The city of Pisa plays host to treasures of priceless value, making it one of Italy's most important cities of art. The Piazza dei Miracoli, with its world-famous Leaning Tower, is the hub of the prized artistic architectural offerings.
Pisa's Ancient Maritime Republic has a great deal to offer besides the renowned Tower and deserves a full day visit, considering its historic importance and the wonderful ambience created by its rich architectural heritage and vibrant student population.
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II has been recently rebuilt with a generous public space with grass and benches. The entire wall of a building just to the left of the square was painted by American artist Keith Haring in 1989 to create Tuttomondo (Whole Wide World).
This painting is a celebration of diversity, chaos, and the liveliness of our world, vibrating with energy. Walk up Corso Italia, the pedestrianized street is Pisa’s main route with many shops and bars, and by following the main street to the River Arno, you can stop a moment in the centre of the modern bridge Ponte di Mezzo, built on the same site where the Romans constructed one.
Enjoy the view of the Lungarno and the majestic grand ducal buildings, Romanesque and Gothic style church Santa Maria della Spina. The Lungarni are especially spectacular at night with the lights from the lamps and buildings reflecting on the wateof the river.
Crossed the bridge, you are in Piazza Garibaldi, named for the charismatic leader of the Risorgimento, the unification movement that led to Italian independence in 1870. In this square, you can find La Bottega del Gelato, Pisa’s favourite gelato place.
Continue north up to the elegantly arcaded street of Borgo Stretto another shopping street of Pisa. If you walk in the direction of Piazza dei Miracoli, you will find the Renaissance-style Piazza dei Cavalieri, with its old clock and colorfully decorated palace, this square was once the seat of the independent republic of Pisa’s government.
Some buildings in this square became part of University of Pisa during Napoleon time and if you continue to go in the direction of the Leaning Tower, you will be in Via Santa Maria, a street full of students due to the many faculties such as Literature, History, Languages.
Driving into Pisa is quite easy. There is a big underground parking in the main square in front of the train station (Piazza Vittorio Emanuele).
If you prefer to start your visit at the Miracles Square, you can find few pay parking along Via Bonanno Pisano.