Pisa is a legendary city and one of the most famous in this part of Italy. Tourists often stop in Pisa on their way to Florence, but it’s a great city to stay, offering much more than the fabled Leaning Tower. Pisa is located on the west coast of Italy, just 20 minutes from the Ligurian Sea, with easy access to Florence, Livorno and La Spezia. With a population of only 91,000, it is one of the smaller cities in the Tuscany region of Italy, but has historically been one of the most important and influential.
In the 11th century and beyond, Pisa rose to become one of Italy’s leading maritime republics. The city has seen tremendous development, its population has grown, and investment has poured into the city to improve its infrastructure and build world-famous monuments that still stand today. During the Middle Ages, Pisa was involved in various battles and played a major role in the wars and feuds between Guelph and Keppelin. Today, the city still retains its port, which accounts for the majority of its economy, and in addition, Pisa has a well-developed tourist infrastructure thanks to landmarks such as the Leaning Tower.
For those wishing to visit Pisa, the city is home to many beautiful historic buildings and more than 20 historic churches. In addition, Pisa has some world-class museums and beautiful scenery along the Arno River. More than just a short visit, this historic city is an ideal base for those wishing to explore this part of Tuscany.
Let’s explore the best things to do in pizza:
1. Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta
This cathedral is sometimes hidden by the Leaning Tower, but it is a beautiful building in itself and an absolute must when visiting Pisa.
This stunning cathedral started in the 11th century and was completed in 1092. The facade of the cathedral is very ornate, with a series of beautiful stone and marble arches and three ornate bronze doors.
Also, the interior of the cathedral is absolutely magnificent – the ceiling of the main aisle is covered with gold trim, and the cathedral dome has a stunning fresco depicting the Assumption of the Virgin.
This structure is truly a masterpiece of religious architecture and is amazing.
2. The Leaning Tower of Pisa
Overall, this is the main reason people visit Pisa and is world famous for its architecture.
The bell tower or bell tower of the Cathedral of Pisa is a beautiful building in itself, but is known for its pronounced inclination.
After the cathedral was built in the 12th century, the foundations were soon found to be unstable and the building began to lean.
To this day, the tower still leans and steps have been taken to ensure it does not collapse.
Apart from posing for hilarious pictures, the architecture of the tower is really nice and the 6 rows of stone arches are simply beautiful.
Plus, you can climb to the top of the tower for a surreal sloping view of the surrounding city.
Skip-the-Line Tickets Available: Timed Tickets to the Leaning Tower and Cathedral of Pisa
Although located within the Piazza dei Miracoli, the Baptistery of Pisa is an attraction in itself.
The structure was created around the same time as the bell tower and was intended to replace the old original baptistery.
The massive building is 54m high and has a gorgeous exterior design with many different statues, arches and decorations.
Also, the domed roof of the baptistery is only half finished – half covered with orange tiles, while the other half remains bare and never finished.
Inside the baptistery, the ornate decoration continues and you can find a beautifully decorated pulpit and a font.
The last notable structure within the Square of Miracles is the Memorial Cemetery.
Located on one side of the cathedral, the complex is built of the same stone as the other buildings and has a beautiful and peaceful inner courtyard.
The interior corridors of the main building are bathed in sunlight and have some beautiful (if not slightly faded) frescoes.
Possibly the most famous part of the complex is the courtyard – the large lawn is surrounded by beautiful flowers, and the exterior walls are lined with ornate arches, creating a charming and photogenic scene.
5. National Museum
Located on the banks of the Arno River, the National Museum of Pisa is the city’s most prized museum, with some amazing artefacts and sculptures.
If you want to learn about the history of this beautiful city, then this museum is the place to visit.
Notable objects include original sculptures from the Cathedral and the Baptistery, as well as some fine paintings dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries.
In addition, there is a collection of ancient manuscripts and other religious relics from various churches in Pisa.
If you choose to visit a museum during your stay in Pisa, make sure this is it!
6. Santa Maria de la Spina
Although this church is really small, it is considered one of the most beautiful in Pisa due to its gorgeous design and riverside location.
You can find the Church of Santa Maria della Spina on the left bank of the Arno, opposite the National Museum of Pisa.
Originally built in the 13th century, the building has a Gothic style with a series of ornate pointed gables and several rose windows.
The interior is more reserved, featuring white and green striped stone walls and a series of sculptures.
This church is definitely worth a visit when walking along the Lungomare.
7. Cavalieri Palace
The Knights Square is one of the main squares in Pisa, while the Cavalieri Palace, a beautiful palace, is the central attraction.
