Day Trip to Pisa From Florence, Italy

The Leaning Tower of Pisa and Duomo, Pisa, Tuscany, ItalyWhen one is staying in Florence, Italy, the nearby city of Pisa is the perfect place to take a day trip to. Pisa is very well-known and there are many fun and exciting things to do there. The city is only about an hour away from Florence by train or bus, so it's a very convenient option for those staying in a hotel or apartment in Florence to take a day trip. Pisa has many famous landmarks, museums, churches, palaces, towers, and villas. The dining options in the city are also very good. These restaurants serve excellent Italian food and provide a very high level of customer service.

The most popular and well-known landmark in Pisa is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This tower, which is the bell tower of the city's cathedral, is known throughout the world and is frequently visited by tourists traveling in the area. This attraction is what has made the city of Pisa so well-known internationally. Anyone visiting Pisa should also make time to visit the many beautiful churches nearby. These churches all date back to ancient times and have a very rich history. Some of the most frequently visited churches in Pisa are the church of St. Sixtus, the church of St. Francis, and the church of San Nicola.

Tourists visiting Pisa flock to the nearby museums to see the many state of the art paintings, sculptures, statues, and other artistic endeavors. Three of the best museums in the area are the Museo delle Sinopie, the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Reale, and the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo. These museums and the many other museums in Pisa offer daily tours of their many interesting exhibits. Other popular sights and tourist attractions in the city include Knights' Square, the University of Pisa, and the Orto botanico di Pisa, which is Europe's oldest botanical garden. This garden is very scenic and is thought to be one of the most beautiful sights in the area.

Before heading back to your Florence apartments or hotel, Travelers who spend a day in Pisa definitely need to dine at one of the many really good restaurants that the city boasts. Some of the best restaurants are La Tana, Piazza dei Miracoli, La Grotta, and Pizzeria Trattoria La Buca. These restaurants serve both lunch and dinner and are very well-known throughout Pisa. Because there are so many interesting places to go and things to see in Pisa, the city has become one of the most visited places in Italy.


5 Things To See And Do While Visiting The Chianti Wine Region

Tuscany is one of the most amazing regions in the world. Artistic, political and religious revolutions have transformed the area many times throughout the centuries, leaving it an ever-changing hub of culture.

To people living outside the Italian paradise, Tuscany is best known for its outstanding wine country.

Here are 5 things to see and do while visiting the Chianti Wine Region:

Wine Tasting Italy

1) Go wine tasting.

A trip to wine country that didn’t involve wine tasting would be like traveling to the moon without actually walking on it. The Chianti wine country lies in the heart of Tuscany, touching the provinces of Grosseto, Siena, Arezzo, Firenze, Prato, Pistoia and Pisa.

You can taste amazing wine in any of the provinces.

Palio di Siena, Siena Italy Photo by icedsoul photography

2) Witness the Palio di Siena.

Italians love racing. In Siena, the greatest race is the Palio. Ten riders race their horses bareback around the historic Piazza del Campo in the name of honor and rivalry. The 3-lap race, which usually lasts no more than two minutes, is held twice a year and is attended by spectators from around the world.

Races take place on July 2nd and August 16th.

People Watching, Piazza Grande, Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy

3) People watch in the Piazza Grande.

The city of Arezzo dates back to the rule of the Roman Empire. The Piazza Grande, the city’s medieval square, embraces travelers from around the world as they make their way through the heart of Tuscany.

700 years ago bishops paced the red brick pavement in search of answers from above. Today, you can stroll through the square and observe the friendly locals and eager tourists.

Learn to Cook, Italy

4) Learn to cook.

You’ve never had Italian food unless you’ve been to Italy. In Tuscany, cooking is more like an art form than a nutritional practice.

Learn to cook condiments, appetizers, pastas and desserts in one of the region’s many cooking schools.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

5) Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Few architectural blunders are as visited as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It took over 170 years to construct the 183 ft tall, 14,500 metric ton bell tower.

Located about an hour from Florence, the Tower of Pisa is open to tourists who want to help hold it up using a little trick photography.

Tuscany is the birthplace of the Renaissance. It’s known for its buildings, food, wine and art. When you visit, make it memorable for your own reasons.



Climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa, ItalyGuest Post By: Margie Miklas

When I thought about visiting Pisa the first thing that came to mind was the Leaning Tower of Pisa which has been photographed, painted and drawn more times than you can imagine.  There is much more to Pisa than the Leaning Tower, or Torre di Pisa, but if you only have an afternoon in Pisa, then you might consider climbing this landmark tower.

Also called the Campanile, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is the bell tower of the Cathedral of Pisa. Torre di Pisa was closed for a period of time due to structural instability but after renovations the tower re-opened a couple years ago and there are strict requirements to climb the 294 plus steps to its top. It still leans at a five degree angle, making it veer 15 feet from its vertical axis.

When I visited Pisa I had not planned on climbing the tower, although my travel companion wanted to do it. Taking advice from guidebooks, I bought tickets in advance and it was advice well heeded, as the other option was to stand in line and hope to get a time for that day. In the summer the tickets frequently sell out and you are simply out of luck. The tickets can be purchased from a website, in advance for 17 euros, 2 euros more than the price you pay if you wait in line.

Stairs, Leaning Tower of Pisa, ItalyWhen it was the appointed time to climb the tower, my friend changed her mind and I was on my own.  I had not anticipated the degree of strictness that is adhered to with regard to the appointment time. I was five minutes late and almost was not allowed to go.

To preserve the structure, the authorities allow only 30 people to ascend the tower every 30 minutes. Since it takes approximately 10 minutes to ascend, and 10 to descend, this allows for a maximum of 10 minutes at the top. There are guides who enforce this, so be prepared with your camera to capture the awesome views without too much delay.

The other thing to know is that you are expected to pick up your tickets 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.  Again if you are late be prepared to forfeit your time. The strict security was another surprise for me in that it was akin to the security in a bank when you access a safe deposit box.  Any bags you have get locked in a locker as you are prohibited from bringing them on the climb.

Tight and Steep Stairs, Leaning Tower of Pisa, ItalyThis is a word of warning regarding the actual climb based on personal experience. The steps are very steep and also slippery and you only have the walls to hold onto as no hand railings exist. Some of the steps are actually concave and uneven, so it if balance is an issue, climbing the Leaning Tower of Pisa is not a good idea. The spiraling staircase is extremely narrow and there is no room to turn around and go back down if you change your mind midway up the climb.

The authorities do not allow any children under the age of eight to climb the tower and for those aged 8 to 12, they must actually hold hands with an adult who is with them. Even teens from 12-18 must have an adult with them for this climb.

The experience is one I would never trade as the views from the top were nothing short of spectacular!

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

View from the top, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy


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