Pisa Baptistery (Battistero di San Giovanni) shares grounds with Pisa Duomo (where the Leaning Tower is located). It took more than two centuries to complete. This amazing marble Baptistery is the largest one in the whole of Italy, and dates back to the 12th century. Pay your visit in the early morning to experience the amazing acoustics. The Cathedral is an incredible work of art with more than a thousands years of history, and its design influenced many other buildings in the whole country.
One of the most outstanding architectural structures of medieval Europe (partly due to human error during construction), the Leaning Tower is today the most famous landmark of Pisa. It is the bell tower of the Cathedral whose construction began in 1173, and continued for over two centuries. This miscalculated eight-story building is over 55 metres high and leans at an angle of 5 degrees. Without any doubts, this popular tourist attraction is a "must" when visiting the city. Don’t forget the camera, since this is a perfect place to take some amusing photos.
The Botanical Garden and Museum (Orto e Museo Botanico) was established in 1544 as the first university botanical garden in Europe, by the famous botanist Luca Ghini. The garden is divided into sections containing the botanical school, gardens, ponds, greenhouses and various buildings. Major collections include herb gardens and arboreta, as well as the old botany institute of late 16th century, with a façade ornamented with sea-shells.
The Italian word "Camposanto" (Holy Yard) - which is a synonym of "cemetery" - was first used with reference to this Pisan building. According to the legend, it contained soil which was seen as miraculous due to its origins in the Holy Land. You will find this peaceful place with amazing frescoes, mosaics and statues on the same site as the Leaning Tower, the UNESCO World Heritage site Piazza del Duomo di Pisa.
The Museum of Cathedral Works (Museo dell’Opera del Duomo) opened in 1986 to showcase the art and sculptures of Pisa. Today, its collection includes works which previously adorned the buildings in the Piazza dei Miracoli. After the big three (the Leaning Tower, the Cathedral and the Baptistery), this is the fourth major landmark to fit into your time schedule. You will find this interesting museum behind the Leaning Tower.
The Royal Palace was built, as commanded by the House of Medici, in the late 16th century, and became the National Museum in 1989. Today, it hosts numerous works of art belonging to the courts of the city government, such as the Medici, Lorena and Savoia, as well as some private collections. The building still keeps the appearance of an aristocratic residence, with fittings and furniture from the 17th to 19th centuries.
The beautiful Knights' Square was the political centre of the Pisan Republic. During the 16th century, it was radically transformed by Giorgio Vasari and became the seat of the new military order of the Knights of St. Stephen. The square is dominated by the Palazzo della Carovana, whose façade is completely covered in graffiti and that, today, hosts the Scuola Normale Superiore, founded by Napoleon in 1810.
Lungarnos are quays that run along a river; Pisa's ones, with their beautiful palaces and romantic bridges over them, have been the heart and soul of the city for centuries. Today, it is possible to walk along them to admire river Arno and its surroundings and, especially if the weather is good, to stop and eat an ice cream or get a drink in one of the several cafes along them.
Not far from the city centre lies this basilica, which is said to have been built upon the place where St. Peter landed on his way from the Aegean Sea to Rome. If you walk in, you can admire medieval paintings and beautiful frescoes - both on the left and the right side of the church - dating to between 1200 to 1300, and around the location, where a small village has arisen, one can go for a walk and look for some local restaurants.
Take a tour along the roads of wine in the stunning area of Chianti, one of the most famous districts in Tuscany. You decide which vineyards to visit and make your stops wherever you like. It is also possible take a break from wine and local food tastings to visit the museums that you will find along the road, such as the one dedicated to the iconic Vespa. Either you feel like going by car or bike, the road is easy to follow since it is well marked by signs.
Just outside Piazza Duomo lies one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Europe. The cemetery presents an extraordinary historical artistic repertoire: from the parallelepiped burial mounds of Hebrew tradition dating from the 17th to 18th centuries to the Liberty styles dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries.
Housed in a 13th century (former) Benedictine monastery, the National Museum of San Matteo contains works from the main religious buildings of the city. Remarkable are the collections of 14th and 15th centuries: the Pisan sculpture and a collection of paintings consisting of nearly 200 works from the Tuscan school. The picture gallery keeps paintings by Italian and foreign artists dating back as far as the 18th century, ecclesiastical vestments and liturgical gold-works.
In 1998, during the works carried out in the area around Pisa San Rossore Station, the remains of the ancient port of Pisa were brought to light. At a depth of circa 5 meters, an impressive series of 18 ship wrecks placed one on top of the other emerged, all dating back to the Roman Period, and now showcased at the Museum of Ancient Ships of Pisa (Cantiere delle Navi Antiche di Pisa).
