Excursions from Pisa: the best day trips around Pisa

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Tuscany is the land favored by the most famous italian poets, artists, historians, writers in the world but above all it has become known for preserving, until today, unique jewels that have remained almost unharmed over time. Pisa is one of the cities that boasts a culturally rich history, perfect as a base if you want to discover the beauties that are located a few kilometers from it!
Here the best day trips around Pisa.


  1. Viareggio
  2. Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli Natural Park
  3. Firenze
  4. Arezzo
  5. Lucca
  6. Siena
  7. Livorno
  8. Montecatini Terme
  9. San Miniato
  10. Cinque Terre
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Viareggio

It is famous all over the world for its Carnival celebrations, but few know that many architectural treasures are kept inside. Among the many: the church of Sant'Andrea, the church of San Paolino which was built in 1896, the Margherita Walk that runs along the Tyrrhenian Sea. The absolute symbol of the city is the Matilde tower, formerly a place of sighting and control over what was the only outlet for the ancient state of Lucca.

This city with its emblematic elements of the liberty style, it is very reminiscent of a city of the 20s and this and other aspects have made it a place suitable for everyone and for all tastes. The villa Argentina, for example, is a nineteenth-century building known as a high example of modernism in Tuscany. Also not to be missed is the Gran Caffè Margherita, the place where the famous Giacomo Puccini loved to go daily after he bought a house facing the sea.

  • Range: 21,7 km
  • it is about 30 minutes by car via SS1 via Aurelia and the cost will be about € 6,00. By train it will take 15 minutes, the IC518 train towards Ventimiglia with a stop in Viareggio, the stretch will cost no less than € 5,00 - Get directions
  • Sant'Andrea church liturgical celebrations: 7: 30/10: 00/11: 30/18: 30. Church of San Paolino liturgical celebrations: at 18:00, Sunday 8: 00/11: 00/18: 00. Torre Matilde opens only on the occasion of organized events. Villa argentina Tuesday - Saturday at 10: 00-13: 00/15: 00-19: 00
  • free access to the church of Sant'Andrea, the church of San Paolino, the Matilda tower and the Argentine villa
  • Viareggio or Forte dei Marmi: Transfer from Florence

2 - Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli Natural Park

Located a few kilometers away, this park was born on the territory that was once a ' ancient brackish lagoon, in a densely populated and busy area like that of Western Tuscany. Today it is a real oasis of nature. This park collects well 16 nature reserves and 4 Natura 2000 sites and the institution has provided, with the aim of improving the visit in the long term, to create itineraries with runners, wooden slides and structures suitable also for those with sensory and motor disabilities.

The marshes, Lake Massaciuccoli and several estates stand out, the most important of which is that of San Rossore: it is between the Arno river to the south and the Serchio to the north and is made up of dense woods and original forests rich in fauna and flora.

  • Range: 5,1 km
  • it is 5,1 km away - 10 min by car via Viale delle Cascine. The entrance is allowed from the historic entrance of Ponte alle Trombe. With bus n. 6 (v.le Gramsci-Barbaricina), get off at the viale delle Cascine stop and then continue on foot for about 3 km to the entrance of the Tenuta di San Rossore, about 10 minutes, € 3,00 - Get directions
  • open from 08:00 to 19:30
  • free

3 - Florence

It is one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in Italy, cradle of the Renaissance, art and architecture. The works kept in the Uffizi (where the famous Venus of Botticelli is kept) or inside the Gallery of the Academy of Florence (site where you will find Michelangelo's David) are of fundamental importance and have contributed to forging the history of humanity.

Absolutely not to be missed Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore built in the th century and whose dome was designed by Brunelleschi, while the Gothic bell tower alongside was designed by Giotto. In front of these is the octagonal building of Baptistery of San Giovanni.

The city is so beautiful that the entire historic center is registered on the Unesco world heritage list since 1982. The city was built on the Arno river, with its long canals making it a magical, almost surreal place. From Piazzale Michelangelo, the highest point of the city, you can admire its extraordinary beauty, enjoying the panorama.

