pisa stopover

Jan 18th, 2006, 10:46 AM
  #1  
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pisa stopover

we will be traveling from SML to Florence,
stopping enroute in Pisa. while I know a
lot of you seem somewhat unimpressed with Pisa, I have never been, and yes I do plan the get the cheesy photo taken holding up the tower! Sad, I know...
Anyway, I was thinking of planning my train ride to arrive about noon/1pm, seeing the sights, maybe lunch and shopping, depending in part on your recommendations. How long should I plan to "stop over"? we will be checking our bags at the station, so any info on any of the above ideas is appreciated.
daisy58 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 08:31 PM
  #2  
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I am hoping to get advise from all of you, so I do not spend too short of a time in Pisa, yet get to Florence early enough in the day too...
daisy58 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 10:17 PM
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Hi daisy58:
Pisa is certainly worth seeing, besides its famous tower and duomo, it is a fine university town with excellent ristorantes and trattorias. Your stopover can be done very quickly. In fact, I have jaunted over from the Pisa Centrale train station via Shuttle Bus "A" to the Campo dei Miracoli (where the Campanile or Leaning Tower and Duomo are) in under 1.25 hours and returned in time to catch my next train. I have done it this way twice and it has worked out fine. Since you want to include lunch and shopping, you should probably allow yourselves about 4 hours (-/+) before catching your next train. If there is anything you've missed, you could always return from Florence on a day-trip as Pisa is very close by.
Huitres is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 10:17 PM
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First, understand that anyone unimpressed wth Pisa is a pretentious windbag. The cathedral complex is simply stunning: the belltower would be famous for its beauty if it hadn't had been designed by a artistic genius criminally incompetent in engineering.

There are things to see other than the Piazza dei Miracoli, but not a great deal. The No 1 bus runs every 9 minutes (a bit less often some lunchtimes), takes about 10 from the station to the Miracoli gate and costs €0.85 each way for a ticket.

Never been there when it's really crowded. Tickets to go up the tower (why would anyone want to?) are timed and there can be an hour or two's wait. Admission to the cathedral isn't controlled. It's got an awful lot to it, and guidebooks aren't sold inside: you really need to buy a guide from the bookshop.

Not going up the tower, but going round the baptistery (well recommended) and the cathedral will take you 90 mins. Allowing for the bus, and an unhurried lunch in the side streets (I'm allergic to shopping anywhere, but the area around the Cathedral is truly vile as far as shopping is concerned), a pleasant airport to Cathedral to airport (the railway station and airport are practically next door to each other) trip the other day took us a bit over two and a half hours. We had a plane to catch: I'd have preferred to have spent another 45 mins in the cathedral.
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 10:45 PM
  #5  
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thanks to both of you, my initial planning was for 3 1/2 to 4 hours,
and it look like that will work quite
well..any recommendations for lunch while in Pisa?
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Jan 19th, 2006, 12:49 AM
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In Pisa, the more authentic ristorantes tend to be near the River Arno, vs. the more touristy options near the Leaning Tower area. Also, the university area offers a lot of options that are more budget-conscious. If you felt up to it, you could walk the distance from the Leaning Tower towards the Arno (about 6-8 blocks away) and you will discover a lot of nice restaurants along the way.

A couple ristorantes that I like are:

"Il Paiolo" Via Curtatone Montanara, 9, located off Piazza Dante Alighieri, near the university. They have a terrific bistecca with mushrooms, parmesan cheese, etc. as well as seafood risotto, and other traditional pasta dishes. They range from 4 to 9 euros a dish.

"Trattoria da Matteo", Via l'Aroncio, 46, off Via Santa Maria at the southern end of the Orto Botanico (gardens near Domus Galilaeana) and the Hotel Galileo. I love their gnocchi with pesto (5 euros) as well as their other primis and soups. They have a fixed price menu under 15 euros. Buon appetito!
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Jan 19th, 2006, 07:27 AM
  #7  
ira
 
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