What to see in Pisa in 3 days

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Pisa, a little gem in beautiful Tuscany, known throughout the world for its Leaning Tower. The origins are very ancient, datable to the Villanovan civilization, that is the most ancient phase of the Etruscan civilization.
According to a legend, this city was founded by some Achaean warriors, led by Pelops, after the Trojan War. But this is not the only story about the city: another tells that, between 1004 and 1005, Pisa was saved from an attack by Saracen pirates thanks to Kinzica de 'Sismondi, belonging to the noble family of the Sismodi. According to the tales, this girl recognized the pirates and managed to raise the alarm before they began to destroy and plunder the city.

In any case, legends aside (some of which we will tell you later), this is one of those cities to visit at least once in a lifetime. So if you are planning a trip to this destination make yourself comfortable, it's time to find out what to see in Pisa in 3 days.


  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. How much does a weekend in Pisa cost
  5. User questions and comments

1 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Piazza dei Miracoli, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo and Camposanto

Start this stay in Pisa in most famous place in the city: Piazza dei Miracoli, where the Duomo and the Leaning Tower are located. But before throwing yourself into the visits, you can have breakfast at the Malvaldi Chiosco Bar. Drink a good coffee at one of the outside tables and recharge your batteries for the long day that awaits you. This bar is located just behind the Museum of the Opera del Duomo, starting point of the visit (open at 9: 00-19: 00, € 15,00). This museum, inaugurated in 1986, contains many ecclesiastical works, including many paintings and sculptures. Among the most famous are the Islamic Griffin, which was once located on the roof of the Cathedral and the statues of Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, considered two innovators of the history of Italian art.

After the museum, head to the Monumental Cemetery, a place rich in history. Many important people of Pisa are buried here and, according to history, the Crusaders brought the holy land from Mount Golgotha ​​here (open in winter 10: 00-16: 30 in summer 9: 00-18: 30, € 5,00 , 8,00; you can create combos where the ticket for the Baptistery, the Sinopie Museum and Camposanto costs € ).

2 - Afternoon: Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Baptistery, Tower of Pisa

There are many clubs around Piazza dei Miracoli, for lunch we recommend La Taverna da Emma, ​​a cozy restaurant with typical Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. Here you will find a wide choice of first and second courses and you will spend an average of € 20,00 per person. And it is precisely here that your visit will resume, to the beautiful Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (in winter 10: 00-12: 45/15: 00-17: 00, summer 8: 00-20: 00). It was built on a project by the architect Buscheto in 1064, right in the center of Piazza dei Miracoli. And here comes another legend, that of the "devil's nails on the Duomo", born from the presence of many holes in a piece of marble on the external wall of the Duomo, in the facade that overlooks the Camposanto. According to this legend, the devil was so jealous of the beauty of the square that he tried to destroy it, but an angel managed to stop him. The only damage it managed to cause are precisely the holes in the wall.

In front of the Duomo is the Baptistery, the largest in Italy, built in 1153 (for info on prices and timetables).

Finally, it's time to visit the symbol of the city, The Pisa's tower. Built in 1173, it started to slope right away and today the slope is about 4 meters. Also in this case there is a story, that of the "traitor's bell". On the tower, in the belfry, there are 7 bells, one of these is the bell of San Ranieri, also called the bell of the traitor, as, in the Middle Ages, it was always made to ring to warn that a little later a execution for treason. Admission costs € 18,00 and is allowed from March to October from Monday to Sunday from 9:00 to 19:00 and from November to February from Monday to Sunday from 9:30 to 17:00. From 14 June to 15 September, night visits can also be made from 20:30 to 23:00.

3 - Evening: Dinner, historic center

Not far from the Tower, you will find the Ristorante Pizzeria Duomo, a place with an excellent position where you can choose between the square and traditional Tuscan dishes, both land and sea, such as tagliolini with truffles, risotto, Florentine steak or cut meat. As for prices, you will spend an average of € 15,00 per person.
After dinner, we advise you to take a nice walk through the historic center all lit up, perhaps eating an ice cream. Or you can opt for a drink in one of the many cafes.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 2,2 km / 27 min
  • Places visited: Piazza dei Miracoli (free), Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (full € 15,00 - reduced € 3,50), Camposanto (€ 5,00), Pisa Cathedral (free), Baptistery (€ 5,00) , Tower of Pisa (€ 18,00), historic center
  • Pisa Cathedral and Leaning Tower: Pisa Reserved Ticket: Duomo Tour and Optional leaning tower tickets Pisa and Leaning Tower Tour from Florence
  • Breakfast at Malvaldi Chiosco Bar (Get directions), Lunch at La Taverna di Emma (Get directions), Dinner at Ristorante Pizzeria Duomo (Get directions)

2 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, National Museum of the Royal Palace, Borgo Stretto, Church of San Michele in Borgo

Start the second day with a good breakfast at La Fortezza Caffè Pasticceria, where you will find a wide range of pastry products, just a 3-minute walk from the first attraction of the day.
The tour starts from National Museum of the Royal Palace. The building was built in 1159, but was then rebuilt at the behest of Cosimo I de 'Medici, between 1593 and 1587, when the property passed to the Medici family. On its sides are the Church of San Nicola and the thirteenth-century Casa delle Vedove. Since 1989 it has become the National Museum and inside it collects the works from the collections of all the families who owned the Palace. Among the various works, there are also those of great artists such as Raphael, Canova and Guido Reni (open approximately at 9: 00-14: 00, closed on Tuesdays, Sundays, € 5,00, reduced € 2,00. It is possible to buy the cumulative ticket with the National Museum of San Matteo, € 8,00).

