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The Best Things To Do In Pisa – Beyond The Tower


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Cyndi Tolson



Welcome to Pisa, a city that is renowned for its iconic Leaning Tower, but has so much more to offer beyond this famous landmark. Located in the beautiful region of Tuscany in Italy, Pisa boasts a rich history, stunning architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene. If you’re planning a visit to Pisa, you’re in for a treat, as the city has a wide array of attractions and activities to satisfy every traveler’s interests.


While the Leaning Tower is undoubtedly the star attraction, it’s important not to overlook the other historical and cultural gems that Pisa has to offer. The city’s historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to a wealth of landmarks and monuments, each with its own unique story to tell. From magnificent churches and cathedrals to beautiful piazzas and museums, Pisa’s history is proudly displayed at every turn.


But Pisa isn’t just a city frozen in time. It is also a lively and dynamic place, thanks in part to the prestigious University of Pisa, which has a long and illustrious history. The university brings a youthful energy to the city, attracting students from around the world and fostering a vibrant arts and entertainment scene. It’s this perfect blend of tradition and modernity that makes Pisa such an appealing destination for travelers of all ages.


And let’s not forget about the culinary delights that await you in Pisa. Tuscany is known for its gastronomic traditions, and Pisa is no exception. From flavorful pasta dishes to mouthwatering roasted meats and delicious desserts, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to indulge in authentic Tuscan cuisine during your visit.


In this article, we will explore the best things to do in Pisa beyond the Leaning Tower. So get ready to immerse yourself in Pisa’s fascinating history, wander its charming streets, sample its delectable food, and experience the vibrant culture that makes this city truly special.


Explore Pisa’s Historic Center

Start your journey by exploring Pisa’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This compact area is rich in history and architectural wonders that will transport you back in time.


One of the highlights of the historic center is the striking Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. This magnificent cathedral was built in the 11th century and showcases a blend of architectural styles, including Romanesque, Gothic, and Byzantine. Marvel at the intricate detailing of the facade and step inside to admire the stunning interiors, including beautiful frescoes, intricate marble work, and the impressive pulpit by Giovanni Pisano.


Another must-visit attraction in the historic center is the Piazza dei Cavalieri. Once the political heart of the city, this square is dominated by the grand Palazzo della Carovana, which houses the prestigious Scuola Normale Superiore. Take a leisurely stroll around the square and soak in the atmosphere of this historic site.


No visit to Pisa would be complete without a visit to the Baptistery of St. John, located in the Piazza del Duomo. This circular Romanesque monument dates back to the 12th century and is renowned for its stunning acoustics. Step inside and listen as the sound reverberates through the space, creating a truly magical experience.


As you continue your exploration of the historic center, be sure to spend some time in the enchanting Piazza del Duomo. This square is home to not only the Leaning Tower but also the Cathedral, the Baptistery, and the Camposanto Monumentale. Take a moment to appreciate the harmonious relationship between these architectural masterpieces and capture some memorable photos.


For art enthusiasts, a visit to the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo is a must. Located in the heart of the Piazza del Duomo, this museum houses a magnificent collection of sculptures, paintings, and religious artifacts. Admire works by renowned artists such as Giovanni Pisano and Andrea Pisano, and gain a deeper understanding of Pisa’s rich artistic heritage.


Immerse yourself in art and culture at the Grand Museo Palazzo Blu. This museum, housed in a charming blue mansion, hosts rotating exhibitions of contemporary and classical art. Explore the vast collection and get a glimpse into the diverse artistic expressions that have shaped Pisa’s cultural landscape.


With its well-preserved historic center, Pisa offers a fascinating glimpse into its storied past. Take your time to explore the charming streets, soak in the timeless beauty of the architecture, and discover the hidden gems that await you at every corner.


Visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

Absolutely not to be missed on your trip to Pisa is a visit to the magnificent Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. This stunning architectural masterpiece is located in the heart of the city’s historic center and is a testament to the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.


Construction of the cathedral began in 1063 and lasted for over two centuries, resulting in a unique blend of architectural styles. As you approach the cathedral’s grand facade, you’ll be greeted by intricate detailing and an imposing presence that commands attention.


Step inside the cathedral and prepare to be awe-struck by the beauty that lies within. The interior boasts a harmonious blend of Romanesque, Gothic, and Byzantine elements. Admire the sweeping arches, elegant columns, and intricately carved details that adorn the walls. The atmosphere is serene and tranquil, creating the perfect setting for contemplation and reflection.


One of the highlights of the cathedral is the pulpit, created by master sculptor Giovanni Pisano in the 14th century. This intricately carved masterpiece showcases scenes from the Bible and is a true testament to Pisano’s skill and artistry.


Don’t forget to look up and marvel at the stunning mosaic ceiling. The golden hues and intricate patterns transport you to another world, adding a touch of magnificence to this already impressive structure.


Another noteworthy feature of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is the impressive baptismal font. Created by various artists over the centuries, this font is a true work of art. Its finely detailed reliefs and delicate craftsmanship depict important biblical scenes and capture the essence of Pisan Romanesque art.


