We only spent one afternoon in Pisa. Frankly, that’s probably enough. Not that we didn’t like it – we definitely did – but more that there are so so so many amazing places in Italy and I would probably recommend spending your time and money there.
That being said, if you can get yourself there for an afternoon just to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa and take a silly photo or two, do it. It’s fun. Like, actual fun.
There’s a river, like a lot of towns in Italy. A nice, wide river that I don’t remember the name of (okay, okay, I googled it – the river Arno). We had sunshine the day we were there.
There are cafés and people hanging out outside, just like other places in Italy and Europe.
There is a funky tower with a ton of grass space in front of it that says it is off limits, but in reality, everybody is sprawled out and nobody says anything about it. Hang out there, watch for pickpockets (we didn’t see any, but the place is ALL tourists; there are BOUND to be pick pockets haha).
There is a museum or some such at the other end. We walked around, sat on the steps for a bit, but didn’t go in.
We took our fun photos. At first Sam was embarrased, but I was like, “HEY, we took the train here. I am NOT leaving without a silly Leaning Tower of Pisa photo!” After we took them, Sam agreed that yes, it was a must. He might have even agreed that it was a bit of fun. It was fun! Literally everybody is taking the same photo. It’s fun, it’s funny. You definitely can’t go to Pisa without getting one; I stand by that.
We actually only went to Pisa on the way between Cinque Terre and Florence. We wanted to see the tower and since we were using a Rail Europe pass and were already traveling, the extra trip still counted as one of our travel days. We basically got to go for free.
We left our backpacks at the train station while we walked around. It’s a little pricey, but definitely worth it compared to carrying them around while we walked into town and meandered around.
The town itself is cute. I bought a book (in Italian! practicing language skills!) at a little book store. We got some over priced jelly beans (we actually felt kind of ripped off, but it was a street fair and the lady was nice so maybe it’s just because jelly beans are cheap in the US since we can drive to the factory? we didn’t really know.)
Also a gelato. SUCH a good gelato. It was melty, but it was SO good. Seriously. This place had a line out the door and we were like “get me in that line and get gelato into my belly.” It was a great great great idea.
There was a little Vespa street fair going on when we went, too. Vespas all up and down the center of the road. It was fun to see them! Many were vintage, most were bright red, everybody was snapping photos of them. The streets were crowded – it was a good afternoon.
And then we bought sandwiches and headed back to the train so we could get to Florence before dark (we didn’t quite make it – it was definitely dark when we got there).
Good stop, for sure. Worth going out of your way to see? Probably not. Definitely worth a stop if you can swing it easily though! It’s a fun tourist attraction to tick off your bucket list and a nice little city.
And that’s it, for now. Our quick stop between Cinque Terre and Florence. Florence photos (and LOTS of them!) to come next!