Pisa and its uniquely beautiful Piazza dei Miracoli, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987, have always been a fundamental stop on any holiday in Tuscany. Millions of people come here from every corner of the world every year to try, with the help of perspective, to keep the leaning tower standing.
Pisa boasts a thousand-year history (the name of the city dates back to the Etruscan era and refers to the nearby “mouth” of the Arno) which reached its peak at the time of the Maritime Republics, a period that created the center of the city as an artistic treasure trove with outstanding Romanesque and Gothic churches.
What to see in Pisa
Discovering Pisa means getting lost in squares populated by students who crowd the night clubs keeping the medieval city alive. It’s a pleasure to spend an evening at the tables of the bars in Piazza delle Vettovaglie or Piazza della Pera. Moving between alleys and riversides you will discover architectural jewels such as Santa Maria della Spina, the headquarters of the Scuola Normale in Piazza dei Cavalieri and the exhibitions of Palazzo Blu.
Sooner or later you inevitably end up attracted again by the magnetic charm of Piazza dei Miracoli, with its unique characteristics and many mysteries and splendours. Start from the Baptistery (with its startling acoustics) and head to the Camposanto Monumentale that overlooks the square, 130 meters long with 43 blind arches. The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, founded in 1063, is the absolute masterpiece of Romanesque-Pisan architecture, while behind it the famous Tower will not cease to amaze you.
Finally, among the 10 things not to miss in the city, you will certainly have to include the high altitude walkway of the Walls. 11 meters high, it offers visitors the opportunity to observe the city from an unprecedented perspective.
And if you travel with children, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Historical Ships Museum in Pisa. Set up inside the Arsenali Medicei, it displays seven boats from the Roman era and offers guided tours and workshops for families.
Pisa should be explored beyond its historic center also. It’s a joy to discover the nature that surrounds the city, starting with the Migliarino, San Rossore and Massaciuccoli Natural Park, which extends over the coast from Viareggio to Livorno. The Tenuta di San Rossore at the heart of the park, is the largest pine forest in Europe and stretches as far as the sea passing through immense meadows, holm oak woods, maritime pines, reeds and dunes, to be discovered on foot or by bicycle.
Follow the D’Annunzio avenue from Pisa towards the sea for 11 km where you will reach Marina di Pisa, a fishing village transformed into a seaside resort which today also houses the modern port.
Pisa airport is also located a few km from the center: the main airport in Tuscany and among the first in Italy for passenger traffic.