Pisa: A Top Location for Discerning European Travellers
The European Continent offers more beauty, history, and culture than you could dream of. A holiday in Europe could involve lavender fields, sun-drenched vineyards and majestic chateaus. Or, you could find yourself with sunglasses firmly in place, sampling gelato on the banks of Lago Maggoire. In Europe, you can enjoy the vibrancy of a plethora of awe inspiring cities or bask in the sunshine and silence of pristine countryside.
Pisa is a historic town on the river Arno as it reaches the Mediterranean and has much more to see beyond the iconic leaning tower.
Holidaying in Pisa, Tuscany
Modern day selfie-culture has somewhat detracted from the majesty of this incredible Tuscan location. Many now envisage the leaning tower as a prime location to pull out their selfie stick, take a quick snap, and leave – perhaps with Gelato in hand. But Pisa has so much more to offer than its iconic tilted tower. Visitors can peel back the layers of history to find majestic Piazzas, macabre cemeteries, breath-taking artistry, awe inspiring architecture, and mouth-watering cuisine. This city really does offer the ultimate Italian experience. It’s also closely located to Siena and Firenze (or Florence) meaning you can easily visit these incredible cities during your holiday too.
If you do decide to visit Pisa, then there are a few gems we feel you should see. The first of these is The Square of Miracles, or Campo dei Miracoli, which has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1987. At the far side of this grassy square is the leaning bell tower, as it’s part of the beautiful Roman Catholic Duomo di Pisa built in the imposing Pisan Romaneque style and a vision in white marble. The square also houses the domed baptistery, where Galileo was baptised, and the Camposanto Monumentale which is the final resting place of notable Italians including Fibonacci. This square takes visitors through every stage of the lifecycle – from birth and baptism, through a life within the church, and to death – a miracle indeed.
Climbing to the top of the tower is an unforgettable experience - the lean makes it feel as though the structure is tilting this way and that as you circle it. Only 45 people can climb up it every 15
minutes, so you reserve a 30-minute time slot when you buy your ticket (in
person, or on the OPA Pisa website no earlier than 20 days ahead and no later than one day in advance). Age
restrictions apply: Children must be at least eight years old while older ones aged 8–18 must be with an adult at all
times. Print your voucher and bring it to the Tower with you, no less than 15 minutes before your entry time – you may not be allowed in if you arrive later than this.
The next must see is not quite as beautiful on the outside – and could be discounted at first glance. However, the Church of San Francesco is not one to be missed. It was built (and re-built) in the 1200s, with another restoration occurring in the 1600s when its marble frontage was added. Early renaissance painter,Taddeo di Bartolo, painted frescoes for the church in the 1300s and several of its paintings were stolen during a period of Napoleonic looting and are now housed in the Louvre, including the Maestà by Cimabue. If you want to feel part of Italian history – then a visit here is a great way to do it.
For art lovers who want to escape the crowds, a visit to the peaceful and relatively quiet Museum of San Matteois a fantastic way to while away an hour or two. The museum is housed in a 13th Century Benedictine monastery on the banks of the River Arno, and showcases paintings and sculptures from the 12th-18th century. Here you can find sculptures by Donatello, religious paintings by Giunta Pisano, and the 1320 Saint Catherine of Alexandria Polyptych by Simone Martini.
There are so many other treasures that can be uncovered on a trip to Pisa. We are more than happy to discuss the best places to go and things to see when you contact us about our rental villas in Pisa.
If you’d like more help in planning your visit to Europe, then please get in touch.