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Most people are familiar with at least one of Pisa's many attractions. The Leaning Tower has been an iconic sight in Europe for hundreds of years. Indeed, Pisa city breaks wouldn't be complete without spending at least a brief time seeing the famous tower. It was constructed between the 12th and 14th centuries and remains standing due to some complex physics.
The Leaning Tower is located in the Piazza dei Miracoli, where visitors can also enjoy seeing the town's Cathedral and Baptistry. Construction work on the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption began in 1604, when the power of the Maritime Republic was at its height. An appealing mix of architectural styles can be seen in its structure.
The Baptistry is an older building, with construction work on it beginning in the mid-12th century. This is the biggest baptistry in Italy, even though it was technically never finished. It's still a spectacular monument though, and when seen alongside the Tower and the Cathedral it creates a lasting and moving impression.
Anyone who flies into Pisa Airport (PSA) can also look forward to enjoying some great food and drink. Although many restaurants and bars cater for the tourist trade and can be a little commercial, it's still possible to find lovely family trattorias where you can enjoy a great meal.
Another advantage of Pisa is the transport links it enjoys. Beautiful Mediterranean beaches are within easy reach by car and public transport, with the coastline just a few minutes away. The city also functions as a convenient gateway to access the beauties of Tuscany, where you can explore rolling hills covered with vineyards and inviting woodlands. Florence, with its Renaissance art and history, is within reach and Livorno on the coast can also be explored with relative ease.
Getting into Pisa from Pisa International Airport is easy. Trains and buses from Pisa Airport are frequent and inexpensive. Trains shuttle between the airport and the centre every half hour. Buses take about 20 minutes into the centre of the city and depart every 10 minutes or so. Tickets for the colour-coded service (it's called LAM Rossa, or the “red line”, between the airport and the tower) cost around a euro and are available from automatic machines or newsagents and tobacconists, but make sure you purchase your ticket before you board.
Taxis are available outside the airport. However, journey times vary hugely depending upon traffic. The drivers tend not to operate a fixed charge, but they're obliged to switch the meter on before the start of each journey.
Getting around on Pisa weekend breaks is also straightforward, as the city centre is fairly compact and its main attractions huddle close.
Many of the things to see and do in compact Pisa are easily accessible on foot, though buses are efficient if you want to travel further afield.
A great option to get around the city is to hire a bike - they're inexpensive and there's a choice of places to hire from.
If you're planning a trip to Pisa this year and need some help, read our fact file below and use TravelSupermarket's search tool to find the cheapest deals.