Visiting Pisa from the Cinque Terre is not only easy, but it is an excellent alternative on rainy days, and we recommend it!
Suppose you are our fan/follower on social networks. In that case, you know that we often recommend visiting our destination calmly, dedicating the right time to villages, hiking paths, and experiences, perhaps extending your stay a little to be able to experience something that goes beyond the classic postcards pics from the Cinque Terre.
In reality, however, a very valid reason to extend your holiday in the Cinque Terre is that from here you can easily visit our beautiful surroundings: from the Gulf of Poets to Tigullio with the noble Portofino, from the hinterland with historic villages and food and wine products to unique cities such as Genoa and Pisa and then Lucca and Pietrasanta with sculptors and marble quarries to discover. There is something for all tastes.
A day trip to Pisa
The Cinque Terre are about a hundred kilometers from Pisa, and the well-known Tuscan city is easily reachable by train, changing in La Spezia. The journey takes about an hour, and there are dozens of trips every day in both directions.
From the train station, you can then reach the main tourist and historical-cultural sites in a few minutes walking.
We know that when you read “visiting Pisa,” you thought of the Leaning Tower. Still, just as the Cinque Terre offer much more than the colorful and perfect Instagram shot, Pisa also has much more to offer: historic buildings, monuments, and museums are witnesses of the Maritime Republic, which for centuries was in direct competition with our Republic of Genoa.
Furthermore, Pisa is a renowned university city, dynamic and lively.
Starting from the station, we advise you to walk towards Corso Italia, the shopping street and probably the most famous alley in the city. You can reach the Church of Sant’Antonio with a quick detour and enjoy the colorful Tuttomondo mural signed by Keith Haring. Pass Piazza del Carmine and Piazza Gambacorti, also known as Piazza della Pera (i.e., Pear Square). You will arrive at the Logge dei Banchi at the entrance to the Ponte di Mezzo, a loggia designed by Buontalenti in the early 17th century, home to the wool and silk market.
Before crossing the bridge, we recommend visiting Palazzo Blu, where you can perhaps see one of their stunning temporary exhibitions, and the small Church of the Spina, in pure Gothic style.
Then continue towards Lungarno Galilei, where you can admire the city’s architectural evolution, Palazzo Lanfranchi, and the beautiful octagonal Church of San Sepolcro, dedicated to the Templars.
On the other bank of the Arno, you can stroll along the Lungarno Mediceo and admire Palazzo Medici, the residence of Cosimo Il Vecchio and Lorenzo Il Magnifico, known as Palazzo Vecchio. Then the church of San Matteo flanked by the National Museum. You can then head towards Borgo Stretto, a medieval street dotted with historic shops and suggestive arcades.
Borgo Stretto then flows into Borgo Largo from which to reach on the left Piazza dei Cavalieri, the seat of the Scuola Normale, the Church of Santo Stefano, the Palazzo della Carovana and above all the mythical Dante’s Hunger Tower, where Count Ugolino della Gherardesca was imprisoned with his children and grandchildren.
Continuing for about a kilometer, you arrive in Piazza dei Miracoli, with the famous architectural complex representative of the cycle of life, consisting of the Baptistery, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and Cemetery, and the mythical and much-coveted Leaning Tower, the bell tower of the Cathedral, a remarkable example of Pisan Romanesque in gray and white marble, decorated with polychrome marble.
To climb the Tower, we recommend that you book your ticket online in advance. To visit the Duomo, the Opera del Duomo Museum, and the Sinopie Museum, we recommend buying a combined ticket.
If you feel like visiting something else in the city before returning to the Cinque Terre, we recommend the Botanical Garden. A few minutes walk from Piazza dei Miracoli, and then the Museum of Ancient Ships, and a walk along the walls of Pisa.
If, on the other hand, you opt for a half-day visit, you can dedicate the afternoon to visiting the nearby and wonderful Lucca, to which we will dedicate a post shortly!