Once the visit is over, continue along Lungarno Antonio Pacinotti and you will arrive in Piazza Garibaldi, where it begins Borgo Stretto, one of the oldest districts of Pisa. Full of arcades and palaces dating back to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, it is one of the most popular and well-known areas. Here you will find the Church of San Michele in Borgo, built between the th and th centuries on the remains of a Roman temple. The characteristic feature is the facade, with a Pisan Romanesque style but with Gothic influences.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Borgo Stretto, Piazza dei Cavalieri, Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri

A Borgo Stretto is full of restaurants where you can stop for a lunch break. A good choice is the Sant'Omobono trattoria, in the Omobono square. Here you can try typical Tuscan dishes, such as brachette alla renaiola, seasonal soups, tripe alla pisana or pan-fried rabbit with olives. You will spend an average of € 15,00 per person and you will be fully satisfied!
Once lunch is over, finish walking around Borgo Stretto and, following via Ulisse Dini, you will arrive in Piazza dei Cavalieri, one of the most important squares in the city. It was designed by Giorgio Vasari and its name derives from the headquarters of the Order of the Knights of Santo Stefano wanted by Cosimo I de 'Medici. Many historic buildings overlook the square such as Palazzo Caranova and the Clock Tower. There is also a story behind this tower, this time linked to Count Ugolino and Dante Alighieri. In the Divine Comedy, Dante meets Count Ugolino della Gherardesca in hell, in the circle of traitors to the homeland.
According to the legend, during the civil war between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, the Count benne locked up in the tower together with his family, who died of hunger and thirst and, according to the legend, once dead Ugolino fed himself with the meat of their bodies. Hence the second name that this tower takes, "Tower of hunger".

Behind the square you can find the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, Catholic church dedicated to Santo Stefano Pope and Martyr. It was also built by Giorgio Vasari at the behest of Cosimo I de 'Medici, who laid the first stone in 1565. Inside there are several works of art, many of which tell the life and works of Santo Stefano.

3 - Evening: Dinner, historic center

It is now dinner time and we recommend that you dine at the Osteria dei Cavalieri, whose entrance hall is the base of a tower house from the 1200s. Here you will find both meat and fish specialties and a wide range of wines including to choose. As for prices, you will spend about € 25,00 per person. We advise you to book, as the place is well known and appreciated.
After dinner, you will find yourself just 100 meters from Piazza dei Cavalieri. We advise you to take a nice tour of the area and discover the nocturnal charm of the city. Via Guglielmo Oberdan is full of cafes with outdoor tables and ice cream parlors, sit back and let yourself be carried away by the beauty of the street.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 1,4 km / 18 min
  • Places visited: National Museum of the Royal Palace (full € 5,00 - reduced € 2,00), Borgo Stretto, Church of San Michele in Borgo (free), Piazza dei Cavalieri, Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri (free)
  • Pisa: 3-hour private city center tour Pisa: 2-hour walking tour
  • Breakfast at La Fortezza Caffè Pasticceria (Get directions), Lunch at Trattoria Sant'Omobono (Get directions), Dinner at Osteria dei Cavalieri (Get directions)

3 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Keith Haring's Tuttomondo, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, Church of Santa Maria della Spina, Palazzo Blu

Last day in Pisa, this time on the opposite bank of the Arno. Start the day with a good breakfast in a slightly different place, the Keith Art Shop Cafe. This venue is located right in front of one of the most popular attractions in the city, the Tuttomondo by Keith Haring. This huge mural, drawn on the facade of the friars' convent of the Church of St. Anthony and built in just one week, was one of Keith Haring's last works, before his death. On the wall are represented 30 stylized people, of different colors, which fit together and intertwine each other, carrying as a message that of peace. The huge painting is located a few meters from Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, square dedicated to the first king of Italy, whose huge statue, dated 1890, is located in the central flowerbed. This place is overlooked by the important neo-Gothic style buildings built at the beginning of the 900th century: the Palazzo delle Poste and the Palazzo della Provincia.

Going up via Sant'Antonio, you will reach the bank of the Arno, where the Church of Santa Maria della Spina, a small Gothic style church, built in the 200th century. First called Santa Maria del Ponte Novo, it took the name Della Spina in 1333, when the Relic of the Thorn of the Crown of Christ was given as a donation to the oratory that ran it (today preserved in the Church of Santa Chiara).

