What To See And Do In Pisa Beside The Tower.

Pisa is a city in central Italy’s Tuscany region best known for its iconic Leaning Tower. Built in the 12th century as the freestanding bell tower of the Romanesque cathedral, the tower began to tilt during construction after soft ground on one side was unable to properly support its weight. The Leaning Tower is now stabilized and open to the public for tours. Visitors can also enjoy other notable sights in Pisa such as the Baptistery, cemetery and museums. But Most people come to Pisa just visit the tower while the city has much more to offer.

More to see in Pisa:

Keith Haring was one of New York’s first world-renowned graffiti artists. In June of 1983, he visited Pisa and Florence.Haring’s artwork can be found in Pisa. Keith Haring’s House feature a large grafiti from the artist on the facade of the house.

Orto and museo botanico di Pisa.

The Orto botanico di Pisa, also known as the Orto Botanico dell’Università di Pisa, is a historic university botanical garden in Pisa, Tuscany, central Italy. Founded in 1543 as a garden for medicinal herbs, today the garden contains about 8,000 different plant species on 1.5 hectares. It is one of
the oldest gardens in Europe and houses one of the first herbaria to be assembled, as well as a rich collection of rare books. There you can see many kinds of plants, including some very rare and endangered species.

Museo della sinopie.

The Museo della Sinopie is a museum in Pisa, Tuscany, central Italy. It houses a collection of sinopias, the drawings made by artists as a first step in the painting of frescoes. The name “sinopia” comes from the Greek word for “red ocher”. The sinopias in the museum were originally part of the decoration of the Camposanto Monumentale, the cemetery of Pisa.

Palazzo della carovana.

The Palazzo della Carovana is a palazzo in Pisa, Tuscany, central Italy. It was the headquarters of the knights of Saint Stephen, who were responsible for the defense of the coast of Tuscany against the Saracens. The palazzo is now home to the Museum of the Knights of Saint Stephen.

Museo delle Navi Antiche di Pisa.

The Museo delle Navi Antiche di Pisa is a museum in Pisa, Tuscany, central Italy. The museum is housed in the Palazzo Nave, a former shipyard of the Republic of Pisa. The museum contains the remains of a number of ancient ships, as well as a collection of model ships.

Stroll along the banks of the Arno River.

The Arno is a river in the Tuscany region of Italy. It is the most important river of central Italy after the Tiber. The river originates on Mount Falterona in the Casentino area of the Apennines, and flows through Florence, Empoli and Pisa to the Ligurian Sea. The Arno is known for its floodplain, which is home to a number of rare and endangered species of plants and animals. The river is also popular with tourists for its scenic beauty.

Wander around the Palazzo Blu.

The Palazzo Blu is a palazzo in Pisa, Tuscany, central Italy. It is one of the most notable buildings in Pisa and is known for its blue and white façade. The palazzo was built in the 12th century and was the home of the Gherardesca family, one of the most powerful families in Pisa. The palazzo is now home to a museum of art and culture.

Visit Museum of Human Anatomy.

The Museum of Human Anatomy is a museum in Pisa, Tuscany, central Italy. The museum is housed in the Palazzo dei Della Rovere, a former hospital. The museum contains a collection of human anatomical specimens, as well as a library and archives. It is outstanding among similar museums for the quality and range of its collections. Moreover, the museum provides an important source of information for the study of the history of medicine.

Cycle to Marina di Pisa.

Marina di Pisa is a seaside resort in the municipality of Pisa, in the Tuscany region of central Italy. It is located on the Tyrrhenian Sea, on the western side of the mouth of the Arno River. Marina di Pisa is a popular tourist destination, with a wide range of hotels, restaurants and bars. It is also a popular spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Try some Pisan specialitites:

Pappa al pomodoro. Pappa al pomodoro is a Tuscan soup made with tomatoes, bread, olive oil and garlic. It is a traditional peasant dish that was once eaten by poor people who could not afford meat. Today, pappa al pomodoro is a popular dish in Tuscany and is often served as a first course at weddings and other special occasions.

Bordatino alla pisana.

Bordatino alla pisana is a Tuscan soup made with beans, potatoes, kale and pancetta. It is a traditional peasant dish that was once eaten by poor people who could not afford meat.

Besides the Tower, What Can I See and Do in Pisa?

The world famous tower of Pisa is a massive attraction for tourists with well over a million visitors per year. How many of these tourists fail to look beyond the tower to see what else the city of Pisa has to offer?

A recent €30 million redevelopment of Pisa’s main attractions now means there is no better time to explore what else this beautiful city has been hiding. Below are just some of the best things to see and do in and around the historic city of Pisa.