For those interested in religious artifacts, a visit to the cathedral’s treasury is a must. Here, you can admire a collection of precious religious artifacts, including intricately designed chalices, crucifixes, and silverware.


Before leaving the cathedral, take a moment to step outside and appreciate the beauty of the surrounding Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles). It is here that the cathedral, along with the stunning Leaning Tower, Baptistery, and Camposanto Monumentale, all come together in perfect harmony.


A visit to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is not only a chance to appreciate stunning architecture and religious art, but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in Pisa’s rich history and spiritual heritage. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, history lover, or simply seeking moments of peace and reflection, the cathedral will leave a lasting impression on your visit to Pisa.


Discover the Piazza dei Cavalieri

Located in the heart of Pisa’s historic center, the Piazza dei Cavalieri (Square of the Knights) is a vibrant and historically significant square that should not be missed during your visit to the city. As the bustling political center of Pisa in the Middle Ages, the square is steeped in history and boasts stunning architecture that tells the tales of the city’s past.


One of the prominent features of the Piazza dei Cavalieri is the impressive Palazzo della Carovana, also known as the Palazzo dei Cavalieri (Palace of the Knights). This grand Renaissance building was originally constructed to house the prestigious Order of the Knights of St. Stephen, a military order established by the Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici to protect the coast of Tuscany from pirate attacks.


Designed by the renowned architect Giorgio Vasari, the Palazzo dei Cavalieri is a sight to behold with its magnificent facade adorned with intricate sculptures and decorative motifs. As you stand in front of the palace, take a moment to appreciate the skill and craftsmanship that went into creating this architectural masterpiece.


Surrounding the square, you will find numerous other historic buildings, each with its own unique story to tell. One of them is the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, which was also commissioned by the Knights of St. Stephen. With its simple but elegant facade, the church serves as a beautiful example of Pisan Baroque architecture.


Take the time to explore the square and soak in the vibrant atmosphere. Admire the statues and fountains that dot the square, and relax on one of the benches to observe the daily life unfolding around you. The Piazza dei Cavalieri also hosts various events and cultural celebrations throughout the year, so check the local calendar to see if any festivities coincide with your visit.


As you wander through the square, you will notice that it has been beautifully preserved and restored. In fact, the entire area underwent extensive renovations in the 16th century under the direction of Cosimo I de’ Medici, giving it the impressive appearance it has today.


Visiting the Piazza dei Cavalieri is not only an opportunity to appreciate the stunning architecture and historical significance, but also a chance to dive deeper into the rich heritage of Pisa. Soak up the ambiance of this enchanting square, envisioning the knights and nobles who once walked these streets, and take in the sense of grandeur that still lingers in the air.


Marvel at the Baptistery of St. John

Located in the Piazza del Duomo, the Baptistery of St. John is a fascinating architectural gem that cannot be missed during your visit to Pisa. This iconic structure, dating back to the 12th century, boasts a captivating design and rich history that will leave you in awe.


As you approach the Baptistery, you’ll be immediately struck by its impressive size and elegant form. The exterior is constructed from white marble, complementing the nearby Cathedral and Leaning Tower, and its octagonal shape adds to its architectural uniqueness.


Once inside, prepare to be mesmerized by the grandeur that awaits you. The Baptistery is renowned for its exceptional acoustics, thanks to its dome and curved walls. Stand in the center and experience the awe-inspiring sound as it reverberates throughout the space, creating a truly magical atmosphere.


The Baptistery is adorned with beautiful works of art throughout, showcasing the talent of some of the greatest artists of the time. One of the standout features is the exquisite pulpit, sculpted by Nicola Pisano in the 13th century. The pulpit is a masterpiece of intricate detailing, depicting scenes from the life of Christ and biblical stories.


Another breathtaking sight is the baptismal font, located at the center of the Baptistery. It is a truly remarkable piece with remarkable sculptures and intricate reliefs. Its grandeur and exquisite craftsmanship serve as a testament to the sculptural talent of the artists who worked on it over the centuries.


As you explore further, don’t forget to look up and admire the beautiful mosaic ceiling. Vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and religious motifs come together to create a breathtaking visual spectacle that adds to the baptistery’s overall splendor.


The Baptistery of St. John has played a significant role in the religious life of Pisa for centuries. It served as a place of baptism for Pisa’s inhabitants and as a symbol of their Christian faith. Witnessing the beauty of this historic building is not only a visual delight but also a reminder of the importance of religion and spirituality in the city’s history.


Make sure to take a moment to step outside and admire the exterior of the Baptistery. Its ornate facade, featuring beautiful arches and intricate decorations, is a sight to behold. Capture some photographs and soak in the grandeur of this marvelous architectural masterpiece.


Visiting the Baptistery of St. John offers a unique glimpse into Pisa’s artistic and religious heritage. Whether you are fascinated by history, architecture, or religious art, a visit to this remarkable structure will leave an indelible impression on your journey through Pisa.


Stroll Through the Piazza del Duomo

A visit to Pisa would not be complete without taking a leisurely stroll through the iconic Piazza del Duomo, also known as the Square of Miracles. This expansive square is the heart of the city and home to some of its most notable landmarks, including the Leaning Tower, the Cathedral, the Baptistery of St. John, and the Camposanto Monumentale.