The Regional Park covers over 23,000 hectares situated along the coast from Viareggio to Livorno. At the Visitor Centre of Cascine Vecchie, tourists can find booklets and brochures about San Rossore Park and Estate, a gorgeous natural area where they can enjoy guided visits on foot, by bike, by coach and by train.
Tuttomondo Mural stands in fun contrast to the historical sights of the city. Bright colours and fun shapes cover a whole gable of a house just off Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II. Stare at it long enough to see some of the not-so-obvious detail Keith Haring has painted into the work of art.
The building alone is well worth a visit. In the 16th century, the Lanfranchi family built this palace leaning against a group of medieval structures showing paintings dating to that era. Since 2007, Palazzo Lanfranchi became the Graphic Museum, inside which you can see collections of prints and drawings from the University of Pisa.
Italy is known for its tasty pizzas and at Gusto al 129 you really understand why. Some people even say that this place serves the best pizza in the whole of Italy. There you will find not only the most classic pizzas, but the owners are not afraid to experiment with new recipes - the main reason for their success - and to keep creating new pizzas, also inspired by the clients' tastes. For each pizza, you will be suggested the best beer to drink with it.
Located in Marina di Pisa, right by the sea, this fine and romantic restaurant will please you with its brilliant cuisine mostly centring around fish. Enjoy a wonderful sunset eating in one of the best places in the area, and try one of the delicious and creative plates of fresh fish, but not before a tasty aperitivo.
L'Ostellino is a real Tuscan "street food" restaurant that has rapidly become the first choice for both tourists and locals who want to have a quick yet quality meal. Cold cuts, cheese and sandwiches with the best local ingredients, together with Tuscan wines, are the strong selling points of this awesome place.
You will find out, perhaps surprisingly, that even in the heart of Italy there are excellent international restaurants. So, if you are hungry and you feel tired of pasta, big steaks and pizza, Namaste India Ristorante offers authentic Indian food right in the city centre of Pisa. With more than 30 years in the business, this restaurant - very close to Palazzo Blu - will provide you with the best Indian flavours.
This is said to be one of the best restaurants of Pisa and never too busy due to its location outside the city centre (it’s around 2 km from Piazza dei Miracoli). The restaurant is located in an independent house with a garden, and you can eat in the dining room and, in summer time, in the garden. The name literally means "At my place", since the owner has lived there since he was born, but also because he loves making people feel at home, offering an excellent food and wine selection.
The name of this restaurant comes from Panacea, who was the goddess of remedy in Greek mythology. Restaurant La Panacea might not be able, with its food, to heal sicknesses, but can easily take on hunger and thirst: they offer pizzas and pastas, as well as fresh fish, meat and home-made desserts.
Antica Trattoria Il Campano is situated in an ancient tower with brick walls and a mysterious yet inviting atmosphere. It serves traditional cuisine, so you will find some excellent typical Tuscan food, such as the Ribollita (a bread and vegetable potage which has peasant origins) and the Fiorentina steak, and the wine cellar holds more than 400 different brands to complement your meal in the best way possible.
Located in the centre of Pisa, in a quiet neighbourhood, this restaurant surprises you with its visionary flavours and regularly proposes different dishes, by combining the best ingredients. Whether you prefer fish or meat, your visit will be memorable. Remember to try their home-made cake before you leave.
Located in a tower house dating to the 13th century and situated in the historical heart of Pisa, just a few minutes from the main attractions such as the Duomo and the Botanical Garden, the restaurant Osteria dei Cavalieri makes you feel like you have travelled back in time. There you will enjoy a romantic atmosphere while feasting on traditional Tuscan dishes, which you can combine with a good wine form their huge selection.
This family run restaurant got the name "Lo Schiaccianoci" - which is Italian for The Nutcracker, the well-known ballet by Tchaikovsky - from the owner's wife, who once was a ballet dancer. Tucked in a backstreet not far from Giardino Scotto, this is a place to enjoy a warm, friendly atmosphere which will make you feel at home, as well as the delicious, freshly cooked food.
La Bottega del Parco is a true meat restaurant with a stylish and trendy interior. They specialise in steaks, burgers and other meat dishes, but you can also find pasta and fish on the menu. This is one of the few restaurants in the area offering Black Angus meat.
At Mani'omio, with its international urban atmosphere, you can choose to sit in the vibrant bar, in the sober and quiet dining room, or perhaps try both of them: start with an aperitivo at the counter, then enjoy a delicious dinner and, finally, meet other people back in the bar where live concerts, themed events and wine tastings take place regularly.
Salza, started in Turin in 1898, arrived in Pisa in 1927 and now represents the oldest and maybe the best cake shop in the city, offering a very good choice of pastries, chocolate and ice cream. Try the soft Panforte (a typical Tuscan cake) and, if you want an original gift, you could even take home a Leaning Tower made of chocolate or another delicious creation.
