Pisa is a city in the Tuscany region of Italy, famous for its leaning tower, which is part of the Piazza dei Miracoli, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tower, constructed in the 12th century, began to lean during construction due to soft ground on one side and has since become a symbol of the city.
Pisa has a long and rich history, dating back to the Etruscan era. In the Middle Ages, it was a major maritime power and a centre of learning, with a renowned university founded in 1343. The city was heavily damaged during World War II but has since been restored to its former glory.
In addition to the leaning tower, Pisa has many other notable sights, including the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Baptistery of St. John, and the Camposanto Monumentale, a cemetery with beautiful frescoes.
Pisa is also known for its cuisine, including spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams), cacciucco (a fish stew), and the famous Pisan dessert, torta co' bischeri, made with almonds and chocolate.
Overall, Pisa is a charming city with a rich history and many attractions, making it a popular destination for tourists worldwide.
If you only have 48 hours, here is one possible itinerary to help you make the most of your time:
Breakfast recommendation: La Bottega del Buon Caffè
is just a short walk from the Leaning Tower and serves a variety of breakfast items, including pastries, croissants, and coffee. They also offer vegan and gluten-free options.
Visit the Piazza dei Miracoli: Start your day by visiting the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa and the other impressive buildings in the Piazza dei Miracoli, such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the Baptistery of St. John.
Lunch recommendation: Osteria dei Cavalieri
is a cosy restaurant near the Piazza dei Miracoli. It is known for its traditional Tuscan cuisine. Try the tagliatelle al ragù or the bistecca alla fiorentina.
Museo di San Matteo: This museum is housed in a former Benedictine convent and contains a medieval and Renaissance art collection, including works by artists such as Fra Angelico and Jacopo della Quercia.
Dinner recommendation: Trattoria La Grotta
is a charming trattoria in the historic centre of Pisa and serves delicious seafood and pasta dishes. Try the spaghetti alle vongole or the linguine ai frutti di mare.
Listen to live music: Pisa's historic centre has many bars and cafes that offer live music performances, from jazz to rock and everything in between. Check out places like Borderline Club, Lumière Cafe, and Coffee Village.
Breakfast recommendation: Pasticceria Salza
is a historic pastry shop just a few minutes from Palazzo Blu. It has been serving traditional Tuscan pastries since 1896. They offer a wide selection of sweet and savoury pastries, coffee, and other drinks.
Walk along the Arno River: Take a stroll along the Arno River and admire the beautiful views of the city. Stop by the Palazzo Blu, a museum housed in a historic building that features temporary exhibitions of contemporary art.
Lunch recommendation: Osteria del Violino is a lovely restaurant near the Piazza dei Cavalieri, known for its traditional Tuscan dishes. Try the pappa al pomodoro or the peposo, a slow-cooked beef stew.
Visit the Orto Botanico di Pisa: This botanical garden is located near the Piazza dei Cavalieri and contains a variety of plants and trees, as well as a small museum.
Dinner recommendation: Ristorante Alle Bandierine
is near the Piazza dei Cavalieri and serves delicious Tuscan cuisine, including grilled meats and fresh pasta dishes. Try the bistecca alla Fiorentina or the gnocchi alla Sorrentina.
Visit a rooftop bar:
Pisa has several rooftop bars that offer panoramic views of the city and its landmarks. One popular spot is the Terrazza dei Cavalieri
, which offers stunning views of the Piazza dei Cavalieri and the historic centre.
These are just a few suggestions for how to spend 48 hours in Pisa with restaurant recommendations. The city has many other great restaurants and attractions, so feel free to explore and discover your favourites!
Best things to do for couples in Pisa
Pisa is a beautiful city with plenty of romantic things to do for couples. Here are some of the best activities to consider:
Have a romantic dinner: Pisa has many great restaurants that offer traditional Tuscan cuisine and a romantic atmosphere. A food tour is the perfect experience to try all the local delights.
Visit the Botanical Gardens: The Orto Botanico di Pisa is a lovely spot for a romantic stroll among the plants and flowers. It's a peaceful oasis away from the crowds and offers a beautiful setting for a romantic picnic.
Take a sunset walk around the Piazza dei Miracoli: The Piazza dei Miracoli is stunning anytime, but it's especially beautiful during sunset. Stroll around the square, admiring the architecture and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere.
Take a romantic boat ride on the Arno River: If you want to add a touch of romance to your trip, consider taking a boat ride on the Arno River. It's a peaceful and romantic way to see the city from a different perspective.
Enjoy a romantic hot air balloon ride: Get a bird's eye view of the Tuscan landscape with a hot air balloon ride. You'll float over vineyards, olive groves, and picturesque villages.
Best things to do for families in Pisa
Pisa is an excellent destination for families, offering a mix of history, culture, and fun activities. Here are some things to do in Pisa with your family:
Visit the Museum of Ancient Ships: This museum is dedicated to the ancient ships discovered near Pisa in the 1990s. The museum features interactive exhibits and hands-on activities engaging kids and adults alike.
Take a stroll along the River Arno: The riverbank offers a picturesque setting for a family walk, with views of the city and its bridges. You can also rent bikes or scooters to explore the area.
Visit the Piazza dei Cavalieri: This historic square was once the centre of political power in Pisa and features beautiful architecture and statues. Kids will love exploring the square and learning about its history.
Go to the beach: Pisa is near the coast and offers several great beaches for families. Some popular options include Marina di Pisa and Tirrenia.
Best things to do for history buffs in Pisa
Pisa is a city with a rich history and culture, and many attractions will appeal to history buffs. Here are some of the best things to do for history buffs in Pisa:
Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa: The most famous landmark in Pisa, the Leaning Tower has a fascinating history. It was built in the 12th century, and began leaning soon after construction began. The tower has been stabilised and is now open to visitors. Climb up the tower's spiral staircase for amazing views of the city.
Explore the Piazza dei Miracoli: Also known as the Square of Miracles, this historic square is home to the Leaning Tower and other beautiful buildings like the Duomo and the Baptistery.
Visit the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo: This museum is in the Piazza dei Miracoli and houses works of art from the Duomo and the Baptistery. The museum also has exhibits on the history of the Leaning Tower.
Visit the Palazzo Blu: This historical palace, constructed in the 14th century, now houses a museum with art exhibitions and cultural events.
Explore the ancient Roman ruins: Pisa was an important Roman city, and there are several archaeological sites to explore, including the Roman Forum and the Baths of Nero.
Visit the Cittadella Vecchia: This 16th-century fortress was built to protect Pisa from invaders and now houses a museum with exhibits on the city's history.
Best things to do for thrill seekers in Pisa
Pisa may be known for its historic landmarks and cultural attractions, but it also offers thrilling activities for those seeking an adrenaline rush. Here are some of the best things to do for thrill seekers in Pisa:
Skydiving: Experience the thrill of free falling from an aeroplane and taking in breathtaking views of the Tuscan countryside. Several skydiving companies operate near Pisa.
Bungee jumping: Take a leap of faith and bungee jump off the Ponte della Fortezza bridge. This exhilarating experience is not for the faint of heart!
Paragliding: Soar above the rolling hills and valleys of Tuscany with a paragliding adventure. You'll take off from a nearby hill and glide through the air with a trained instructor.
Zip lining: Try a zip lining adventure for a different perspective on the Tuscan countryside. You'll fly through the treetops and enjoy panoramic views of the landscape.
Mountain biking: The hills and trails around Pisa offer great opportunities for mountain biking. Several bike rental companies offer guided tours and equipment.