As you enter the square, you will immediately be struck by the grandeur of the architecture that surrounds you. The pristine white marble of the buildings and the lush green lawns create a stunning contrast, making the Piazza del Duomo a picturesque and enchanting sight.


Your gaze will undoubtedly be drawn to the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, an architectural anomaly that has become a symbol of the city. The tower, originally intended to be a freestanding bell tower for the Cathedral, gained its unique tilt due to architectural miscalculations. It stands as a testament to human ingenuity and serves as a constant reminder of the city’s rich history.


Aside from the Leaning Tower, the Piazza del Duomo is also home to the majestic Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. This remarkable masterpiece of Romanesque architecture boasts intricate detailing, majestic arches, and an impressive dome. Step inside the cathedral to immerse yourself in its spiritual ambiance and admire the beautiful artworks and ornate decorations that adorn its interior.


Adjacent to the cathedral stands the Baptistery of St. John, a circular structure with a dome that is rich in history and beauty. Constructed primarily in Romanesque style, it features an exquisite pulpit sculpted by Nicola Pisano and a marvelous baptismal font. The acoustics within the baptistery are known to be exceptional, so take a moment to enjoy the enchanting sound that resonates within its walls.


Completing the ensemble of architectural wonders in the Piazza del Duomo is the Camposanto Monumentale, a monumental cemetery. The serene atmosphere, elegant cloisters, and ancient tombs create a unique and contemplative ambiance. Take your time to explore the peaceful cloisters and admire the beautiful frescoes that adorn the walls.


As you meander through the Piazza del Duomo, take the opportunity to appreciate the seamless harmony and remarkable beauty that exists in this architectural ensemble. Capture that perfect photo with the Leaning Tower as your backdrop or find a spot to sit and simply soak up the tranquil atmosphere.


Exploring the Piazza del Duomo is not only a chance to admire magnificent architecture, but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in Pisa’s rich history and cultural heritage. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or simply seeking a delightful stroll, the Piazza del Duomo is sure to captivate your senses and leave a lasting impression.


Admire the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo

Nestled in the heart of the Piazza del Duomo, the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo is a treasure trove of art and history that should not be missed during your visit to Pisa. This museum is dedicated to showcasing the masterpieces and artifacts associated with the magnificent Cathedral, Baptistery, and Camposanto Monumentale.


As you step inside the museum, prepare to be transported through time as you discover the rich artistic heritage of Pisa’s iconic landmarks. The museum offers a comprehensive collection of sculptures, paintings, reliefs, and decorative artworks that have adorned the Cathedral and Baptistery over the centuries.


One of the highlights of the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo is the awe-inspiring collection of medieval sculptures. These masterpieces were originally created for the Cathedral’s facade and have been meticulously preserved. Marvel at the intricate details and lifelike representations that showcase the skill and artistry of the sculptors.


As you explore further, take the time to admire the intricately designed pulpits by Giovanni Pisano and Nicola Pisano, two renowned sculptors who played a significant role in shaping the artistic landscape of Pisa. These elaborately carved pulpits with their biblical scenes and narrative reliefs are true testaments to the talent of these artists.


The museum also houses a remarkable collection of religious artifacts, including exquisite gold and silverwork, illuminated manuscripts, and intricately crafted reliquaries. These precious objects provide insight into the important role that religion played in the social and cultural fabric of Pisa throughout history.


Another highlight of the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo is the enlightening collection of original artworks and sketches by famous Pisan artists, such as Andrea Pisano and Domenico Ghirlandaio. These pieces offer a glimpse into the artistic processes and techniques employed by these talented individuals.


While the interior of the museum is a visual delight, don’t forget to step outside and appreciate the stunning view of the Cathedral and Baptistery from the museum’s terrace. Take in the breathtaking panorama of the Piazza del Duomo and admire the marvelous architecture that surrounds you.


A visit to the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo is not only an opportunity to appreciate the artistic treasures that adorn Pisa’s cathedral complex but also a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the city’s history, culture, and religious heritage. With its vast collection and insightful exhibitions, this museum ensures that the legacy and beauty of Pisa’s iconic landmarks live on for generations to come.


Enjoy the Grand Museo Palazzo Blu

Tucked away in the heart of Pisa, the Grand Museo Palazzo Blu offers a fascinating journey through art and culture. Housed in a blue mansion that lends its name to the museum, this cultural hub showcases a diverse range of exhibitions that span different periods and artistic genres.


As you enter the Grand Museo Palazzo Blu, prepare to be immersed in a world of artistic expression. The museum curates a rotating selection of exhibits, featuring works by both renowned international artists and local talents. From classical to contemporary art, there is something to captivate every visitor’s interest.


Explore the museum’s vast collection, which often includes paintings, sculptures, photography, and installations. Each exhibition offers a unique perspective on various themes, allowing visitors to engage with different artistic movements and interpretations.


What sets the Grand Museo Palazzo Blu apart is its commitment to providing an enriching experience beyond traditional art exhibitions. The museum often hosts educational programs, workshops, and guided tours, allowing visitors to delve deeper into the history and context surrounding the artworks on display.


