The Tuscan City of Pisa is a bucket list destination for many travelers. Plenty of tourists flock here each year for that perfect picture in front of the iconic, leaning tower. For many, it’s just a brief stop in a European tour before moving on to another beautiful region. It’s a shame because this historical city has plenty more to offer than its famed, architectural blunder.
Once you've marveled at the leaning tower, your next stop should be the Baptistery of St John which is also located in Cathedral Square. Dating back to the 12th century, this masterpiece is the largest Baptistery in Italy – the creation of famed architect, Diotisalvi. You’ll be impressed by the incredible attention to detail, especially the religious sculptures on the outer façade. Once inside, be sure to check out the stunning acoustics. If you’re lucky, one of the guards may sing to demonstrate the beautiful sound effect.
Museo del l’Opera del Duomo
Art fanatics cannot visit this city without heading to this former 12th-century convent. Now the Museum of Duomo Artwork, it’s home to many of the pieces that were once inside the Duomo Cathedral. First opened in 1986, you can enjoy masterpieces from Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, not to mention historic artifacts and statues from the buildings in the Campo Dei Miracoli.
Botanical Gardens of Pisa
The perfect stop for an afternoon stroll. These were the first botanical gardens in Europe, created by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo l de Medici. Although, it has been relocated twice over the years, now you’ll find it at Via Luca Ghini 5 – it’s not too far from the leaning tower. It’s free to enter and you’ll be able to explore, unique plants, fountains, and a botanical museum.
Piazza Dei Cavalieri
During the 16th Century, this Piazza - translated to Knights Square - was once the political hub of Pisa. Many of these buildings were given over to the Nights of the Order of Saint Stephen. It now draws plenty of tourists for its historic charm. Fans of Dante’s Inferno will also enjoy visiting the Torre della Muda, a former tower which featured in The Divine Comedy.
Shopping in Pisa
Borgo Stretto is a street famed for its Italian boutique’s and the perfect stop for any shopaholic. You’re best starting your shopping splurge at the Piazza Garibaldi and be sure to visit Caffe Settimelli – the building where Galileo was born. For tasty delicacies, head to Piazza delle Vettovaglie and you’ll find local cheese, exceptional wine, and cured meats.
There’s so much to see in this vibrant city, we've barely scratched the surface. If you’re planning on booking those Pisa flights, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to visit all the great attractions.