Italy is by far one of my favourite countries in the world to visit. It’s no coincidence that I have visited far more of Italy than any other country in the world. From Verona to Venice, from Rome to Milan and from Bergamo to Desanzano: Italy is full to the brim with opportunities and adventure like no other place.
I have also visited the small towns surrounding the beautiful Lake Garda; which by the way you must visit if you haven’t been too already. Each and every city offers a unique experience: the food, the smells, the ancient sites, the romance oozing out of Roman ruins and flowing out of Venetian canals; men built like Roman Gods as they whisper ‘Bella raggazza’ as you stroll by; who wouldn’t want to tap into that? With the likes of Ryanair, Wizzair and EasyJet offering prices that will make you want to bring your sister, brother, cousin and maybe your gran too!
Having enjoyed Lake Garda I am keen to visit Lake Como in 2016, if I can squeeze it into the travel plans for next year. The last visit to Italy was to explore Pisa, also dubbed ‘Gateway to Tuscany’. I had taken pictures on two SD cards but happened to misplace one of them when I got back from my trip, so this is a much overdue update on my visit to Pisa.
For popular cities like Pisa I would highly recommend visiting in the low season like November. The hotels are cheaper and there are no ridiculous queues to tourist attractions. Also the weather is cooler but not unbearably cold. In general exploring this small city is a lot more enjoyable when you don’t have to weave through armies of selfie sticks as people angle themselves to look like they are trying to tip over the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Visiting Piazza dei Miracoli
We stayed literary meters away from the tower or Piazza dei Miracoli as the site that hosts the Tower, Church and Baptisery is known. I was surprised to have scored such a great location. When we arrived we walked through the town from the main station, passing through the markets and cafés lined piazzas before heading to the tower. Only in Italy can an architectural (near) disaster turn into a beautiful attraction. Built and successively repaired but they couldn’t straighten it out.
Although many have claimed that it will tip over: the structure is solid and is not going anywhere any time soon. When visiting the leaning tower and surrounding sites like the museums, monuments, Duomo and the Baptistery, you can either book online in advance to save you queuing up when you get there, although the queues are not that bad in low seasons. Another thing to note is that only about 40 people are allowed to climb up the 294 steps to the top of the tower so you can just imagine the queues when visiting Pisa in high season.
Tips When Visiting Pisa:
- ♦ You can buy tickets for entrance into all sites in Piazza dei Miracoli
- ♦ Summer time Leaning Tower also have opening times in the evening.
- ♦ Note that only 40 people can climb at any given time so factor that into the period you are visiting or prepare for the waiting game at the height of the holiday seasons if visiting during that time.
- Pisa also makes a great stop if you are doing a road trip to explore Tuscany.