Pisa with car or no...?

Old Feb 22nd, 2016, 10:43 PM
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Pisa with car or no...?

We (four adults) will be arriving in Pisa short flight from London around noon Saturday in early May. The plan is to pick up a rental car at the airport and drive to our agriturismo just south of Florence.
It seems obvious to visit Pisa before leaving for Florence.

The question is Should we store our cases at the airport, take the bus into town, see the sights, then return and pick up the rental car and our suitcases?

Or just pick up car, stow suitcases in back, park in Pisa, see the sights and carry on? We haven't been to Pisa before, so I am unsure of where/ how much parking is? How difficult is it to drive into Pisa?

Or am I just overthinking this?
sundriedtopepo is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2016, 10:54 PM
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I haven't had problems to park in Pisa.
With the kids we found parking places - we were in end september, so off season. Early may should not be top season either so I don't see big problems.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2016, 11:22 PM
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The Pietrasantina parking lot just NW of the Field of Miracles has been free. You can walk or take a cheap shuttle bus to the Field. It is also where tour bases park.

The issue with driving into Pisa (intramural part) is not that it is difficult -- you are not allowed because it is ZTL. There is no physical barrier preventing you from entering past the ZTL sign, but you will be greeted months after your return home with breathtaking ZTL fine(s) from the City of Pisa as well as administrative charges from your car rental company based on pictures taken by video cameras guarding the entrances to the ZTL.

Your car trunk/boot must be large enough to conceal your luggage to reduce the chance of theft while parked.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 01:36 AM
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Definately over thinking. We drove to Pisa with our suitcases in the back. Parked about a 5 minute walk away. Climbed the tower, looked around, went back to the car & drove on to Bologna.

Really easy. You can google places to park.
We were there in august which is a really busy time & had no problem.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 02:55 AM
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Yes, providing you avoid the ZTL, take your car into Pisa. But, and it's a big but of Kardashian size, if your luggage won't fit in the boot/trunk, don't leave it in plain sight on the back seat, it's asking for trouble.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 07:58 AM
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Thanks all. It sounds like the simplest thing to do is just drive in and park.
Greg, thanks for the name of that parking lot.
Rubicund, we will have a large hatchback or wagon, no trunk, but there's usually a cover.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 01:18 PM
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Tower Parking in Pisa looks like it may have some walls that you could back your car up against making it difficult to get to anything in your trunk/hatchback.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 01:44 PM
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Just be very careful. Pisa has a very extensive ZTL, rigourously enforced. Here is a map of the zone, which is the green zone on the second map on the page.

https://secure.comune.pisa.it/tzi/img/cartine/b.jpg

The Leaning Tower is at the top of the zone, north of Piazza del Duomo. I would try to locate a parking lot near there, but outside the ZTL, then plot a route to get there without passing near the ZTL. (It would be nice if the map showed parking lots!)

I found a page (in Italian only) which recommends the parking lot (mentioned by Greg, above) near the stadium, in Via Pietrasanta. Parking there is free, and there's a shuttle to the Tower.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 01:54 PM
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You can also take a train to the sleepy secondary train station (Pisa San Leonadrio???) a long stone's throw from the Leaning Tower from Pisa Centrale - leave your bags there and walk back thru the center of town and IMO Pisa is just an average Italian town - meaning nice but nothing to go out of your way for (I'm NOT saying Pisa is not nice but may not be terribly delaying your schedule - if driving around Pisa to the Tower area yes you can park also at this sleepy train station parking lot or at the supermarket between it and the Tower.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 02:14 PM
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I think you mean Pisa San Rossore, Palenq, but there wouldn't be any place to leave your bags there. Also, the parking lot by the stadium would be closer to the tower, I think.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 06:54 AM
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Thanks joannyc bvlenci and palenq for the map and advice.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 09:27 AM
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I think you mean Pisa San Rossore, Palenq, but there wouldn't be any place to leave your bags there.>

Yes I know - nothing there but platforms IME - but if leaving bags at Pisa Centrale you can take the train right to the Tower almost - vs taking a bus or walking a few miles there from the station - but trains on that route I think only go about hourly so it would depend on the convenience of timings.
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 08:29 AM
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Just a thought: if you'd like to continue your afternoon detour on the way to your agriturismo, the pretty town of Lucca is a short drive from Pisa and is well worth a visit since you'll be so near...
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 09:41 AM
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The trouble is there are so many lovely towns and hamlets in the area that you can stop just about anywhere for a bit and enjoy it. Lucca is especially nice and in my mind far better than Pisa (which, apart from the odd church in the north part is not very impressive except the field (which is good but not fantastic)).

I think I'd wing it depending on heat/tiredness/hunger on the day.
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 10:05 AM
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Organictuscany bilboburgler, we are planning a whole day trip later in the week to see Lucca, which we might want to add on another town or two to that day.
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