Pisa in one Day
Whether you arrive by plane (Pisa´s airport is the biggest in Tuscany) or train, the centrally located railway station is a perfect starting point to begin your travels around the city centre of Pisa.
Taking the train station as a starting point we follow the Viale Gramsci until we arrive at Corso Italia; the renowned shopping street in Pisa. Visitors can enjoy browsing or shopping for stylish Italian fashion, or sit down, relax and have a coffee in one of the many cafes; delight in the atmosphere and hussle and bussle on one of Pisa´s busy streets.
Once refreshed visitors can continue down Corso Italia until they get to Ponte di Mezzo on the river Arno; one of the emblematic places in the city, made famous for the annual festival (which takes place on the last Saturday in June) where the two neighbourhoods divided by the river Arno compete in a tournament. The tradition la Batalla del Puente started in the 1200 AD and involves rival teams pushing a long cart while trying to get on the bridge.
After crossing the bridge continue along Borgo Stretto, another street well known for its wide variety of couture shops and stylish bars: which as you can guess from its name, is a medieval alley with arcades and narrow streets, perfect for walking browsing and window shopping. At the end of Borgo Stretto turn left on Via Dini, to reach the beautiful Piazza dei Cavalieri.
This square was the ancient centre of the city, and is now home ancient artifacts with a wonderful historical value and interest: besides the Knights Palace, home of the Scuola Normale Superiore (one of the most prestigious universities in Italy) in the square there is also the Palazzo dell'Orologio which is linked to a curious legend: The Palazzo was built on the remains of the "Tower of Fame" (tower of hunger) famous as being the place of imprisonment of Count Ugolino della Gherardesca. As narrated by the "Divine Comedy", Count Ugolino was imprisoned in the Tower where he starved himself to death with his children and grandchildren, and near the end of his agony, children begged him to eat them and the Count, and the crazy prisoner, fed on their descendants.
Passing under the arch of the Palazzo dell'Orologio, turn right on Via Santa Maria, home to several universities, and then down to the very famous Piazza dei Miracoli.
Piazza dei Miracoli
This complex momument includes the Duomo (the door that connects many of decorative elements including a lizard, is considered by all the "Pisan" the charm of the city and is also thought to bring good luck to those who touch it), the impressive baptistery, the monumental cemetery and the famous Tower of Pisa, which owes its notorious inclination to land subsidence occurred during the start of construction.
Santa Maria della Spina
To conclude your daytrip you can go walk back along Via Santa Maria and you will be heading back towards the Arno, from the other side of the river you can admire the unique profile of the church of Santa Maria della Spina, the origin of the name is due to fact that in ancient church retained a thorn believed to have belonged to the crown of Christ.
We walked back along the banks of the Arno towards the Ponte di Mezzo, but just before the bridge turn left into Via San Frediano, then pass the Law School, where you will find the Piazza Dante , one of the favourite venues of college students for its bars and benches in the shade. This place is the ideal spot to get lost in the narrow streets of the medieval town, with plenty of restaurants and shops offering typical Tuscan cuisine; while The Piazza delle Vettovaglie, which hosts a popular fruit and veg market in the day transforms into a wondrous sight at night, and it has to be seen to be believed!!