The Ultimate Guide of Top Things to do in Pisa

If you are a curious traveler and would like to explore more about this charming city, discover our list of the top things to do in Pisa.

City of art, history, and culture, Pisa is one of the must-see destinations in Tuscany and an essential stop when you spend a few days in Florence. Being home to the iconic Leaning Tower, it is a destination that cannot go unnoticed in Italy. But Pisa and its surroundings have much more to offer than just its magnificent Tower. 

leaning-tower-of-pisa-italy
Get ready to explore everything that Pisa has to offer. Photo credit: Hitesh Choudhary

Piazza dei Miracoli

There is no denying that Piazza dei Miracoli is Pisa’s most famous square. Here is where you will find all the city’s main attractions, including the cathedral, the baptistery, Campo Santo cemetery, and the most well-known to tourists, the Leaning Tower. To visit all the monuments, you can get a single ticket from the official website or the in-person ticket office.

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta dates back to the 12th century.  It has become famous because of its beautiful Romanesque architecture, history, and bell tower. Today it still serves as a church of the city, celebrating masses and religious ceremonies, and as a tourist attraction for many people who visit Pisa each year. You can tour the inside for free (before you must look for the free ticket to the ticket office) or pay for an audio guide if you want more information about what you’re seeing while walking through here.

White church with lush green grass
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta was built between 1063 and 1092. Photo credit: Luca Aless

Leaning Tower

The Leaning Tower is not only the main symbol of Pisa but one of the most recognizable in all of Italy. This monument is the bell tower of the Santa Maria Assunta cathedral. There is no doubt that its inclined shape contributes to its fame, in addition to its incredible beauty. During its construction, the structure leaned more and more as the ground was soft, eventually reaching a slope of 5.5 degrees. There was an attempt to correct the inclination of the structure in 2001. Today the slant is “only” 3.97 degrees. 

One of the best things to do in the tower is to climb to its top, where you can enjoy an absolutely stunning view. 

The Baptistery

The Baptistery was the second structure to be constructed in Piazza dei Miracoli after the cathedral. Its remarkable structure of Romanesque and Gothic styles in white marble can’t go unnoticed. You can visit it to admire its imposing interior adorned with mosaics by getting the ticket online or visiting the ticket office.

The Pisa Baptistery is the largest baptistery in Italy. Photo credit: Massimo Catarinella

Ponte Conte Ugolino (Ponte del Mezzo)

Walking from the central train station of Pisa, after crossing Corso Italia (the shopping street), you will find the Ponte di Mezzo, one of the best places to admire the beautiful sunsets in Pisa, as well as the incredible panorama of its buildings separated by the Arno river. 

Camposanto

Camposanto was founded in 1277 by the architect Giovanni di Simone di Sangro. This cemetery contains some marble sarcophagi and walls covered with more than 2,600 m2 of Renaissance frescoes created by important artists such as Francesco Traini and Bonamico Buffalmacco. This is why many people visit this part of the Piazza dei Miracoli.

white cloister with green grass patio
Camposanto was not originally meant to be a cemetery, but its purpose changed during construction. Photo credit: Bernd Thaller

Botanical Garden and Museum 

The Botanical Garden of Pisa is the first botanical university in the world. It was founded in 1553 by doctor and botanist Luca Ghini. The museum houses plants from every continent. 

Its museum and botanical garden are both open to visitors. For more information, see their website. If you are passionate about nature and science, this place can’t be left out of your itinerary in Pisa. 

Palazzo dei Cavalieri

The Palazzo dei Cavalieri is one of the most beautiful buildings in Pisa. It is located in the Piazza dei Cavalieri (Square of the Knights), right next to the church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri. It was originally built to accommodate the orders of the Knights of St. Stephen. 

This palace has an impressive façade with many objects from its past including allegorical figures of the zodiac signs and a beautiful staircase leading to its entrance. To enjoy the full view of the intricate facade, make sure to admire it from the square.

large square with old buildings
Palazzo dei Cavalieri was built in 1562–1564 by Giorgio Vasari. Photo credit: Sailko

Santa Maria della Spina

Despite its size, the architecture of the Santa Maria della Spina church is an impressive work of Gothic style. Therefore, it will be easy to notice when crossing the Arno river by the Solferino bridge. When you find it, it is worth approaching and admiring both inside and out.

Keith Haring Mural

Right on Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, you can find the magnificent Tuttomondo (All World) mural (P.za V. Emanuele II, 18). It was created by renowned American artist Keith Haring a year before his death and is the most famous pop artwork in the city of Pisa. Due to its beautiful colors, it is one of the most Instagrammable spots in Pisa. So make sure to be camera ready when you go to check it out. 

Tuttomondo in pisa
Tuttomondo mural is located on the rear wall of the Sant’Antonio Abate church. Photo credit: Pom

Try La Torta coi Bischeri

If you want to bring a little sweetness to your palate, you should definitely try La Torta coi Bischeri. It’s a typical homemade dessert from Pisa made with dark chocolate, rice, cocoa, raisins, candied fruits, and pine nuts. If this combination sounds delicious to you, we recommend you try it in Pasticceria Da Tripoli (Via Guglielmo Oberdan, 53)

Related Reading: Check out these incredible festivals in Tuscany, several of which take place in Pisa!