If you’ve never been and you’re in the area, it’s worth a stop to see Pisa’s famous Leaning Tower and the Campo dei Miracoli or Square of Miracles. The Tower, or Torre, which was begun in 1173 and not completed until 1399 almost 200 years later, is one of the most recognizable and visited sites in Italy.
It’s easy to reach Pisa from Florence by car or train. We stopped on our way back to Panzano from Lucca. Park in one of the signed lots close to the piazza. There is a bit of an “element” looking to take advantage of tourists near the Campo dei Miracoli so it’s worth putting your car in an attended, paid lot. If you’ve arrived by train, take the LAM Rossa bus from the station in the direction of San Jacapo and get off at Torre.
If you’re feeling energetic, you can climb the 251 steps to the top of the Tower, for a fee. Children under the age of 8 are not allowed up into the Tower for safety reasons and children between the ages of 8 and 18 must have an adult accompany them. Opening hours and ticket prices are available at www.pisaunicaterra.it, the official tourism website for Pisa.
Take the requisite photos, enjoy watching others take theirs, and then visit Il Duomo, Pisa’s cathedral. It is really beautiful and has the holy doors or porta santa open for the Catholic Church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy. Inside, in addition to the spectacular architecture, you’ll find art treasures like 700-year-old depictions from the bible, works by Ghirlandaio, the tomb of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII, a beautiful mosaic by Cimabue, and a carved pulpit by Giovanni Pisano. Photos are not allowed inside.
The Baptistery, though not as spectacular inside as the duomo, is also worth seeing if time allows. The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, which contains many of the artworks formerly housed in Il Duomo, the Baptistery and the Camposanto (cemetery) is also located on the Square of Miracles.
Entrance to the Cathedral is free but you must collect an entry coupon at the ticket office on the square. For tickets and admission information for the Baptistry, Museum and Camposanto or to purchase tickets online go to www.pisaunicaterra.it.