  • Range: 78,2 km
  • it is about 1 hour and 20 minutes by car via SGC Florence - Pisa - Livorno and A1 / E35, by train it will take 2 hours and 20 minutes to get off at Santa Maria Novella, so the ticket price will be about € 8,00 - Get directions
  • uffizi open from Tuesday to Sunday 08: 15-18: 50; Galleria dell'Accademia open from Tuesday to Sunday 08: 15-18: 50; basilica 10: 00-17: 00 - baptistery 08: 15-10: 15/11: 15-19: 30
  • uffizi € 20,00, reduced € 2,00; academy € 8,00, from 18 to 25 years € 4,00; single ticket: € 18 (the cathedral, the dome, the crypt, the baptistery, the bell tower and the Museo dell'Opera del duomo). Children between 6 and 11 years € 3, children up to 6 years free
  • Florence: walking tour in the historic center

4 - Arezzo

This city offers unique atmospheres between the undisputed excellence of art and gastronomic products unique in the world. Right here it is possible to see some of the most important artistic and architectural works by Giorgio Vasari and Piero Della Francesca. They include the frescoes contained inside the basilica of San Francesco, the loggia of Piazza Grande, cathedral of San Donato whose first stones were laid in the year 1278 and finished only in 1500, the Vasari's house museum inside which there are the writings that the artist himself kept with Michelangelo, Cosimo I de Medici and Pio V.

The Antiques Fair is held on Saturday and Sunday of each month, while in June and September Piazza Grande turns into an ancient medieval place for the Giostra del Saracino (the penultimate Saturday of June at night and the first Sunday in September during the day).

  • Range: 148 km
  • it is about 2 hours and 30 minutes by car via SGC Firenze-Pisa-Livorno and A1 / E35, by train it will take 2 hours and 20 minutes to get off at S. Maria Novella, then take the FL1RV 2309 bus towards Roma Termini getting off at Arezzo, € 15,00 - Get directions
  • basilica of San Francesco: daylight saving time 9: 00-19: 00, Saturday 9: 00-18: 00, Sunday: 13: 00-18: 00; Standard time: 9: 00-18: 00, Saturday 9: 00-17: 30, Sunday 13: 00-17: 30. Cathedral of San Donato every day 07: 00-12: 30/15: 00-18: 30
  • Basilica of San Francesco full price € 8,00 (€ 6,00 + € 2,00 booking fee)
    reduced € 4,00 (€ 2,00 + € 2,00 booking fee), San Donato cathedral free admission
  • Arezzo: market tour, cooking demonstration and dinner

5 - Lucca

The city rises along the Serchio river, is known for its walls about 4 kilometers long: it was built between 1400 and 1600 and has remained intact. To enter the walls, and therefore of the city, there are Porta Santa Maria, Porta San Jacopo alla Tomba, Porta San Pietro, Porta Sant'Anna, Porta Elisa and Porta San Donato.

The historic center is a real jewel with Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, the work of the architect Nottolini, full of bars and shops. At 500 meters there is piazza San Michele, favorite meeting place of Lucca, where it is located Praetorian Palace. The Guinigi tower it dominates the whole city with its red color, particularly its hanging garden where there are seven holm oak trees.
Inside the Cathedral of San Martino there are works such as the paintings by Ghirlandaio and Tintoretto, the crucifix of the Volto Sento and the funeral monument to Ilaria del Carretto by Jacopo della Quercia.

Every year, the first days of November, the city is filled with fans of games and comics as it hosts the Lucca Comics & Games.

