Go to Pisa

Tuscany: Discover Pisa and the Surrounding Area

Bridge over river

Pisa’ isn’t just the name of a Europe-wide educational study and a city with a tower that can’t quite stand up straight. The surrounding area is dotted with magical spots that you should make a point of exploring on a day trip. Florence, Cinque Terre, or Lucca – let us introduce you to the most charming towns that Tuscany has to offer – none of them very far away.

Cathedral from outside
Cathedral from inside

Great Minds and Paintings

Leonardo da Vinci, Galilei, Michelangelo – they all enriched Florence, and at just 90 kilometres from Pisa, it’s a short distance to travel. During the Medici rule, the town developed into the preferred location for genius and paintings. If you have just a single day to spend at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, what are the things you shouldn’t miss? For sure the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia di Belle Arti that houses Michelangelo’s ‘David’, the Ponte Vecchio with its picturesque jewellery shops, the Palazzo Pizzi with the Boboli Gardens... and, of course, the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore! The third largest church in the world towers over every other building in the city, not only because of its sheer volume, but also its beauty. A particular eye-catcher: the fresco painting high up in the dome of the cathedral.

Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore

Cinque Terre
Woman hiking

A Special National Park

Just under two hours from Pisa and right on the rugged Riviera, this little village, whose houses look as if they’ve been carved into the rock, slumbers away. What sets the houses apart from the stony grey, though, are their red, pink, and orange walls. This little village, with turquoise waters, vineyards, and rocking fishing boats at its feet, is called Manarola, and it’s within the Cinque Terre national park. A number of such colourful rocky settlements can be found along the coast and they are all interconnected by hiking trails. The final stop is at Riomaggiore – the perfect place to enjoy a Spaghetti Scampi as you look out over the sea!

Cinque Terre

Wine bottles

Surrounded by Wine and Olives

No matter what angle you look at Tuscany from, the landscape never fails to look like a painting: one rolling hill after another, interspersed with vineyards, olive trees, and the occasional pale stone house. The region isn’t just worth visiting so you can enjoy these sights, but also for the flavours you can find here: famous for its delicious wine, Chianti is just an hour from Pisa. ‘Castellare di Castellina’ winery is the place to visit the most traditional wine cellar: dim lighting, stone walls, and metre-long rows of wooden barrels. To top it off, enjoy a glass of ‘Chianti Classico Riserva’ – ah, what a way to spend a day! If you’re in need of a place to stay, the ‘Villa delle Upupe’ offers accommodation. Spend a night here and return to Pisa refreshed the following day.

Castellare di Castellina

Tower of Lucca
Alley in the city of Lucca

Trees Growing from Towers

Lucca is a city that can quite easily rival Florence: it is the home of famous composers like Puccini and its narrow cobbled alleyways embody that special Italian charm. But wait! What’s that? You may notice a strange brick tower as you stroll through the historic centre. Aren’t those oak trees growing out of the top where you might otherwise spot a golden dome? Yes! And it’s intentional. The Torre Guinigi is one of the town’s few remaining towers. It symbolises rebirth and is the last of its kind in Lucca. It’s worth climbing the 230 steps to the top to enjoy the view of the town centre and the surrounding hilly area.

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