The palace was built in the 16th century and was originally the headquarters of the Knights of St. Stephen.
The facade of this palace is very beautiful with some spectacular decorations in the stonework.
In addition, there is a large central staircase leading to the gate and a series of stone statues representing the Dukes of Tuscany.
One of Pisa’s premier palaces, the Palazzo dei Cavalieri and the Plaza de la Cavalieri are must-sees.
8. Walk along the Arno River
The Arno is one of the main rivers in Italy, and Pisa is built around this waterway.
The river stretches for 241 kilometers and has its source in the Faltrona Mountains.
The Arno Reach that runs through Pisa offers a truly beautiful landscape and is a great place to take an easy walk.
Five ornate bridges span the Arno River in central Pisa, with the Lungano Medio and Galileo Galilei both running parallel to the river.
The houses and buildings make for a gorgeous backdrop, and this part of pizza is truly photogenic.
9. Cathedral Opera Museum
While this museum has many delightful treasures, it is one of the least visited museums in Pisa! The Cathedral Museum is located in the Piazza dei Miracoli and offers a stunning view of the Leaning Tower from the windows on the second floor.
Inside this museum you can find a large collection of artifacts and artifacts from the Cathedral of Pisa and the surrounding area.
Items include embroidery, tombs, sculptures, paintings and silversmiths’ works.
Additionally, you’ll find some relics from Pisa’s naval history as well as a range of religious discoveries dating back to Roman times.
Each display is beautifully presented and has extensive English descriptions.
10. Borgo Stretto
If you’re looking for a combination of fantastic architecture and high-end retail shopping, Borgo Stretto is the place for you! This pleasant street is located in the heart of the city, starting from Piazza Garibaldi next to Ponte di Mezzo.
On this street you can find a range of designer shops, boutiques and quaint cafés.
For those who love retail therapy, there is no better place in pizza! The beautiful architecture of the building remains a must-see for those not interested in shopping.
11. Guelph Towers
This charming and striking building is located on the banks of the Arno River and is part of the old castle complex.
This ancient complex was once the main shipbuilding area of Pisa in the 13th and 14th centuries.
However, in the 15th century, the tower was built as part of the city’s fortifications.
In modern times, the tower has been renovated and is now open to the public.
Once you reach the top, you can enjoy a wonderful panorama of Pisa – you can see stunning views of the Arno River and even the Leaning Tower and the Cathedral.
12. Keith Haring Mural
Keith Haring is a world-renowned artist known for his murals.
While Pisa has numerous historic buildings and beautiful Italian architecture, it does have beautiful murals by the American artist.
This mural, located next to Victoria Emmanuel II Square, is a truly magnificent work of art, showing a vision of peace and harmony.
The mural is colorful and features 30 different figures in different poses, telling of life and vitality.
For those interested in art, this fresco is an absolute must-see, and it stands in stark contrast to the rest of Pisa’s architecture.
13. Botanical Garden of the University of Pisa
Maintained by the University of Pisa, this beautiful botanical garden is a great place to visit.
The garden was originally built in the 16th century by the Medici family and has been relocated several times.
Conveniently located in the heart of the historic old town, this garden features a beautiful array of plants, trees, flowers and fauna.
The garden is divided into several different sections, including the garden, pond, conservatory and botanical garden.
The structure inside the botanical garden is beautiful with a wide variety of plants.
14. Mezzo Bridge
The Mezzo Bridge is one of the most beautiful and famous bridges in Pisa, spanning the Arno River.
The bridge is 89m long and was built in 1947. White Verona stone is used on both sides of the bridge, designed by Sergio Aussant of Livorno.
If you’re looking for a photogenic view of the Arno – this is the bridge to cross.
On both sides of the bridge, the architectural wonders and the magnificent scenery.
15. Gelateria De’ Coltelli
Italy is known for its world-class ice cream parlors, and pizza has Gelateria De Coltelli.
This ice cream shop is known for its divine organic ice cream and a variety of wonderfully delicious flavors for pizza.
If you want to try some authentic homemade ice cream, this ice cream shop on the banks of the Arno River is definitely a must.
Available flavors include ginger, pine nuts and honey, candied lemon zest and even kiwi.
Suggested side trips:
- From Pisa: Food and Wine Tour of the Tuscan Countryside
- San Gimignano, Siena and Chianti Full-Day Tour from Pisa
- Pizza Half-Day Tuscan Hills Tasting
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Pisa, Italy
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