The city of Pisa is usually visited by travelers who go to Florence with the idea of spending half a day in Pisa. The best transportation option to reach Pisa via Florence is the train. There is a train to Pisa every 20 minutes from Florence central train station Florence Campo di Marte. Tickets are considered as round-trip train tickets and the distance between Florence and Pisa takes 50 – 60 minutes.
How to get from Florence to Pisa?
Since the Campo di Marte stop is outside the city, you will first take the train from Santa Maria Novella train station to reach Campo di Marte. Trains to Pisa depart from Campo di Marte station. You can buy all your transportation tickets online on the Trenitalia website. It is worth adding as a note. You can reach Pisa in 80 minutes by bus, which is a more reasonable option.
Things to do in Pisa in One Day / Half Day
When we arrive in Pisa, we get off at Pisa Central Station. After getting off the train, we exit the train station. We come across a billboard with a map of Pisa, but a small map from the tourist information centers will help us navigate more easily. Since the Information Centers open at 9 am, until then we walk around a bit and try to understand the environment.
When we leave the train station, we walk straight ahead to a square where the statue of Vittorio Emanuele II is located. Vittorio II, born in Turin and called the Father of the Fatherland, was the King of Italy from 1861 until 1878, the year of his death. Vittorio II was also the one who came to Rome and declared the city as the capital.
The Tourist Information Center is also in this square. When you take the same stance as the statue, it will be at 2 o’clock. We can continue on our way by getting the necessary information, brochures and maps.
There is an art on the side wall of the Catholic church called Sant’Antonia Abate on our left side. There is a wall art painted by Keith Haring, who paints murals with his unique style and inspires big brands such as Swatch and Absolut Vodka.
Domus Mazziniana, where journalist and politician Giuseppe Mazzini lived in the last years of his life, is another place to visit. The house, located at Mazzini 71, contains Mazzini’s works and writings on the ground floor. On the upper floor you can see various artifacts and Mazzini’s clothes.
Let’s continue forward and cross the bridges over the Arno River that divides the city of Pisa in two. The Arno River is the river that, together with Pisa and Nepoli, filled the west of Florence with alluvium and turned it into land. As we cross, don’t forget to frame the reflections of the buildings on the shore as they hit the river. They make for great shots in the morning.
National Museum of San Matteo
The National Museum of San Matteo is a small museum next to the Arno River where you can see the artwork of famous medieval painters and sculptors, especially those who grew up in Tuscany.
After leaving the National Museum, we head to Piazza del Duomo, where the Leaning Tower of Pisa is located. As we travel via Via Carte Fedeli, we notice an ancient building. We learn from the panels on it that this structure, which is said to be the most important ancient ruins from the Roman period, is the remains of a bathhouse.
Continuing on Via Maffi, the road will take you straight to the Piazza di Pisa. As you get closer to the square, you can see the Tower of Pisa and the baptistery, and you will have no doubt that you are on the right track.
As soon as we enter the area, we continue on the right. We need to buy a ticket before visiting the buildings. They offer combined ticket options when buying tickets. It will be more comfortable for you if you decide which ones you will enter in advance. The options include Pisa Cathedral, Pisa Baptistery, Pisa Tower, Campo Santo Mausoleum, Sinopie Museum, Opera Palace and Cathedral Museum.
There is a fee to go up the tower. We didn’t want to go up the tower, so we skipped the Opera Palace. We couldn’t enter the Museo Dell’Opera Del Duomo, where the cathedral treasures and the sculptures of the famous sculptor Pisonu are housed, because of the restoration, but we wouldn’t have preferred it even if it wasn’t under restoration. Because there are similar ones in San Matteo National Museum. As a result, we have 4 points to visit. It was a very reasonable account. We can continue see around.
You can visit in any order you like. Our first choice is the Camposanto Mausoleum. Historically used as a tomb, Camposanto is now a museum with sculptures, sarcophagi and frescoes.
After leaving Camposanto, we enter Pisa Baptistery, which stands out with its circular form. This imposing structure is the largest baptistery in Italy and impresses everyone with its acoustics.
We are in Pisa Cathedral, the heart of Piazza del Duomo, the main building around which every other building is built. There is not much to spend time inside, but once in this square, it is not right to leave without entering Pisa Cathedral.
Next stop is the Sinopie Museum, where a small part of the museum consists of frescoes. In this museum you can take advantage of the projection show about Piazza del Duomo and watch Camposanto in three dimensions. Don’t expect much from this place, it’s a small museum, but it’s included in the ticket so we visit this place too.
That’s all there is to see in and around the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It’s time to lie down on the grass and rest. Lie down, rest and enjoy the great historical buildings. The most important thing to do at this moment is to move according to the train’s return time. We leave the gate in the middle of the city walls behind the Baptistery and head towards Pisa San Rossore train station.
You may get hungry in Pisa especially towards noon. It is quite enjoyable to eat a sandwich from the nearby Subway sandwich shop, which we also know from Turkey, accompanied by the Leaning Tower of Pisa. At the end of the tour, on your way to the train station, you can also enjoy the delicious Cavallini ice cream.
Where is Pisa? How to get there?
The most convenient and fastest way to get to Pisa is by train from Florence and the distance is 85 km. It takes 50 minutes by train and 1 hour and 15 minutes by private car. The distance from Pisa to Rome is 355km (4 hours).