Italo guides you in an exploration of Pisa, the beautiful city of the Leaning Tower: the walking itinerary.
Looking for ideas for your next trip out of town or a weekend of art and history? If in the past, we have given you our suggestions on which are the most beautiful villages in Tuscany and what to see in Florence, today we take you to discover another destination in this beautiful region: Pisa, an ancient but people-friendly city, rich in art and charm.
So, here’s our sightseeing walking itinerary for a day trip to Pisa.
What to see and do in Pisa in one day
- Piazza Vittorio Emanuele
- Piazza dei Miracoli
- The Leaning Tower
- Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta
- Baptistery of Saint John
- Cimitero Monumentale
- Piazza dei Cavalieri
Start this full-day walking tour and discover the wonders of Pisa. Ready? When you arrive at the Pisa Centrale Train Station, take a short three-minute walk to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, an elliptical square with a statue dedicated to the King of Italy in the center and overlooked by several important buildings such as the Post Office and the Provincial Administration Building. A few more steps, and you can reach the Church of Sant’Antonio; it’s worth a visit, particularly its outer wall, because it bears the largest mural in Europe, the Tuttomondo by Keith Haring. If you love street art, do not miss this work and also have a look at our guides to street art in Turin, Milan and Rome.
On the second leg of this tour, you can quietly enjoy the streets on the banks the Arno River, the Lungarni, and take a relaxing stroll. From Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, you cover the 700 meters in less than 10 minutes, and you arrive at your destination. Pisa’s riverside streets, the Lungarni, have many bars and clubs that attract and are much loved by locals and tourists. You should also return at sunset, when the sunlight and reflections from the river project spectacular colors. You can also reach the Lungarno Mediceo where you will find many beautiful noble palazzi, the church of San Matteo in Soarta and the Lungarno Gambacorti, where you can admire the beautiful church of Santa Maria della Spina.
After the first two somewhat unusual sites, now comes the most desired and visited spot, the Piazza dei Miracoli, named after Gabriele D’Annunzio. From the Lungarni, you walk the full length of Via Roma, it will take less than 12 minutes. When you arrive in Piazza dei Miracoli, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987, you immediately see this immense area with a large green lawn, all exclusively pedestrian. Here you can admire the famous Leaning Tower, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Monumental Cemetery and the Baptistery of St. John (Battistero di San Giovanni).
Now you can start your visit of Pisa’s iconic symbol: the Leaning Tower. Of course, the Tower of Pisa is simply the bell tower of the Duomo located a few meters away. The tower was built in 1173 on land that gradually subsided over time and caused the tower to lean over. Did you know that the axis of the tower passing through its center of gravity lines up with its foundation base? For this reason, the tower will never fall! I recommend you visit it and climb the 294 steps for a beautiful and breathtaking all-round view of the city.
The cost of the full ticket is €18 for a 30-minute visit.
After the grueling climb up one of the world’s most famous towers, visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, dating from 1118, and admire its splendid white and gray marble exterior cladding in the Pisan Romanesque style of Rainaldo and the black and white marble of the interior. Once inside, admire the rich heritage of works of art by Beccafumi of the school of Michelangelo, the canvases by Manetti, the enormous bronze chandelier, improperly called Galileo’s Lamp, the coffered ceiling, and Giovanni Pisano’s Pulpit erected in 1311.
Admission to the cathedral is free.
Exit the Cathedral and visit the Baptistery of St. John, the largest in Christianity. It has a circumference of 107 meters and a height of 55 meters, matching the dimensions of the Cathedral’s facade. It was built in 1152 with diverse materials, such as red tiles and lead plates, probably due to financing constraints. Inside, admire the baptismal font, a thirteenth-century work by Guido Bigarelli da Como and the splendid pulpit.
The cost of the full ticket is €5.
Last but one stop on this day tour of Pisa is a befitting visit to the Monumental Cemetery on the north side of the square, just a few steps from the Duomo. You must know that the Monumental Cemetery is a sacred place because here the Crusaders brought the Holy Land taken on Mount Golgotha. For centuries, prominent figures in Pisan history have been buried here, and you will be fascinated by the richness of the frescoes.
The cost of the full ticket is €5.
By now, it’s almost evening, and the last stop I recommend is a visit to the charming Piazza dei Cavalieri, which houses Pisa’s prestigious Scuola Normale Superiore within the magnificent Palazzo della Carovana. Also admire the interesting Palazzo dell’Orologio, which incorporates the Muda Tower, also known as Torre della Fame or Hunger Tower. Did you know that here, as Dante’s Divine Comedy recites, Count Ugolino della Gherardesca, his sons and grandsons were imprisoned?
To Pisa with Italo
Discover Pisa and enjoy a unique travel experience thanks to Italo’s new connections with regional buses and trains. Discover itineraries and connections and buy your ticket on Italotreno now.