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Cinque Terre l Italy

Tuscany Italy l Pisa and surroundings

We booked a holiday to the sunny last minute Pisa, located in the beautiful region Tuscany in Italy. A city known for its world-famous Leaning Tower and rich history. The historic center of the city is a maze of narrow streets, cobbled squares and beautiful medieval buildings. The river Arno flows quietly through the city and offers a picturesque backdrop for romantic walks. However, I would not recommend the city itself as a holiday destination… The surroundings of Pisa, on the other hand, do! In this blog you can read why and I give you the best tips for activities in the area.

The tower of Pisa

On day 1 we visited the tower of Pisa. Beautiful to see! In addition to the famous Tower of Pisa, there are some other remarkable buildings on it Square of Miracles (Square of Miracles). These buildings together form a unique view. But after a day you have seen these buildings. The city as a whole is not that special compared to other historical cities in Italy like Rome of Venice.

Tower of Pisa | Tuscany Italy
Tower of Pisa | Tuscany Italy

River Arno

In addition to these special buildings, the Arno river is a well-known attraction in Pisa. The river Arno originates in the Apennines and flows on Tuscany, including the city of Pisa. It traverses the city and divides it into two parts, making it a prominent feature of the cityscape. The Arno is a fairly wide river and is bordered by beautiful banks and characteristic bridges.

One of the most famous bridges over the Arno in Pisa is the Middle Bridge, which is the center of the city with the district Tramontana connects. This bridge offers a beautiful view of the river and surrounding buildings.

Conclusion: Pisa is nice for a day or two. After that you have seen the highlights (the square of miracles and the river Arno) and you will have to look for fun in surrounding cities. There is no vibrant city life in Pisa and there are relatively few terraces and restaurants. In that respect, Pisa is a relatively quiet city, except for the tourists at the leaning tower. Fortunately, Pisa is an ideal gateway to other beautiful cities and towns due to its central location!

River Arzo l Pisa
River Arzo l Pisa
The buildings in Pisa | Tuscany Italy
The buildings in Pisa | Tuscany Italy


The Pisa area

1. Florence

The romantic Florence (locate here)! The ambience is medieval and romantic. What a beautiful place to walk around. Everywhere you look you see beautiful buildings and graceful streets. It breathes culture in this city. It is the capital of Tuscany and gives a good idea of ​​how charming Italiaanse cities can be.

Firenze | Tuscany Italy
Firenze | Tuscany Italy

Walk past the Italian Seine, Old Bridge and visit the beautiful Boboli Gardens (palace gardens). The city is alive and attracting tourists. You will therefore find many cozy terraces and cafes. You don't have to get bored here. It is recommended for a nice city trip. The capital of Tuscany is easily reached from Pisa. You are 1 hour and 24 minutes away by train.

Firenze | Tuscany Italy
Firenze | Tuscany Italy
Botanical Garden l Florence
Botanical Garden l Florence


2. Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is in a spectacular coastal area Liguria Italy, which consists of five picturesque villages. The area is characterized by colorful houses built against the rocky cliffs, with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. Cinque Terre is a unique destination that attracts nature lovers, hikers and lovers of traditional Italian villages.

The Cinque Terre stands for 'the five villages' and is a great day trip! Cinque Terre has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1997, so you can say that it is a unique place. The five beautiful villages are located right on the sea and color the coastline in romantic colors. The nice thing is; you buy a train ticket and travel through all five villages within a day.

Cinque Terre l Italy
Cinque Terre l Italy

The trains run every 10 minutes and are a short distance from each other. You drive to the next village within fifteen minutes each time and this makes it an easy day trip. At the starting point (station: La Spezia en Levanto) of the trip you buy a day ticket for the train and 10 minutes later the adventure starts in the first village, Riomaggiore. From Pisa you are in an hour at the starting point (location here) to the Cinque Terre. This makes Pisa a more enjoyable holiday destination!

Cinque Terre | Tuscany Italy
Cinque Terre | Tuscany Italy

Also read: Unforgettable roadtrip by Tuscany | are you traveling with me?

3. Lucca

Wealth is what this city exudes. It is one of the richest cities in Northern Italy and that is certainly reflected in the state in which the city is. Despite Lucca (Location here) is not as big as the city of Florence, it is well worth a visit. Lucca has a charming atmosphere, which you can feel in the picturesque streets all over the city. You can still recall the former Roman settlement through the history you encounter.

The center of Lucca | Tuscany Italy
The center of Lucca | Tuscany Italy
Lucca | Tuscany Italy
Lucca | Tuscany Italy

We felt like the protagonists in an ancient movie! This is also a nice city for a day trip. We rented a tandem and went cycling around. No plan, no goal, just see what beautiful things you can find in this city. There is so much to see! Lucca is really such a city that surprises you and is beyond expectations, because the pictures on the internet do not give a good reflection of reality. From Pisa you travel 33 minutes by train to Lucca.

Cycling in Lucca
Cycling in Lucca

4. Rent a scooter and drive along the Tuscan coast

A real Italian Vespa scooter could not be missing from our holiday. We rented this beautiful red scooter in Pisa and from there we went cruising. The Vespa drove 100 kilometers per hour and you don't need a motorcycle license for it. That wind was very nice during our holiday week with a quiet 40 degrees sun!

Rent a Vespa l Pisa
Rent a Vespa l Pisa

We have the city Siena skipped because we ran out of time, but this one is supposed to be brilliant. And I think it's definitely worth visiting this city if you have the chance, because I've heard good stories about it. We ourselves went to the White Beaches (white beaches) and I have no regrets. The most beautiful beach we have seen is Rosignano Marittmo (Location here). Clear blue water and white sand… What more could you want!?

Tuscan coast | Tuscany Italy
Tuscan coast | Tuscany Italy
Tuscan coast | Tuscany Italy
Tuscan coast | Tuscany Italy

5.Livorno

A day is also nice Livorno. Although you probably haven't heard of this town before, it is still the largest coastal town in Tuscany. And to be honest, Livorno is not nearly as special as the above places and cities. If you have a short holiday in Tuscany I would skip Livorno, but if you have more time then it is nice to discover it.

Livorno l Tuscany
Livorno l Tuscany

It is a city full of water and boats. The Italian atmosphere is expressed in countless delicious restaurants on the harbor. The Venetian Quarter, or Venice Nuova in Italian, is a special neighborhood in Livorno. The neighborhood reminds you somewhat of (the less beautiful) Venice. You can visit an old ford and there is a nice tiled terrace along the water.

Livorno port city l Tuscany
Livorno port city l Tuscany


Conclusion

In Pisa itself it is difficult to entertain yourself for a whole week. You can easily visit all kinds of nice cities, beaches and villages from the city. However, I would recommend staying in one of the above cities instead of Pisa, because there is just a little more to see here. Nice terraces and restaurants make a holiday destination a lot livelier. The cities are also more elegant, more beautiful and you can taste the Italian charm a little better than in the city of the leaning tower. Still, Pisa is nice for a day trip.

In any case it is Tuscany awesome. There is so much to see and admire. Full of beautiful places and beautiful nature. I'm curious about your experience!

Ilse

Hi! I'm Ilse, 23 years old. Since a backpacking trip through Scandinavia, my love for travel has grown and so has my bucket list! I fell in love with Norway and have since returned to the beautiful country twice. I have already seen many places in Europe. In September and October I will travel to Indonesia and Thailand, and in March next year I will explore Central America.

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