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Pisa is a university city with a vibrant entertainment and café culture that welcomes visitors from around the world. It has a relaxed vibe despite its bustling commercial centre, which makes it attractive for entrepreneurs as well as tourists.
The Leaning Tower – or to give it its Italian name, the Torre Pendente – is situated in the Piazza dei Miracoli or “Field of Miracles”. It started leaning almost as soon as construction began in 1173, but its architects were convinced it would be safe to carry on its construction. The tower has managed to defy gravity to this day and was stabilised in 2001; so you can climb to the top for a stunning view, but be sure to reserve tickets in advance.
There are plenty of other sights to see when you travel to Pisa, including the Duomo di Pisa (the cathedral), the Romanesque dome of Battistero, and the Piazza dei Cavalieri, a square filled with historical buildings. Don’t miss out on the charms of the Museo delle Sinopie, a charm-filled art museum replete with dazzling bronze sculptures.
Pisa is a spa town, and you can relax in the thermal waters of the Casciana Terme or the San Giuliano Terme, which take advantage of the naturally-heated waters that pour from the foot of Mount San Giuliano. But be careful, the water is a piping 40 Celsius.
Tuscany is famous for its art, and there are plenty of opportunities in Pisa to capture some stunning vistas. Art classes are held throughout the city to give you a chance to get a different perspective on its architecture.
Cultural walking tours are incredibly popular and a guided tour is the best way to see all of Pisa’s best-loved sites while getting an insider’s perspective. Group tours usually include the more iconic monuments like the tower, but also look for tours that take you a little off the beaten track, to explore the piazzas and picture-perfect squares throughout the city.
The main shopping area in Pisa is focused on Corso Italia, which lies in a relatively small area between the railway station and the Ponte di Mezzo (the central bridge).
You will also find plenty of boutiques and designer shops on the north side of the bridge in Via Borgo Stretto, as well as other small outlets and specialty stores throughout the city.
Avoid the shops around the Leaning Tower, as these are usually geared towards tourists and can be overpriced. It’s also an offence to buy replicas of the tower from unlicensed sellers, who tend to be very persistent and persuasive!
Essential facts about Pisa
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip