There’s a lot more to the Italian city of Pisa than the famous leaning tower. There’s often a long queue to climb the tower and it costs 15 Euro. So my advice is to get away from the hordes and enjoy the rest of the city.
A friend of mine, local resident Gloria has compiled some Pisa walks with accompanying maps to help you explore the city. My favourite pastime in Pisa is to walk along the banks of the River Arno. There are many beautiful old buildings lining the riverside. We stumbled upon a free art exhibition in the foyer of Palazzo Gambacorti, the local government offices. Just around the corner there was a lot of colourful street art.
The tiny Santa Maria della Spina Church is very pretty.
You’ll find also the Giardino di Scotto at the riverside. It has a kids play area and a terraced garden. If you’re lucky you may even catch a performance at the outdoor stage there. You can cool off in a shady spot sitting on one of the ornate wrought iron benches.
The 16th century Pisa Botanic Gardens are home to a magnolia planted in the late 18th century.
If you want to hit the beach you can go out to Tirrenia, a new town constructed by Mussolini in the 1930s to be “Pearl of the Med”. We stayed in Tirremia for one night after a late arrival at Pisa airport. The area has a lot of pine trees and it was a pleasant walk down to the beach through a park.
Luna Park with its giant ferris wheel, canyon ride and go karts, is close by.
Posted : Monday, February 14th, 2011 at 11:00
Karen Bryan is the founding editor of the UK based, multi author Europe a la Carte Blog which features Europe travel tips about the best places to visit in Europe.