Before leaving, take a moment to relax in the museum’s peaceful courtyard, surrounded by the elegant architecture of Palazzo Blu. This tranquil spot offers a welcome respite from the bustling streets of Pisa and provides the perfect setting to reflect on the art you have encountered.


Whether you are an art aficionado or simply an appreciator of beauty, the Grand Museo Palazzo Blu offers an incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of art and culture. Its diverse exhibitions and engaging programs make it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a truly enriching experience in Pisa.


Take a Walk along the River Arno

One of the most scenic and enjoyable activities to do in Pisa is taking a leisurely walk along the banks of the River Arno. As the principal waterway that runs through the city, the river offers stunning views, charming bridges, and a tranquil atmosphere that allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of the main tourist areas.


Begin your riverside stroll from the iconic Ponte di Mezzo, the main bridge that connects the two sides of Pisa. As you cross the bridge, take in the panoramic views of the river, along with the picturesque surrounding buildings. Capture some breathtaking photos of the river and its reflections against the city’s enchanting backdrop.


As you continue your walk, you’ll come across several other bridges that offer different perspectives of the river. The Ponte di Mezzo Vecchio is a historic bridge that provides a glimpse into Pisa’s past, while the Ponte Solferino offers a peaceful escape with its leafy surroundings and views of the nearby San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno church.


Take your time to appreciate the beauty of the river as it winds its way through the city. Admire the reflections of the colorful buildings along the riverbanks and watch as local boats sail lazily by. The soothing sound of the flowing water will create a serene atmosphere that adds to the tranquility of your stroll.


Along the river, you’ll find charming promenades and parks where you can take a break and enjoy a picnic or simply sit and people-watch. The Parco Regionale di Migliarino-San Rossore-Massaciuccoli is a nearby nature reserve that offers a peaceful and natural setting for a leisurely walk or bike ride along the riverbank.


As you walk, you’ll also come across various cafes, bars, and restaurants with outdoor seating, allowing you to stop and indulge in some refreshments while enjoying the scenic views. Savor a cup of coffee or try some delicious gelato as you immerse yourself in the laid-back ambiance of the riverside.


If you’re visiting Pisa in the evening, be sure to take a stroll along the river at sunset. The warm glow of the setting sun, coupled with the tranquil river, creates a truly magical atmosphere. It’s the perfect time to capture some stunning photographs and create lasting memories.


Exploring Pisa by walking along the River Arno provides a refreshing alternative to the bustling tourist sites. It allows you to appreciate the beauty of the city at your own pace, while also enjoying the serenity that comes with being close to nature. So take a break from the crowds and experience the charm of Pisa from a different perspective.


Experience the Botanical Gardens of Pisa

Escape the bustling city streets and immerse yourself in nature’s tranquility at the Botanical Gardens of Pisa. Located near the Leaning Tower, these beautiful gardens offer a serene oasis where you can unwind, explore, and reconnect with the natural world.


The Botanical Gardens, also known as Orto Botanico di Pisa, are a hidden gem that dates back to the 16th century. They are among the oldest botanical gardens in the world, providing a rich heritage and a diverse collection of plant species.


As you step into the gardens, you will be greeted by a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere. Stroll along the meandering pathways, bordered by lush greenery, and enjoy the refreshing scent of flowers and plants that fill the air.


The gardens span across 2.5 hectares and are divided into different sections, each showcasing distinct plant species. Take the opportunity to explore the various themed areas, including medicinal plants, aquatic plants, and succulents. Discover exotic plants from different corners of the world and admire their unique shapes, colors, and fragrances.


One of the main highlights of the gardens is the monumental magnolia tree, which is believed to be over 200 years old. Its majestic presence and stunning blossoms provide a captivating sight that is sure to inspire awe and admiration.


Aside from the diverse plant life, the Botanical Gardens of Pisa are also home to several historic structures, including the Museum of Natural History and the Torre Guelfa, a medieval tower. Visit these architectural treasures to gain further insights into Pisa’s rich history and cultural heritage.


Take a break from your exploration and find a quiet spot to sit and relax. The gardens offer several benches and shaded areas where you can enjoy a peaceful moment surrounded by nature. Bring a book, have a picnic, or simply take in the beauty of your surroundings.


The Botanical Gardens of Pisa also host educational programs, workshops, and exhibitions, making them a perfect destination for nature enthusiasts, students, and families alike. Engage with experts, learn about different plant species, and deepen your understanding of the importance of botanical conservation.


Visiting the Botanical Gardens of Pisa is a delightful experience that offers a sense of tranquility and a chance to appreciate the wonders of the natural world. Whether you’re seeking a serene refuge or an opportunity to learn more about plants and biodiversity, the gardens provide a captivating escape from the bustling city and leave a lasting impression on all who visit.


Discover the Scenic San Rossore Nature Reserve

Nestled on the outskirts of Pisa, the San Rossore Nature Reserve is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. This vast and picturesque reserve offers a diverse range of ecosystems, from lush woodlands to beautiful wetlands, making it a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.


Spanning over 23,000 acres, the San Rossore Nature Reserve provides a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is a protected area that showcases the natural beauty and biodiversity of the region, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat or a chance to connect with nature.


