We finally reached the last day of our trip. After a nice breakfast and a coffee on the seafront in Monterosso, we took the train to Pisa, where our flight was scheduled at 7pm. So we had a full day to spend in this small but oh so touristic city.
Pisa looks to me like a village that suddenly saw thousands of people arriving and tried to keep up with the flow, not always with success. The streets and the city itself got me confused: pretty but not charming, quirky but soulless. I really tried to find some enjoyment out of the nice looking buildings (below are some of the scenes across the city), but nothing made me change my feeling about the city.
One thing you’ll quickly realise while walking in Pisa is the number of churches. You literally can’t walk more than a few minutes between two of them. Here are some:
Piazza dei Miracoli
Ok so now we talk! Let’s be honest, the reason why most people go to Pisa is the well known Square of the Miracles. And I completely understand why… After a disappointing walk around the city, the Piazza dei Miracoli will blow your mind. I was afraid it would be like some other touristic places you expect a lot but turn out to be average… It is not the case! Everywhere you look something will amaze you.
Torre di Pisa – The leaning tower
It is as expected… leaning! It is actually more fun than I was expecting. I caught myself contemplating it for longer than I thought, under different angles.
Cattedrale di Pisa
The Cathedral is breathtaking, from outside and inside. It is worth to spend some time going around and in. If you only want to visit the Cathedral, you can request a free but scheduled ticket (you have to enter at a precise time). If you buy a ticket for one or several other building(s) you can go into the Cathedral whenever you want.
Battistero di San Giovanni
Another incredible piece of architecture is the Baptistery. I could spend a day walking around it and looking at the many sculptures that make the facade. The inside is not as rich and detailed but was interesting to see anyway. Plus you get an amazing view on the front of the Cathedral.
Camposanto – The cloistered cemetery
This was another great discovery. Before going to the Piazza I didn’t even know it was there. It is a rectangular edifice with an interior courtyard, and four hallways filled with sarcophagi and sculptures and frescoes. You also have access to a small museum about the building of the Cathedral.
Mixed feeling for the end of the day
After spending most of the day at the Piazza dei Miracoli we decided to head back to the centre, for some food and a last walk around before going to the airport. We found a pretty cafe called Filter Coffee Lab and sat down for some cold brew, homemade lemonade and bagels. Comfortable, affordable and good!
We then walked around and back to the station to catch the train to the airport. Once there, we were unsure if we wanted to stay in a cafe outside or if we wanted to go through the security control and find a cafe inside. We opted for the inside… Wrong wrong choice! Pisa airport is tiny, the few cafes inside have only a few tables, the people queuing for the gates have to do so through everything (shops, cafes…) as the waiting room is too small, people sit on the ground… It was crowded, hot and smelly, not really a nice way to end the trip! But well, we survived, and it didn’t ruin the memory of the previous days!
Is Pisa worth it? I would say, for a day, as a transit city, yes. The Square of Miracles is to be seen, as there are some architectural masterpieces there. For the city itself, I would be interested to know what other people think about it!
So if you’ve been to Pisa, please tell me how you found it and how you felt it!
Thanks for following this adventure with me. If you haven’t read about the rest of the trip, I invite you to do so! And if you’re thinking about doing the same kind of trip, don’t think anymore and go! You’ll remember it for a long time!