Campo dei Miracoli

Piazza dei Miracoli

Italy’s grandest medieval construction project has more for you to view than just the leaning tower. Right next door is the grand Pisa Cathedral with its elegant facade of arches. If you look carefully, you will be able to notice that each one of the columns has their own individual design.

Once you get inside the cathedral the first thing to draw your attention is the marvelous and incredibly ornate golden ceiling. You can’t fail to be impressed by the sights within as you are treated to some of the finest Italian art available anywhere.

The circular Baptistry is well worth a visit too, and if you venture up the narrow stairs you will be rewarded with an excellent view of the cathedral.

Close by is the Museo Delle Sinopie housing a small collection of frescoes in the process of restoration and an ideal place to escape the crowds for a little while. A collection of treasures from the cathedral and baptistry can be found in the Cathedral Museum which is also nearby.

Thanks to the investment in redeveloping Pisa’s attractions, you are now able to take a walk along 2km of the city walls. From there you are afforded views of the impressive Camposanto cemetery and even the giant weights which were required to reduce the lean of the tower when fears of its collapse were heightened in 2007. Entrance to the city walls is free.

Further beyond the Campo dei Miracoli, you will discover narrow lanes and alleys opening up to grand piazzas. You can find more museums, palaces, theaters, bars, and concert halls, that you would expect to find in a historic and evolving city.

Palazzo Blu

Pisa, Palazzo Blu

Standing out among the buildings at Pisa’s riverside is the Palazzo Blu. This 14th-century art gallery is noticeable for its azure blue coloring and is considered to be Pisa’s most exciting gallery.

In the past, it has featured exhibitions from Toulouse-Lautrec and Salvador Dali. You can check their website for details of the current exhibition, and entrance is free if you choose to pay a visit.

Places to Eat

Although no longer a coastal city, its history was very much tied up with the sea. La Scaletta restaurant is a fantastic example of a fish eatery. Just a short walk from the popular tourist area, La Scaletta has a 150-year tradition of creating seafood dishes. The current chef has a skill for creating innovative and surprising meals, but if you are looking for a more traditional menu that is still available to choose from.

In the city center you will find La Pergoletta restaurant. It features, tables arranged around a courtyard with an illuminated tree at its center, providing a very pleasant evening dining experience. The menu offers you a more traditional variety of dishes from the Tuscany region and comes highly recommended.

The banks of the Arno river are a good place to find other restaurants and bars, to suit your tastes during an evening exploring the city.

Excursions Outside Pisa

Parco di San Rossore
If you are spending a few days or more in Pisa, you will find trips out of the city to be a rewarding experience.

A trip to the San Rossore National Park offers you the chance to get some fresh air when choosing one of the five trails available through the greenery and sand dunes. It is possible to travel to the beach from here by horse-drawn carriage, through the unspoiled, varied forests and marshland.

South of San Rossore can be found the ancient site of San Piero a Grado. The Basilica of San Piero a Grado began construction in the 10th century but was built over much earlier Roman structures. The basilica is in stark contrast to Pisa Cathedral, with a wooden truss ceiling and modest columns. The columns do, however, support a recently restored intricate but large fresco from the 14th century. It features portraits of the Popes, from Saint Peter, the first Pope, up until Pope John XVIII in 1303.

On the opposite side of Pisa, in the village of Calci, you can find the Pisa Charterhouse. Formally a monastery, it is now the home of the Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa. Housed in an enormous compound of buildings and set in an area previously referred to as the “Pretty Valley”, it seems a world away from the busy city center.

Reputed to be one of the oldest museums in the world, it specializes in dinosaurs and aquatic mammals. Aside from the museum, the huge monastery and church offer you plenty of Baroque architecture and history to explore.

If you are in need of a more relaxing time, take a trip north of Pisa to San Giuliano Terme for a spa. The Bagni di Pisa resort offers basic treatments as well as a wide variety of beauty or medical spa treatments to maximize your relaxation. Luxuriate in the thermal waters within a grotto carved out of rock or in freshly renovated pools.

Slightly further afield still, you can visit the hilltop medieval village of Vicopisano. Boasting a castle which was constructed over 1000 years ago to dominate the surrounding valley and a military stronghold known as the Rocca. There is also an archaeological exhibition housed in the Palazzo Pretorio, a medieval public building featuring a prison and priest accommodation.

Pisa is also not too far from the cities of Florence and Lucca, allowing you to use it as a base to visit the historic sights in those beautiful cities. Also allowing for exploration of the scenic countryside villages off the traditional tourist route.

As you can tell there is much to do and see besides just the tower, in Pisa. It clearly warrants more time than most tourists normally allow, to enable you to fully experience what Pisa and the surrounding areas have to offer.