Filter is definitely one of the coolest coffee shops in the city and will impress you with its international atmosphere and the quality of every dish and drink. Here you will find excellent coffee and all kinds of delicious food to have a full breakfast or a brunch: help yourself to awesome muffins, bagels and pancakes with fresh fruit to start your day with the right foot.
You have been sightseeing all day and are now looking for a nice, quiet place to sip a cup of tea, or maybe do an aperitivo in case it's almost dinner time - perhaps with a good book. Then, you would love the warm atmosphere of this literary cafe, situated in a street parallel to Lungarno Galilei, where the owners look after everything most passionately. Grab a book, choose a table and enjoy a drink or a good meal. Occasionally, this place hosts temporary art expositions.
Once you come in, you will find yourself surrounded by art and vivid colours. Its proximity to a landmark must be at play here, since the cafe is located right in front of the beautiful Keith Haring mural, "Tuttomondo". Give yourself a break and enjoy a good meal with a view, while planning the rest of your tour.
The real taste of Sicily in the Pisan city centre. Enjoy a snack at this nice cafe: Sicilian cannoli (little tubes filled with Ricotta cheese) are a must, approved even by Sicilian natives, but you will also find other typical pastries that are worth tasting and, if the weather is very hot, you will surely enjoy refreshing yourself with a granita (a semi-frozen dessert that comes in different flavours).
Thanks to their past experience in London, a young Italian couple was able to start their own one in Pisa. This coffee shop, very close to Knights Square, is house of creativity, and if you give it a try you will likely taste the highest quality coffee in the city. You can also ask for other hot drinks that you can nicely combine with some excellent pastries.
La Perla Cafe has a perfect location right by the sea at the Pisa Marina. Guests come here to relax, listen to the chill-out music and to cool off with a couple of drinks away from the city bustle. Regular clients recommend the excellent cocktails, which they love to sip on while admiring the sunset.
A wide choice of cocktails, Tuscan wines and other drinks await you at Baribaldi, a very popular place to hang out in the city centre. You will find it in Piazza Garibaldi (from which it took its name), one of the main Pisan squares, where you will love to sit and soak in the atmosphere.
If you like a good book to accompany your glass of wine, head to Underwood Books And Coffee (Sottobosco Libri & Cafe). In a hip setting with soothing piano music in the evenings, guests can revel in good strong coffee, great cocktails, Tuscan wines and delicious pastries. Jazz concerts take place every week.
Known as "the world of shots" among youngsters, this is one of the coolest places to hang out in Pisa. Even though it looks rather small, it offers a huge list of shots with infinite combinations, so wait for your turn to go to the counter, choose the ingredients for your shot by yourself or pick one from the proposed ones - sorted by nationalities or college departments - and make a toast. The night has just begun.
La Borsa is one of the most fashionable places for young people, and university students in particular. The tables outside are always packed and there is an international atmosphere. For many years it has been one of the local's favourite hangout spots, with excellent aperitivos and buffet food.
This is a well-known gathering place in Pisa, smack in the heart of the city. They have breakfast, lunch, snacks, amazing Italian coffee and, if you want to go dancing or just hang out for a drink, you should not miss the "Baz-Nights", on which themed parties with live music or DJ sets take place every week.
Borderline Club offers live music several times a week: on Mondays there is a "jam session" (which means that anyone can turn up and play), on Thursdays there are concerts with Italian and international groups, and on Fridays and Saturdays the place specialises in disco rock.
Boccaccio Club is a trendy disco with five different dance floors in Calcinaia, outside Pisa. Refresh yourself with a glamorous cocktail in one of the six different rooms you can choose from depending on your musical tastes: you can decide to step inside a disco with pop hits, house music, or even hip hop and reggaeton.
If you are interested in antiques and old furniture, many fairs are held in Via Santa Maria, Piazza Felice Cavallotti, Via dei Mille, Via Corsica, Piazza dei Cavalieri and Via Ulisse Dini - so basically all around the city centre - every second weekend of the month (except August and July). More than 100 artisans take part in these highly recommended events, and animate the historic centre with their stands and works of art
The Fruit and Food Market (Mercato delle Vettovaglie) opens from Monday to Friday in Piazza delle Vettovaglie, a 16th century square, and is over a hundred years old. It is very popular amongst locals, who do their daily shopping there, so walk through it to see and experience the everyday life of Pisa.
This fashion boutique opened in the 1970s and, through the years, more outlets have opened in the city, each of them with their own style and character. With brands like Valentino, Balenciaga, Dior, Burberry, Dolce&Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, Givenchy, Gucci, Moncler, Prada and Steve Madden, it is still very popular among shopaholics in Pisa.
