5 good reasons to go to Pisa
To see / do
Culture and history
The leaning tower of Pisa
Pisa's most iconic building is its UNESCO World Heritage-listed tower. Its campanile or bell tower is made entirely from cut marble and is an exquisite example of Roman artistry. Built in the 12th century on shifting soil, the tower has been tilting over ever since. Climb to the top and soak up the views.
The cathedral and baptistery
Just opposite the tower on the Piazza dei Miracol square is the cathedral and its baptistery. The Roman cathedral was built in the 11th and 12th centuries and features Byzantine influences. As with many Italian churches, the façade uses several different kinds of marble. The gilded embellishments on the inside are simply stunning, and the next-door Romano-Gothic baptistery is also well worth a visit.
Camposanto, a monumental cemetery
Built between the 13th and 15th centuries, the Camposanto is the final resting place of Pisa's celebrities. This unusual cemetery includes a magnificent cloister and three chapels. It was built over a mound of soil from the Golgotha hill, where Jesus is said to have been crucified.
Around the Piazza delle Vettovaglie
Make like a local and head to the Piazza delle Vettovaglie, a sweet little square surrounded by pretty arches. The square is brought to life thanks to the markets, bars and many students who flock here. The surrounding streets are home to restaurants that serve up tasty traditional dishes around the clock.
Livorno, or Little Venice
Just 25 kilometres away from Pisa, Livorno is one of Tuscany's best-loved seaside resorts. Breathe in the fresh sea breeze in the town's Little Venice, a district gridded with canals and waterside buildings decked out in gorgeous ochre hues. Restaurants and cafés line the canals with their relaxing terraces.
Bistecca alla fiorentina
Florentine steak is Tuscany's most emblematic dish. T-bone Chianina beef steak is salted and peppered and left to grill on the barbecue. Italians like it rare, and serve this steak with a side of green beans.
Sink your teeth into torta coi bischeri
A classic in Pisa, torta coi bischeri will hit the spot for all chocolate addicts. The tart is filled with a cream made of cooked rice, chocolate and candied fruit, with any extra pastry used to decorate the edges in an ornate, lacy style. You'll find lots of rice-based desserts in Tuscany.
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