During my most recent jaunt around Europe (intended to be an au-revoir to easy movement between the UK and Europe as Brexit loomed) we found ourselves with four hours in Pisa and nobody can say that we don’t sightsee hard because we made the most of every second of our four hours.
Landing at Pisa airport, luggage in hand, from Madrid (can we take a moment here to appreciate the Schengen area, which allowed us to waltz off the plane with no more fuss than if we had pulled up in Asda’s carpark) we then walked the twenty minutes or so down to Pisa Central Station in the lovely sunshine, where we found a left luggage facility for five euros per bag. After depositing our luggage and buying a few bottles of water we began the second leg of our walk, and wandered a further twenty minues or so through the town to the internationally famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Of Note: The Left Luggage facility at Pisa Central Station is location within the platforms, head onto Platform 1 when you arrive, turn left and keep walking down and you’ll soon see the signs you are looking for. FYI they will likely need a form of ID to copy and keep hold of whilst storing your baggage.
I had heard from several friends that whilst Pisa is beautiful and of course you want to explore the famous tower, that it is definitely possible to do a whistle stop tour of the sights in an afternoon. In fact, the tower itself is stunning and not nearly as tall as I was expecting (it’s actually 60 metres tall) but I found myself almost equally as engrossed in the hordes of tourists posing up a storm to get that perfect cliche Leaning Tower of Pisa photo. Don’t let my disdain fool you, I joined the tourists and posed with the best of them!
If you want that perfect cliche tourist shot then you might need to be patient, but it is definitely possible and even with lots of tourists around you can get a good photo with barely anyone in the background due to how you end up angling your camera, so don’t be worried about that.
If you’d like to go inside the tower then I fully recommend heading to the Leaning Tower of Pisa website and booking your ticket in advance as the queue can get pretty long, especially in the summer months, however be warned you do end up paying extra for this! The tower was closed to tourists for a long time due to renovations and preservation work but it is now open again and definitely something worth doing if you have the time.
The nearby Cathedral is free to enter, although you may need a ticket as they stagger entry. It’s well worth a look!
Beyond the tower and cathedral the town is picture postcard Italian, with sandy coloured cobbled backstreets and gelato, pizza and coffee available every three feet. It was a lovely place to spend an afternoon and we were all exhausted by the time we sat down on the train to Firenze (Florence) that evening!
Of Note: Be wary when you slip your bags off to grab your photos as the whole area is obviously just a goldmine for pick pockets!