  • Range: 20,4 km
  • it is about 30 minutes by car via SS12 radd and Via Statale 12, by train it will take about 25 minutes with the REG6745 to Lucca, this route will cost you about € 4,00 - Get directions
  • Palazzo Pretorio open for festivals and events, Guinigi tower approximately from 9:30 to 16:00. Cathedral of San Martino consult the official website
  • Guinigi Tower € 5,00, reduced € 4,00. The ticket including the cathedral-bell tower-museum-baptistery-church of Santi Giovanni-reparata (archaeological area and bell tower) is € 9,00, reduced € 6,00
  • Lucca: Self-Guided Bike Tour

6 - Siena

It is world famous for its long historical-artistic tradition and above all for that linked to the famous Palio, which takes place every year on July 2 and August 16 in the heart of this city: Piazza del Campo. The square is characterized by a shell shape and with terracotta flooring. Here are the Palazzo Comunale and the Torre del Mangia, the latter is 87 meters high (400 steps) and offers a spectacular view over the city.

The wonderful Piazza del Duomo it frames the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, an important structure built in the Italian Romanesque-Gothic style; then there is the crypt located under the cathedral where there are the frescoes of the Sienese school of the thirteenth century with scenes from the Old and the New Testament, finally the Piccolomini library with the majestic frescoes by Pinturicchio.

  • Range: 105 km
  • it is about 2 hours by car via SGC Firenze-Pisa-Livorno, with the train to Santa Maria Novella, stopover in Empoli then take the REG11745 to Siena (1 hour and 25 minutes, € 10,00) - Get directions
  • Town Hall: 10: 00-18: 00. Torre del Mangia: 10: 00-19: 00. Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta: 10: 30-17: 00. Santa Maria della Scala complex 10: 00-19: 00, except on Thursday when it remains open until 22:00
  • Town Hall € 7,00, children under 18 € 4,00. Torre del Mangia € 10,00, free for children under 11. Duomo consult the official website. Santa Maria della Scala complex € 9,00, reduced € 7,00, schools € 5,00
  • Siena: 2-hour walking tour and fast track entry to the Duomo

7 - Livorno

This city still retains the charm that was given to it by the Medici family: there is for example the pentagon-shaped walls surrounded by navigable ditches, the red fortifications, the cathedral, located in Piazza Grande and finally the Via Grande which is full of arcades.

A long tour is recommended the famous Medici ditches, a path that will lead you to discover the most beautiful places and characteristic of this pretty city such as Piazza della Repubblica, the Fosso Reale and the beautiful district of the Ovo Sodo.

Its position makes the city a strategic port, the coast overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea offers very beautiful beaches, better known as the Etruscan coast since they inhabited these lands from 800 BC.

  • Range: 22,6 km
  • it is about 30 minutes by car via SS1 Via Aurelia, by public transport it will take about 15 minutes with the direct train RV3107 getting off at Livorno Centrale, this route will cost you about € 5,00 - Get directions
  • cathedral open every day 9: 00-12: 00 and 16: 00-19: 00
  • the visit to the cathedral is free
  • Livorno: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Ticket 24 hours a day

8 - Montecatini Terme

It is one of the most famous towns in Tuscany, especially for its famous thermal park. Here several springs are concentrated that give the name to the thermal waters: Acqua Regina, indicated for the restoration of bile flow, Acqua Leopoldina which is one of the most famous mainly due to its purifying function for the intestine and gastrointestinal system, Acqua Tettuccio, with the beautiful Tettuccio Establishment annexed, for the purification of the liver and Refreshing Water which promotes diuresis.

But the city is also famous for its pretty historic center known as Montecatini Alto, full of churches including that of Santa Margherita, that of San Paolo Apostolo, that of Santa Maria a Ripa with adjoining convent, but also of palaces and fortresses including for example Rocca del Castello Vecchio.