Enoteca Bacchus, a family-run shop which specialises in high quality wines, rums and whiskies, is the perfect place if you wish to buy some drinkable souvenirs to bring home with you, or some very special gifts. The shelves here are filled with different sorts of wines and liquors, both by local and international brands. The family who runs this wine shop also opened a restaurant, located in Via Aurelia Sud 8, with both indoor and garden seating available.
If you feel that a more "underground", alternative style suits you better, then you will prefer this cool shop rather than average high street boutiques. Sanantonio 42 is a heaven for vintage lovers: you will find not only street-wear clothing, but also a wide range of vinyls (with soul, r&b, rap and rock music), skateboards, DJ accessories and products for graffiti.
In the medieval street of Borgo Stretto, full of exclusive boutiques, you will find Sergio Capone, a luxury watch shop and the only official Rolex dealer in Pisa. Feast your eyes on a wide range of elegant watches, sparkling jewels and precious stones, carefully selected by Sergio Capone since 1987.
Along the Borgo Stretto, DEI Group has several different shops for both men and women who are looking for elegant clothes, but still with the sense of fashion. The stores Dei Uomo, Dei Donna, Il Cavallo Uomo and Il Cavallo Donna are house of brands like Dries Van Noten, Ralph Lauren, Woolrich, Sun 68, Golden Goose and Marsèll.
Every woman who loves the feeling of finding a perfect accessory, a colourful pair of shoes, or a unique outfit, has to pay a visit to the small boutique BB Maison, right in the city centre. Everything in here is carefully chosen and hand-picked by the owners, and then beautifully displayed to give the shop a sense of luxury and uniqueness.
Pisa International Airport "Galilei" is located only 1 km from Pisa Central Railway Station and from the town centre. - Just outside the Passenger Terminal, you will find the new high-speed, automatic "People Mover" service, which will take you directly to Pisa Central Station with departures everyday, every 5-8 minutes, from 6:00 to 24:00. - Outside the Passenger Terminal, you will find as well an the P6 Area, for buses. Tickets can be bought at the Info Point, in the Arrivals Terminal. - You may also be interested in renting a car. In this case, there is a dedicated Terminal easily reachable by a 5-minute walk or by a free shuttle that you can take just outside the Passenger Terminal (on the arrivals side). - A taxi service is provided 24/24, with departures in front of the airport (on the arrivals side). Taxi fares are likely to change, but you might want to check the prices at this link: www.cotapi.it - Also, the two companies PBA (www.pbapisa.it) and Limousine Oritour (www.limousineoritour.it) provide a classy and comfortable luxury transfer service.
Italy can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are not sure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend you to contact the embassy or consulate in your country. In order to enter the Schengen zone, international (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip. Citizens from Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but they must bring with them a valid ID during their stay.
Tuscany, like the whole of Italy, generally has a temperate climate, with differences depending on individual geographical areas. As Pisa is situated just a few km from the Tyrrhenian Sea, you can enjoy both milder summers and winters. The best months to visit Pisa are April, May, June, September and October, with very pleasant sunny days. The summer months (July and August) can be very hot and that would make you vacation less enjoyable. June is the month when this city is especially worth a visit, as the three main traditional events - the Luminara, the Regata and the Gioco del Ponte - take place during that time.
Pisa is a small city, hence the best way to see it is on foot. The company which operates Pisa’s local transport system is CPT (Compagnia Pisana Trasporti) and its information office is in Piazza Sant'Antonio. - The new LAM service divides the bus network into two main lines (LAM red and LAM green, that stop at the most "popular" spots in the city centre) and guarantees departures every 10 minutes. You can purchase bus tickets, which you will then validate on board, at the Central Railway Station, in Via Cesare Battisti 53, or directly on board (at a higher price, though). - Local, interregional, Intercity and Eurostar trains stop at Pisa Central Railway Station, connecting Pisa to the main Tuscan and Italian destinations. Train tickets are sold at the ticket office, but for short tracks - up to 20 km - also at the newsagent’s. Self-service ticket machines can also be found in the station.
Chemists in Pisa are usually open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 12:30 and from 15:30 to 19:30 and have different opening hours during nights and weekends. You will find several "Farmacie Comunali" around the city, but only Farmacia Comunale 5 - at Via Niccolini 7a, close to the main attractions - offers a 24/7 service. Other Farmacie Comunali: - 1: Via Pardi 3 / [email protected] - 2: Via XXIV Maggio 63 / [email protected] - 3: Via Battelli 17 / [email protected] - 4: Piazzale Donatello 16 / [email protected] - 6: Piazzale D'Ascanio 1 / [email protected]