One of the highlights of the reserve is the stunning landscape that unfolds before you. Walk along the scenic trails and immerse yourself in the enchanting surroundings, from forests of towering pine trees to expansive meadows and shimmering lakes.


The reserve is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, making it a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers. Keep your eyes peeled for a wide range of bird species, including herons, kingfishers, and egrets, as they gracefully glide across the marshy wetlands. If you’re lucky, you may even spot the famous pink flamingos that reside in the reserve.


For nature enthusiasts, the San Rossore Nature Reserve offers the opportunity to explore the diverse ecosystems on foot, by bike, or on horseback. Follow the well-marked paths, breathe in the fresh air, and embrace the tranquility that comes with being surrounded by nature’s wonders.


In addition to its natural beauty, the reserve also has a rich cultural heritage. Visit the historic San Rossore Train Station, which still operates today, and take a ride on the vintage train that runs through the reserve. The train ride provides a unique perspective of the landscape and allows you to witness the reserve’s beauty from a different vantage point.


For those interested in the equestrian world, the San Rossore Nature Reserve is home to the renowned Pisa Racecourse. Experience the thrill of horse racing or take riding lessons to explore the reserve’s trails on horseback, as you delve deeper into the equestrian history that permeates the area.


Whether you choose to explore the reserve on foot, by bike, or on horseback, the San Rossore Nature Reserve offers a peaceful and idyllic retreat where you can reconnect with nature, breathe in the fresh air, and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. It’s a natural oasis just a stone’s throw away from the city of Pisa.


Indulge in Authentic Tuscan Cuisine

When visiting Pisa, one of the highlights of your trip should undoubtedly be the opportunity to savor the delectable flavors of authentic Tuscan cuisine. Known for its simplicity and emphasis on high-quality ingredients, Tuscan food is a true reflection of the region’s rich culinary traditions.


Start your culinary journey by sampling the delicious antipasti, a delightful selection of cured meats, cheeses, and bruschetta. Indulge in slices of prosciutto crudo, salami, and the famous Tuscan pecorino cheese, accompanied by freshly baked bread drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.


No visit to Tuscany is complete without trying the region’s renowned pasta dishes. Order a plate of pici, a thick hand-rolled pasta, or indulge in the classic pappardelle al ragù, where the wide ribbons of pasta are perfectly complemented by a rich meat sauce.


For meat lovers, Tuscan cuisine offers a wide range of options. Try the famous bistecca alla fiorentina, a juicy and tender T-bone steak grilled to perfection. Accompanied by roasted potatoes and a sprinkle of sea salt, this dish is a carnivore’s delight.


Seafood aficionados will not be disappointed either. Pisa’s proximity to the coast ensures that you can savor delectable dishes featuring fresh fish and shellfish. Treat yourself to a plate of cacciucco, a traditional Tuscan fish stew, or enjoy grilled calamari served with a squeeze of lemon.


Another culinary delight not to be missed is the hearty Tuscan soup known as ribollita. This comforting dish is a combination of vegetables, beans, and day-old bread, creating a rich and flavorful soup that warms the soul.


Of course, no Tuscan meal is complete without a glass of the region’s celebrated wines. From the full-bodied Chianti to the robust Brunello di Montalcino, take the time to savor the elegance and complexity of Tuscan wines. Pair your meal with a glass of local red or white wine and let the flavors intertwine for a truly unforgettable experience.


To complete your Tuscan culinary adventure, indulge in some traditional desserts. Treat yourself to a serving of cantucci, crunchy almond biscuits typically served with Vin Santo, a sweet dessert wine. Or satisfy your sweet tooth with a slice of torta della nonna, a decadent custard-filled pastry topped with powdered sugar.


Pisa offers a plethora of restaurants and trattorias where you can experience the magic of authentic Tuscan cuisine. Whether you’re dining in a charming family-run establishment or an upscale restaurant, the focus will always be on fresh, seasonal ingredients prepared with love and care.


Indulging in authentic Tuscan cuisine is a gastronomic journey that allows you to truly appreciate the flavors and traditions of this remarkable region. So take the time to savor each bite, raise a glass to toast the Tuscan way of life, and let the culinary delights of Pisa leave an indelible impression on your taste buds.


Shop at the Mercato delle Vettovaglie

For a true taste of local life and a feast for the senses, a visit to the Mercato delle Vettovaglie is a must when in Pisa. Located in the heart of the city, this bustling market has been a food hub for locals since the Middle Ages.


Stroll through the vibrant market stalls and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere. The Mercato delle Vettovaglie offers a wide array of fresh produce, local specialties, and gourmet delights that showcase the rich culinary heritage of the region.


Start your market adventure by exploring the colorful displays of seasonal fruits and vegetables. From juicy tomatoes and fragrant herbs to plump olives and succulent peaches, the market offers a bounty of farm-fresh produce that showcases the flavors of Tuscany.


As you wander further into the market, you’ll encounter stands piled high with artisanal cheeses, salami, and other cured meats. Sample the different varieties, from the creamy pecorino to the tangy aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, and discover your favorite flavors to bring back home or enjoy on a picnic in the city.


