Great deals on holidays to Pisa: so much more than a leaning tower!
Pisa: an intimate city of architectural merit
To just about every tourist who visits the city of Pisa, the Torre Pendente, or Leaning Tower, is the prime attraction but, in historical terms, even this iconic structure – at 700 years old – is a relatively recent addition to the urban landscape. Pisa’s history is as mysterious as the Leaning Tower is majestic: even the Romans described the city as ‘old’ while archaeological remains suggest the regional capital to have been an important trading centre thousands of years before.
Today, Pisa offers visitors an impressive glimpse into the city’s glorious past as one of the Mediterranean’s most powerful maritime centres. The Leaning Tower aside – although a climb to its ascent for an unmissable view of the city should not be overlooked – Pisa’s ‘Golden Age’ is impressively reflected in its array of historical buildings and museums: the Duomo, Battistero and a host of Gothic churches among them. This is a city that is small enough to wander at your leisure, offering photogenic views from every piazza, a thriving café and restaurant scene and a myriad of artisan traders whose shops are simply delightful to peruse.
The natural world in a medieval urban streetscape
While the architecture and museums are clearly the crown jewels in Pisa’s repertoire, it’s well worth escaping the more popular sites to experience the serenity of the city’s parks and gardens, two of which are within walking distance, enabling you to maintain car-free. Giardino Scotto, the last surviving remnant of the Cittadella Nuovo, features a memorable wall walk around its perimeter, a recreation area and a host of trees including a towering sycamore, offering much-needed shade in the Tuscan summer. At the University of Pisa, the world’s oldest botanical garden covers three hectares that feature a wide range of species of aquatic and pharmaceutical plants, some of which are extinct in the wild.
Italian cuisine at its finest
Tuscan cuisine tends to utilise the same basic ingredients – chestnuts, beans, chickpeas, pork and game – but the dishes you’ll encounter in Pisa offer more distinctive flavours and a wider repertoire than in other regional cities. Many visitors to Pisa forget the city’s close proximity to the sea which influences the culinary choices in the many cafés and restaurants that line the narrow streets, so expect plenty of seafood choices including mullet, clams, eels, cod and even frogs.
However, Pisan cuisine isn’t merely limited to the daily catches from the Mediterranean and visitors are bound to discover dishes to their taste, such is the extensiveness of choice. From sandwiches and wraps to pizza and risotto, food in Pisa is widely available and varied, and best accompanied by a Tuscan wine (for meat choose a Chianti, for fish a Bianco Pisano), while beers and cocktails are an alternative choice.
For an intimate city break soaking up authentic culture in stunning surroundings, you can’t get much better than Pisa. Whether you enjoy a weekend break or a longer holiday, sign up now to browse our great offers on holidays to Pisa or to be notified of upcoming sales!