  • Range: 46 km
  • it is about 40 minutes by car via A11 / E76. By train in about 1 hour and 20 minutes, take the REG 6843 towards Lucca, from here the REG 3083 towards Florence S. Maria Novella stops in Montecatini (route cost € 7,00) - Get directions
  • Terme Tettuccio: hydroponic treatment 8: 00-12: 00 and 16: 00-19: 00, for visits from 11: 00-19: 00. Terme Excelsior 10: 00-19: 00 and Sunday 9: 00-13: 00. Terme Redi, excluding Sundays, 7: 30-12.30 and 15: 00-19: 00. Rocca del Castello Vecchio open Saturday and Sunday from 15:00 pm to 20:00 pm
  • as for the entrance costs to the spas, they vary in relation to the specific treatments. For more info consult the official website. Entrance to the Rocca del Castello Vecchio is free
  • Montecatini Terme: cooking class in a Tuscan villa

9 - San Miniato

Famous for its white truffles, this is a pretty town that is born along the Arno river valley and is distinguished from afar thanks to its tower. Do not miss the Piazza del Duomo where there is the beautiful Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and San Genesio, a structure in which the Romanesque façade contrasts with the interiors of the neo-Renaissance architectural style.
Also beautiful Seminary square which appears as a sort of Vasari corridor and then the Tower of Matilde di Canossa, the Tower of Frederick II, located on the top of the Rocca, from which it is possible to see Florence, Pistoia, Volterra and even the sea. This tower was built around 1220 at the behest of Frederick II of Swabia, it was unfortunately destroyed during the Second World War and then rebuilt almost faithfully in 1956.

But in the "city of good living" there is also the sanctuary of the Holy Crucifix, the latter, according to a legend, was found inside a box that two travelers left to a poor woman who lived under the fortress, believing therefore that it had been donated by two angels as pilgrims.

  • Range: 42,3 km
  • It is about 30 minutes by car via SS1 Via Aurelia, by public transport it will take about 15 minutes with the direct train RV3107 getting off at Livorno Centrale, this route will cost you about € 5,00 -
  • Duomo Monday-Saturday 8: 00-18: 00. Torre di Matilde di Canossa from 1st April to 30th September Monday-Friday 11: 00-14: 00; Saturday and Sunday 11: 00-14: 00-15: 00-18: 00. From 1 October to 31 March, Saturday 10: 00-13: 00/14: 00-17: 00, Sunday 14: 00-17: 00. For the SS.mo Crocifisso, contact the tourist information office: ufficio.turismo@sanminiatopromo.it
  • Tower of Matilde di Canossa € 3,00, reduced € 2,00

10 - Cinque Terre

A real corner of paradise this Ligurian area, where the protagonists are 5 beautiful villages. It was declared a Unesco heritage site in 1997 and consists of countless paths, the most hidden lanes of small villages, the most unlikely glimpses of the sea, all enriched by a unique and inimitable culinary tradition. Monterosso it is characterized by medieval churches and bathing establishments. Corniglia, a village a little further from the sea, famous for Vernaccia; Vernazza it has a characteristic pier with its small beach full of colorful boats. Manarola it is world famous for its houses of various shapes and colors and for its balconies from which you can admire spectacular panoramic views of the Ligurian Sea. Finally Riomaggiore it boasts the famous Via dell'Amore, the Castle of Cerricò, the Church of San Giovanni Battista and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Montenero.

The villages are also connected by the Blue Trail, 12 km long, which can be covered on foot by purchasing the Cinque Terre Trekking Card at the access points to the path.

  • Range: 103 km
  • How to arrive by train: first reach La Spezia (1 hour with Trenitalia from Pisa, € 7,90) then take the Cinque Terre Express train, which reaches the villages and moves within them (€ 4,00 each ride, for save by purchasing the Cinque Terre Card).
  • How to get there by car: we recommend that you reach Riomaggiore (Get directions), the nearest village to Pisa, 77,4 km away (1 hour 24). From there you can move to other villages by car or by train. Vernazza and Corniglia are the two most difficult villages to reach by car because the road that connects them is very narrow and winding. If you are making a passing visit we do not recommend going to these two countries by car.
  • Castello di Cerricò you have to wait for exhibitions, concerts or events to be able to visit it. Church of San Giovanni Battista 18.00, in summer also at 11:30 and 21:00. Sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Montenero can only be visited externally
  • access to the Castle of Cerricò is free
  • Cinque Terre: sunset boat tour From Pisa: Cinque Terre small group tour

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