Everyone knows about Pisa, don’t they? At least everyone knows of the leaning tower of Pisa, right? Well, when in Italy, it’s quite easy to visit the very small town of Pisa especially if you already have plans to visit such places as Firenze or Cinqueterre which are close by.
Pisa is famous for a couple of things including the leaning tower and the famous explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
The town itself is split by a narrow river and you can walk from one end to the other in about 15 minutes. The tower is at the far end of town away from the train station and is reached by walking through the narrow streets until you reach the grassed field in front of the tower.
When you arrive at the tower, you immediately see something quite odd. Hundreds of people holding their hands up posing for photos where it looks like they’re holding up the tower. Although we thought it was a ridiculous thing to do, we also thought that we had to do it too. So touristy, yet something you show your friends and have a laugh about because it is just so silly.
It is possible to climb the tower, but it is extremely expensive — 18€!!! Perhaps the most boring thing you can do with the tower is climb it because once you’re on the tower, you can’t see it anymore. To get the best view of the tower you need to walk down the road a little bit and view it from there. Although we didn’t get a chance to see the tower at night, people we spoke to said that the tower looks even better at night — perhaps because the tourist crowds have left and you can take a photo of it without hundreds of people who are holding their hands up in the air getting in the way.
One last note about Pisa. It was the first time we felt like we’d been ripped off. In Italy, a cappuccino usually costs about 1€. We went to a snack bar and ordered 1 cappuccino and 2 pastries. Usually this would cost about 3€. When I went and paid the bill, it was 12.20€. 12.20€!!!! Can you believe it? Well, we learned our lesson and we will now ask the price every time we order a coffee from now on.
Pisa is not just a great place for the tower, but also a great base to see the rest of Tuscany including Cinque Terra. Stay tuned for our next post about it.