For seafood lovers, the market boasts a selection of fresh fish and shellfish straight from the Mediterranean Sea. Marvel at the assortment of briny oysters, plump prawns, and beautifully arranged seafood platters, perfect for a lavish seafood feast or a simple yet elegant meal.


Don’t forget to explore the irresistible array of local bread and baked goods. From crusty loaves of traditional Tuscan bread to delicate pastries such as cannoli and sfogliatelle, the market offers a range of tempting treats to satisfy your cravings.


In addition to food, the Mercato delle Vettovaglie also hosts stalls selling a variety of other products. Browse through rows of handmade crafts, locally produced honey, aromatic olive oils, and traditional Tuscan wines. These unique souvenirs make perfect gifts to bring back home or reminders of your unforgettable time in Pisa.


As you continue your market adventure, take a break at one of the market’s many cafes and trattorias. Treat yourself to a cup of freshly brewed Italian coffee or order a snack made from the fresh ingredients sourced from the market itself. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the vibrant ambiance as you watch the lively interactions between locals and vendors.


Visiting the Mercato delle Vettovaglie is not only an opportunity to purchase high-quality produce and unique local products but also a chance to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Pisa. Engage with friendly vendors, sample the flavors of Tuscany, and experience the true essence of the city’s culinary scene.


So, whether you’re a food enthusiast, shopping for ingredients to cook a Tuscan feast, or simply seeking a lively and authentic experience, a visit to the Mercato delle Vettovaglie promises to be a memorable and delightful adventure.


Attend a Traditional Tuscan Cooking Class

For a hands-on experience that allows you to truly immerse yourself in the flavors of Tuscany, attending a traditional Tuscan cooking class is a must-do activity when visiting Pisa. Delve into the secrets of Tuscan cuisine, learn age-old techniques, and create delicious dishes under the guidance of skilled local chefs.


During a cooking class, you’ll have the opportunity to discover the importance of using high-quality, seasonal ingredients that are the foundation of Tuscan cooking. From fresh vegetables and aromatic herbs to locally sourced meats and cheeses, you’ll learn how the simplicity of Tuscan cuisine allows the flavors to shine through.


Under the watchful eye of the chef, you’ll learn to prepare iconic Tuscan dishes such as homemade pasta like pici or tagliatelle, hearty soups like ribollita or pappa al pomodoro, and succulent meat dishes like bistecca alla fiorentina or wild boar stew. Master the art of layering flavors with Tuscan staples like extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and fragrant herbs like rosemary and sage.


As you cook side by side with the chef, you’ll learn valuable culinary techniques and gain insights into the cultural significance of each dish. Discover the beauty of kneading pasta dough, rolling it out, and forming it into the perfect shape, or witness the transformation of fresh ingredients as they simmer slowly to create rich, savory sauces.


After putting your culinary skills to the test, sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Indulge in the feast you helped create, accompanied by a glass of local wine, and savor the flavors of Tuscany. Take delight in the sense of accomplishment as you enjoy the delicious results of your cooking efforts.


In addition to learning traditional techniques, a cooking class also provides an opportunity to engage with the local culture and make lasting connections with like-minded food enthusiasts. Engage in lively conversations, share stories, and learn more about the heritage and traditions associated with Tuscan cuisine.


Attending a traditional Tuscan cooking class is not only a chance to learn new skills and expand your culinary repertoire, but also an opportunity to bring a piece of Tuscany back home. With the knowledge and experience gained during the class, you’ll be able to recreate Tuscan dishes and share the flavors of the region with family and friends.


So, whether you’re a seasoned chef or a passionate home cook, a traditional Tuscan cooking class promises to be a memorable and enriching experience. Prepare to be inspired, delighted, and deeply immersed in the art of Tuscan cuisine, creating memories that will last long after you leave Pisa.


Join a Wine Tasting Tour in Pisa’s Surrounding Areas

When in Pisa, exploring the region’s renowned wine scene is a must for any wine aficionado or those simply looking to indulge in the pleasures of the vine. Joining a wine tasting tour in Pisa’s surrounding areas provides the perfect opportunity to savor the flavors of Tuscan wines, discover local vineyards, and learn about the winemaking process from passionate experts.


Embark on a guided tour that will take you through the picturesque countryside, where the rolling hills and vineyards create a stunning backdrop for your wine exploration. As you travel through the idyllic landscapes, soak in the beauty of the Tuscan countryside, dotted with vineyards that have been producing exceptional wines for generations.


During the tour, you’ll have the chance to visit family-owned wineries and boutique vineyards, allowing you to discover the distinct characteristics of each wine producer. Engage with passionate winemakers who will share their knowledge and expertise, guiding you through the tasting process and explaining the nuances that make each wine unique.


Sample a variety of Tuscan wines, from bold and robust reds like Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino to crisp and refreshing whites like Vernaccia di San Gimignano and Vermentino. Learn how to appreciate the aromas, flavors, and complexities of each wine as you explore their different characteristics.


As you indulge in the wine tastings, complement your experience with a selection of delectable local dishes. Pair the wines with artisanal cheeses, cured meats, and bruschetta topped with fresh tomatoes and basil. Allow the flavors to mingle and create harmonious combinations that take your tasting experience to new heights.


