Dramatic Romanesque and Gothic architecture, delicious Tuscan cuisine, romantic views of the river Arno, and a certain legendary leaning tower are just some of what makes Pisa a noteworthy destination.
It might be smaller and less dramatic than Florence or Rome, but it is no less culturally rich and interesting.
Where to Stay
There are many pleasant lodging options in Pisa, from charming bed and breakfast inns to luxury hotels and everything in between. Because Pisa is a small city, you will likely find that most hotels allow for you to explore on foot and be close enough to the train station to travel to other Italian cities if you so desire.
The small and charming Hotel Alessandro della Spina features large guest rooms, some with balconies. The friendly staff provides a daily breakfast. It is located near the train station and close enough to the river for a short and pleasant stroll across to the Field of Miracles, shopping, and sights.
Staying at the Bed and Breakfast San Michelle will feel like staying at home, but better. The proprietors are extremely gracious and welcoming, and they make guests feel as if they’ve arrived at home for the holidays. A delicious breakfast is served daily, and the rooms are cozy and comfortable.
Located just outside of town, but still only about a 15 minute walk to the Field of Miracles, Abitalia Tower Plaza is an affordable hotel, featuring modern touches, a swimming pool, spa, bar, and restaurant. Friendly and helpful staff round out what makes for a very good deal.
The Royal Victoria hotel enjoys lovely views of the Arno, and excellent proximity to the Field of Miracles and the Tower. The family-run hotel has been around since 1837, boasting such guests as Charles Dickens and Charles Lindbergh. The rooms are uniquely appointed, some with frescoes from the 1800’s. Enjoy the views of Pisa with a cocktail on the rooftop garden.
Where to Eat
Pisa is located in Tuscany, and with that comes the legendary Tuscan cuisine known the world over. Fresh seasonal ingredients, pastas, seafood, and meats will fill you to contentment. Beny is the ideal place to begin your Tuscan culinary experience. This intimate restaurant has a menu that is lovingly planned, using seasonal, fresh ingredients. The fish dishes are the star of the menu, for sure.
As you stroll around Pisa, make sure you stop to refuel at the Osteria dei Cavalieri, a cozy restaurant serving up classic Tuscan cuisine. Their three menus: from the earth, from the sea, and from the garden will have you overwhelmed with delicious options.
If you are looking for a little corner place at which to have a romantic meal, look no further than La Pergoletta. Dine al fresco, and enjoy delicious Italian dishes prepared in a not so classic way.
What to Do
Divided into four separate historical districts, Pisa offers visitors the perfect opportunity to explore the rich history and culture of the city at their own pace. Walking through Pisa is definitely the best way to see everything the city has to offer.
In the Piazza dei Miracoli, of the Field of Miracles, you will find the renowned Torre Pedente, or the Leaning Tower. It is safe and open to the public to climb up, and offers sweeping views of the city below.
While exploring the Field of Miracles, don’t miss the Duomo di Pisa, the Campo Santo Monumentale (cemetery), and the Museo del Opera del Duomo, which has a pretty impressive statue and sculpture collection.
Explore the piazzas along the north side of the Arno, where you will find historic Gothic churches and La Cittadella, a fortress dating back to the Middle Ages, built to protect access to the river from outsiders.
If you are a lover of religious art, the Museo di San Mateo is a great place to explore. It houses original works of art from the churches of Pisa.
When to Visit
Pisa features relatively pleasant weather year round, so any time is a good time to visit Pisa. If you love festivals, then June is the very best month to visit the city.
The Luminara street festival occurs mid-month, when the city glows by candlelight and a fireworks show lights up the sky.