Just a three minute walk away is the Palazzo Blu, home to the permanent collection of Italian art and temporary exhibitions of various themes. The palace dates back to the 10th century, when Pisa was one of the most powerful Maritime Republics. The permanent exhibition presents works that have a close link with Pisa and its territory (for example author, client, theme). They are exhibited on two different floors of the building and are all owned by the Pisa Foundation (open from 00am to 19pm, € 00, reduced € 3,00).

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Pisa Graphics Museum

When it's time for lunch, the alleys behind the Palazzo Blu are full of bars and restaurantsthe. We recommend Pane e Vino, a cozy restaurant with tables outside overlooking the small piazza Chiara Gambacorti. Here you can taste traditional Italian and Mediterranean dishes. For the first courses they use fresh homemade pasta, while for the second you can find different types of meat. On average a lunch here will cost you € 20,00 per person.

For the afternoon, we recommend that you visit the Graphic Museum of Pisa. The Museum is housed in the Palazzo Lanfranchi, which takes its name from the family that lived there since 1538, the Lanfranchi, a family belonging to the first Pisan consular aristocracy. It is worth a visit if only for the internal beauty of the building. The museum exhibits the university collections of the Department of Drawings and Prints of the Department of History of the Arts and many works from donations from various artists (9: 00- 20:00, € 9,00, reduced € 7,00) Once the visit is over, take the Lungoarno course up to the Ponte di Mezzo and you will find yourself again in Piazza Garibaldi, at the beginning of Borgo Stretto.

3 - Evening: Dinner, Baribaldi Pisa in Piazza Garibaldi

For dinner, we recommend going to La Ghiotteria, in vicolo delle Donzelle. In this restaurant you will find a wide choice of first and second courses. We advise you to book as it is not very big and very often it is really full, it is difficult to find a place. On average you will spend about € 15,00 per person.
Last night in Pisa, we advise you to enjoy it to the fullest, perhaps drinking one of the fantastic cocktails of the Baribaldi Pisa restaurant, with outdoor tables overlooking the beautiful Piazza Garibaldi (20: 00-2: 00), here you will find really many cocktails and beers.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 2,3 km / 28 min
  • Places visited: Tuttomondo by Keith Haring (free), Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, Church of Santa Maria della Spina (free), Palazzo Blu (full € 3,00 - reduced € 2,00), Museo della Grafica of Pisa (full € 9,00, 7,00 - reduced € )
  • Pisa: 3-hour private city center tour
  • Breakfast at Keith Art Shop Cafè (Get directions), Lunch at Pane e Vino (Get directions), Dinner at La Ghiotteria (Get directions)

How much does a weekend in Pisa cost

As for costs, Pisa is in line with all Italian cities of art. You will find both very expensive clubs, especially if located in the most touristic areas, and more down-to-earth trattorias and inns, you just need to know how to look. Let's see now how much a weekend in the city will cost you:

  • Costs to eat: about € 40,00 per day per person (including breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Costs for museums and attractions: about € 57,00 per person following the itinerary we suggest
  • Transportation: about € 15,00 per person
  • Hotels, accommodation and b & b: from € 60,00 per room -
  • Fun: from € 20,00 per person (including snacks, coffee, aperitifs, drinks, ...)
  • Total cost of a weekend in Pisa: from € 300,00 per person

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Pisa: can be visited all year round. Excellent temperatures in the spring and autumn months, quite mild sometimes with some rain - find out more
  • Galileo Galilei airport (flights from € 40,00), 1 km away connected with the Pisa Mover, a funicular service, directly to Pisa Centrale railway station, € 2,70; by taxi, which in 5 minutes, about € 9,00
  • the historic center is beautiful, between the station and Piazza dei Miracoli, but the prices are slightly higher. A good solution would be to stay near the airport, well connected by the Pisa Mover train. Here you will find many hotels and b & bs at cheaper prices.
    Hotel and b & b starting from € 50,00 per room -
  • Getting around: perfect for getting around on foot. Furthermore, all the main attractions are located within the historic center. An alternative could be the bicycle. The city has a bike sharing service, called Ciclope, made up of 14 different stations. Just get your electronic card and you can use the bikes at any time. The prices are as follows: for a single ride the first 30 minutes is free, then € 0,90 - € 1,50 - € 2,00 for the following half-hours; daily subscription from € 5,00 weekly from € 10,00.
    The bus network is also very well organized and will allow you to reach even the most distant points from the historic center. The lines most used by tourists, as they pass through the areas with the major attractions, are the green LAM and the red LAM. We advise you to request the Mobile Card to take advantage of some discounts on tickets: a single journey costs € 1,40 (€ 1,10 with the Mobile Card); the daily pass € 3,70; the 5 ticket booklet € 5,00 and the € 109,00 booklet - find out more

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