In addition to wine tastings, many tours also provide an opportunity to explore the vineyards and gain a deeper understanding of the winemaking process. Walk through the rows of vines, learn about grape cultivation, and witness the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into producing exceptional wines.


Moreover, a wine tasting tour is not only an opportunity to enrich your palate but also a chance to learn about the historical and cultural significance of winemaking in the region. Discover the traditions and stories that have been passed down through the generations, and gain a deeper appreciation for the wine heritage that is so deeply ingrained in the Tuscan culture.


A wine tasting tour in Pisa’s surrounding areas is a delightful and educational experience that allows you to explore the flavors, aromas, and traditions of Tuscan wines. It’s a journey that combines the joys of discovery, sensory delights, and the satisfaction of gaining insight into the world of winemaking. So raise your glass, savor the exquisite flavors, and toast to the beauty of Tuscan wines.


Catch a Performance at the Teatro Verdi

For an unforgettable evening of entertainment and culture, catching a performance at the Teatro Verdi in Pisa is a must-do experience. Located in the heart of the city, this historic theater has been captivating audiences since its construction in the 19th century.


The Teatro Verdi is not only a venue for theatrical performances but also hosts a wide range of artistic events, including concerts, ballets, opera, and contemporary dance. With its ornate architecture and elegant interiors, the theater provides a captivating setting that enhances the magic of each performance.


As you enter the theater, you’ll be struck by the grandeur of the space. Marvel at the intricate detailing of the auditorium, adorned with stunning frescoes, gilded decorations, and velvet curtains. The acoustics of the theater are exceptional, ensuring that the performances are delivered with utmost clarity and beauty.


The Teatro Verdi presents a diverse program that showcases both Italian and international talent. From classical operas and symphony concerts to modern dance performances and theatrical productions, there is something to captivate every taste and preference.


Attending a performance at the Teatro Verdi provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Pisa and the performing arts. Be transported into a world of drama, music, and storytelling as the talented artists take the stage, captivating you with their artistry and skill.


Throughout the year, the theater hosts a variety of events that cater to different interests and audiences. Check the schedule in advance to see what performances are taking place during your visit and book your tickets to secure your spot for a memorable evening.


Before or after the performance, take a moment to stroll through the surrounding area. The theater is located in a vibrant part of the city, bustling with restaurants, cafes, and bars. Enjoy a pre-show dinner or post-show drink, and soak in the lively atmosphere that permeates this cultural hub.


The Teatro Verdi plays a significant role in Pisa’s cultural scene, offering a platform for artistic expression and providing residents and visitors alike with a remarkable cultural experience. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness a performance in this historic theater and create lasting memories of your time in Pisa.


So, whether you are a lover of the performing arts, a culture enthusiast, or simply seeking a memorable evening of entertainment, a visit to the Teatro Verdi is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Pisa.


Explore the University of Pisa’s Historic Campus

Nestled in the heart of Pisa, the University of Pisa’s historic campus is a fascinating destination that combines academic excellence with architectural beauty. With a history dating back to the 12th century, the university is one of the oldest in the world and has played a pivotal role in shaping the intellectual and cultural landscape of the city.


Start your exploration at the heart of the university, the grand Piazza dei Cavalieri. This historic square is home to the Scuola Normale Superiore, an elite institution that has produced many renowned scholars and intellectuals throughout the centuries. Admire the grand Palazzo della Carovana and take in the statues and symbols that adorn the square, all of which have deep historical and symbolic significance.


As you wander through the streets surrounding the university, you’ll encounter beautiful buildings that house various faculties and departments. Take a moment to appreciate the architectural features and the blend of styles that span several centuries, from Gothic to Renaissance and beyond.


One of the highlights of the university is the striking Orto botanico di Pisa, the botanical garden. Established in the 16th century, it is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe and houses a diverse collection of plants and trees. Take a leisurely stroll through the garden and enjoy the serene atmosphere, surrounded by an extraordinary variety of flora.


Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the university’s historical library, the Biblioteca Normale. This library is a treasure trove of knowledge, housing rare manuscripts, ancient texts, and valuable collections that have been meticulously preserved over the years. Step inside and be transported to a world of academia and intellectual exploration.


While exploring the university’s historic campus, you may also stumble upon sculptures, plaques, and monuments that pay tribute to notable academics and alumni. These serve as a testament to the university’s esteemed reputation and its contributions to the world of education and research.


Visiting the University of Pisa’s historic campus offers more than just admiring beautiful architecture and exploring academic institutions. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the intellectual legacy of Pisa, to walk in the footsteps of great thinkers, and to connect with the vibrant energy that emanates from this center of knowledge.


Whether you have a personal interest in academia or simply appreciate the charm of historic buildings, exploring the University of Pisa’s campus is a rewarding experience. It allows you to gain a deeper understanding of Pisa’s intellectual heritage and offers a glimpse into the thriving hub of learning that continues to shape the city’s identity.


Relax in the Picturesque Giardino Scotto

If you’re looking for a tranquil and scenic oasis in Pisa, the Giardino Scotto is the perfect escape from the bustling city streets. Located near the historic center, this picturesque garden offers a peaceful retreat where you can relax, unwind, and enjoy the beauty of nature.


