Most people visit Pisa on a day trip from the nearby city of Florence. This is quite surprising seeing how Pisa has so much to offer than just the famous Learning Tower...
The town is a 20-minute drive from the sea, and it is very close to the mountains as well (about 40 minutes drive), making it the perfect base for an extended and active stay in Tuscany.
One can do practically endless things when in Pisa.
But when your hours are counted you just want to make sure you see the most interesting things and you to the more exciting activities. In this article, we talk just about those.
What to do in Pisa?
If you have a taste for adventure, a deep appreciation for exquisite food and fine wine, and like to soak up in the natural beauty, you definitely want to spend more than just one day in Pisa.
When you stay more than 24h you can plan activities like sightseeing, hiking, relaxing on the beach.
Let’s take a look at some of those...
Excursions nearby Pisa
Beach & sailing trips (Marina di Pisa, Tirrenia, Viareggio)
Not many people associate Pisa with beaches or sailing trips when, in reality, they are a unique way of exploring the regions around.
You can hop on a bus and reach "Marina di Pisa". From there, you can set sail on the way to exploring the wild nature park (from the boat) of San Rossore along the sandy beaches.
As you head towards Livorno, you’ll see the marine area of "Meloria", a rocky tiny island This is where the repubblics of Pisa and and Genova held battle in 1284.
Based on your trip planner, you can ask to include activities like snorkeling and swimming to further admire the breathtaking views underwater.
Tuscany Food & Wine
It’s amazing just how many people are unaware of the fantastic wine that is produced around the province of Pisa!
It would be a huge missed opportunity if you don’t indulge in some decadent food and fine wine while here.
Tuscany - as you might know - is synonymous with world-class wines. From Sassicaia to Chianti, not only do you get a taste of some of the finer things in life (red and white wines along with top-notch desserts), but it’s a treat to see the verdant landscapes adorning the Tuscan vineyards.
A typical food and wine tasting tour would familiarize you wine production and aging process before letting you take a sip from a selection of wines. Typically the wine tasting sessions are accompanied by some extra-virgin olive oil and a selection of local foods like ham and pecorino cheese.
From Pisa you can rent a car and head to the small town of "Pietrasanta" or "Camaiore", both excellent starting point for mountain hikes (when there, don't miss to visit "Viareggio", favorite summer destination of several movie stars).
We are talking of the mountain area known as “Alpi Apuane”.
The natural reserve of Alpi Apuane offers hundreds of marked hike trails that, starting from about 500 meter above the seal level, go up all the way to the highest peak "Pania della Croce", which stands at an impressive 1868 meters high.
If you have just one day to spend on the muntains, make sure you visit "Antro del Corchia" and you then hike all the way up to Pania della Croce.
Antro del Corchia is an impressive natural cave which was opened to the public in 2001.
The section open to the public extends 2 kilometers into the mountain but the entire cave system is composed by tunnels of different sizes for a total of 70 kilometers!
The departure point for the cave tour is in the village of "Levigliani".
You can visit the cave with no equipment and with regular sport shoes... just make sure you dress warm. The tempresture inside the cave is always about 10°C.
If you want to hike after visiting the cave, make sure you grab a map of the Alpi Apuane while in Pisa... or research your hiking trail in advance. It is not wise to venture to the mountains without a clear plan.
In case you get a bit lost, the local tourist office in "Levigliani" will be able to provide you with information to find your way.
The nearby city of Lucca
Locals love this town. If you have a thing for small, laid back, captivating towns, this might be your haven.
Lucca houses some of the most enchanting churches that were fundamental to the pilgrims back in the old days. Anyway, the most characteristic (ad impressive) feature of the town is the giant brick fortification walls that protected the citizens at the end of the middle-ages.
The walls make a full circle around the town (it is more in the shape of a bean) for a total length of 4.2 kilometers.
Today you can stroll, run or go by bike on top of fortification walls. If you are a runner, you definitely don't want to miss the opportunity to try a few rounds of the walls of Lucca!
Lucca also has some of the finest wines of Tuscany you'll ever get to taste. Add to that best quality olive oil, and you have a recipe for some of the most enchanting experiences you’ll ever witness.
Planning a trip to Lucca is not only incredibly practical but easy too. Something you can do all on your own.
You can get to Lucca by catching any of the frequent trains leaving from Pisa train station.
It should cost you about 5 Euros and take something like 40 minutes to get to the green town of Lucca.
Is Pisa expensive to visit?
Any place can be inexpensive or expensive based on your traveling lifestyle and the quality of planning. However, as a rule of thumb, you can expect to spend around $110 per day while vacationing through Pisa.
Past travelers have usually spent around $40 on meals and $10 local transportation.
Staying in Pisa for one week, should cost less than $1000 for two people.
Pro tip: try dining at places that are not right next to tourist attractions. If you plan ahead, you can always save some extra bucks.
Is Pisa a safe city?
Rest assured, Pisa is an incredibly safe city to visit. In fact, it’s so secure that even solo travelers do not run into any safety-related issues. So, feel free to plan your trip fearlessly to this exquisite town.
Trains are also incredibly safe, and people here have a warm, loving, and helpful disposition.
As a word of caution, you would obviously want to exercise some precautions that apply everywhere else in the world. For example, try not to roam around dimly lit streets or neighborhoods.
Sightseeing Pisa on its own will not take you more than a day.
However, based on the number of activities you can plan just outside the city, you might want to reserve 3-4 days in Pisa area, to make the most of your trip in Tuscany.
Do you want to know more?
funny enough, this is the only page on the entire internet where you can read the exact number of steps in the Tower... because we went there and counted them!
find out why Tower was built, along with the other monuments in the Square of miracles.
everything about the recent stabilization works and the people who performed them.
answers to the most asked questions about the Tower.