisa before getting to the last of the 7 Unique Things To Do in Pisa.
7 -Discover the Natural Park of San Rossore
Pisa is not only about history and architecture, but it also offer some nice green spots. There you can chill and spend some relaxing hours surrounded by nature. Indeed, only few kilometers from the most touristic attractions in Pisa, you find an incredible protected area extending to the coast. The San Rossore Estate belongs to a bigger Nature Park area including Migliarino and Massaciuccoli.
The Park is open to the public and it is possible to access it on foot and by byke. If you wish, you can even ride a horse or explore the natural reserve by couch.
Find out more about the Parco di Migliarino, San Rossore, Massaciuccoli.
Aside from the 7 Unique Things To Do in Pisa, we would like to mention some other nice experiences in town. Among these, you should: stop by the popular Gelateria de’ Coltelli and enjoy a delicious home made ice cream; have an Italian aperitivo by the beloved Piazza delle Vettovaglie, a typical meeting place for local students during the Pisan night life;
Learn more about how to visit Pisa like a local in our website.