As you enter the Giardino Scotto, you’ll be greeted by an array of vibrant flowers, manicured lawns, and towering trees. Take a leisurely stroll along the winding paths, allowing yourself to be enveloped in the serenity of the surroundings.


Find a cozy spot on one of the benches or spread out a blanket on the grass, and take a moment to appreciate the picturesque views. From the garden, you’ll be able to enjoy stunning vistas of the Arno River and the charming cityscape of Pisa.


Indulge your senses as you revel in the fragrant perfumes of the flowers and listen to the gentle rustling of leaves in the wind. The Giardino Scotto offers a peaceful ambiance that is perfect for reading a book, having a picnic, or simply closing your eyes and embracing the tranquility.


Amidst the natural beauty, you’ll also find a few artistic and architectural elements that add to the charm of the garden. Discover sculptures, fountains, and other artistic installations that are dotted throughout the space, providing interesting focal points and enhancing the visual appeal of the surroundings.


The Giardino Scotto is not only a place for relaxation but also a center for cultural events and outdoor activities. Throughout the year, the garden hosts concerts, exhibitions, and festivals that bring the community together and create a vibrant atmosphere.


Adjacent to the garden, you’ll find the picturesque Villa Scotto, a historic building that adds an extra touch of charm to the surroundings. Take a moment to admire the architecture and imagine the stories that the villa holds within its walls.


Whether you’re a visitor seeking respite from sightseeing or a local looking for a peaceful escape, the Giardino Scotto offers a natural haven in the heart of Pisa. It’s a place to slow down, recharge, and reconnect with nature.


So take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and find solace in the serenity of the Giardino Scotto. Embrace the beauty that surrounds you, breathe in the fresh air, and let the worries of the world fade away as you enjoy this picturesque sanctuary in Pisa.


Take a Day Trip to the Stunning Cinque Terre

If you’re seeking breathtaking coastal scenery and charming seaside villages, a day trip to the stunning Cinque Terre is a must. Located just a short distance from Pisa, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a collection of five picturesque fishing villages nestled along the rugged Italian Riviera.


Embark on a scenic train journey from Pisa to the Cinque Terre, during which you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the Ligurian coastline. Arriving at one of the five villages – Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, or Riomaggiore – feels like stepping into a postcard with their pastel-colored houses perched on cliff edges and picturesque harbors.


Explore the narrow, winding streets that lead you through each village and discover hidden gems tucked away around every corner. Admire the well-preserved architecture, marvel at the colorful fishing boats bobbing in the harbors, and take in the charming atmosphere that exudes from these unique communities.


For nature enthusiasts, hiking trails that link the villages offer breathtaking views of the coastline and the iconic terraced vineyards that cling to the steep hillsides. The scenic trails offer various difficulty levels, so whether you’re an experienced hiker or prefer a leisurely walk, there is a path for everyone to enjoy.


Take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Ligurian Sea or relax on one of the pebbly beaches. The turquoise water against the backdrop of colorful buildings creates a stunning contrast that is sure to leave you in awe.


Indulge in the local cuisine, which is known for its fresh seafood and Ligurian specialties. Savor the flavors of anchovies, pesto sauce, and local wines as you dine at one of the many waterfront restaurants, enjoying the stunning views of the coastline.


Whether you spend your time sunbathing on the beach, exploring the charming streets, or hiking along the coastal trails, a day trip to the Cinque Terre promises to be an unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the villages, soak in the Mediterranean atmosphere, and let the magic of this coastal paradise leave a lasting impression.


When you’re ready to return to Pisa, take the train back and reflect on the memories made. The Cinque Terre offers a glimpse into a bygone era, where tradition and natural beauty converge to create an enchanting destination that will remain etched in your heart for years to come.



Exploring Pisa is a remarkable experience that goes beyond its famous Leaning Tower. From the historic center with its magnificent Cathedral and Baptistery, to the vibrant Piazza dei Cavalieri, and the cultural gems like the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo and the Teatro Verdi, Pisa offers a wealth of attractions for every traveler.


Immerse yourself in the city’s rich history, traditions, and artistic heritage as you visit its historic landmarks and wander its charming streets. Indulge in authentic Tuscan cuisine, shop at the bustling Mercato delle Vettovaglie, and experience the vibrant cultural scene.


For moments of tranquility, take a leisurely walk along the River Arno or relax in the peaceful Giardino Scotto. Venture beyond Pisa to explore the stunning Cinque Terre or embark on a wine tasting tour in the surrounding areas to savor the delights of Tuscan wines.


Whether you’re captivated by history, art, cuisine, or simply the beauty of the Tuscan landscapes, Pisa offers a truly unforgettable experience. Its blend of timeless charm and vibrant energy ensures that every visitor leaves with memories to cherish.


As you bid farewell to Pisa, take with you the images of its iconic landmarks, the taste of its delicious food, the sounds of its performances, and the warmth of its people. The beauty and cultural richness of this city will forever hold a special place in your heart, beckoning you to return and explore further.


So, embrace the magic of Pisa, immerse yourself in its history and culture, and let the city’s enchantment leave an indelible mark on your journey through Italy.