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Pisa


Pisa Area
Pisa is a province of Tuscany, a region situated in the north of Italy, and is best known for its leaning tower. However, the Pisa area is full of delightful towns and countryside and has much to offer any visitor. Here are some tips to help you make the most of this charming region of Italy.


How to Make the Most Out Of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is, of course, the number-one tourist attraction of the city and has over a million visitors per year. Most people enjoy posing in front of the 60 metre white marble tower in the famous 'pushing the tower over' pose, but ascending the tower is well worth the fee. It's a good idea to avoid disappointment and book in advance to climb the tower, as only thirty people are allowed to climb the tower at a time. The best time to climb the tower is at dawn or dusk when there are far fewer people than in the day time, and you can fully enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of the tower.
There are many very persistent street-vendors around the tower and the nearby cathedral- the best way of dealing with them is to avoid making eye-contact and walking past quickly and confidently.



The Charm and Romance of Pisa's University Botanical Gardens
At a stone’s throw from the tower and the cathedral, The University Botanical Gardens of Pisa are well-worth a visit. These pretty and peaceful sixteenth-century gardens provide a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city and are an excellent place to have lunch. The gardens contain many interesting and rare species of plants, including extensive cacti, bamboo forests and examples of specimen trees that have documented planting dates from as far back as the eighteenth century. The entrance fees are very low, so the gardens are a great place for a picnic and a stroll if you are on a budget.


Festivals and Fun
When you are in Pisa, you cannot fail to notice the number of university students, especially at night! Pisa's population is approximately 100,000 and students make up around 60,000 of this total. Students contribute enormously to the lively cultural feel of Pisa; organizing and participating in several regattas and festivals such as the Gioco del Ponte. This is a festival which takes place on the last Sunday of every June and features a military procession along both sides of the banks of the River Arno, culminating in a physical competition between the two teams, who try to push each other off the 'ponte di mezzo' with a trolley! It's organised chaos and great riotous fun, but avoid if you dislike noisy crowds as it will feel as if most of Pisa's residents are converging around the area!


The Best Beaches Near Pisa
Tirrenia is a lively resort with a public sandy beach. There are many bars, restaurants and clubs making this a popular destination for European youngsters. Tirrenia is surrounded by vast pine forests, and the moderate climate means that you can go trekking or horse-riding all-year round. Watch out for the mozzies- they also love the pine forests and the climate!

La Marina di Pisa is very close to Pisa and has a family-friendly beach. Unlike many beaches on this stretch of coast that have very short shelves and dangerous currents, this beach is protected by large rocky barriers, effectively sheltering the beach from the open sea.
Visit Gelateria Del Capitano for the best ice cream in Italy, and enjoy it by the seaside.


Relax and Unwind at The Casciana Terme
The thermal baths at the Casciana Terme Spa have been popular with locals and visitors to the Pisa area for hundreds of years. The restorative waters are slightly fizzy and contain abundant minerals that have many health-giving properties. At the Cascia Terme Spa, there are many relaxing facilities, such as mud treatments, Turkish and Roman Baths and saunas. Look out for original nineteenth century frescoes on the walls of the Gran Caffe bar.


The Towns of Pisa Province
Located just 25 kilometres north of Pisa city, the small but historically significant town of Calcinaia sits on the banks of the river Arno. Known as Vitrus Vicri to the Romans, Calcinaia has also been the showplace of a rivalry between the provinces of Pisa and Lucca. The many fields that are to be seen here are, indirectly, the product of one of Leonardo da Vinci’s plans, which were taken after the inventor’s death to solve the problem of the overflowing river. Also to be seen in Calcinaia are the Torre degli Upezzinghi, a defensive tower left over from the Middle Ages, and the Regata Storica, a boat race on the river which is accompanied by a parade in historical dress, held on the 4 June every year.

Pontedera is located not far from Calcinaia and is home to a more modern attraction. The experimental theatre Centro per la Sperimentazione e la Ricerca Teatrale was founded here in 1974 and holds plays on a local as well as international level. Sticking to the modern times, the museum Museo Piaggio "Giovanni Alberto Agnelli" is also located in this town. This is located in the Piaggio factory, who produce one of Italy’s most famous icons: the Vespa scooter. Alongside learning about the history of the company, many old models of many of Piaggio’s vehicles can be viewed.


Video of Pisa


Parking
This helpful link will save you time when looking for parking in Pisa
http://www.parkopedia.it/parcheggi/Pisa/


SHOPPING

Coop

In a very central location, only 4 km from Piazza dei Miracoli, well-stocked and even has a laundy service inside.
Opening times: Monday-Saturday: 8.00-20.00
Address: via P. Pardi, 4, PISA
Web: http://www.coopfirenze.it/punti-vendita/pisa-san-giusto

Pam
This is a big supermarket with a large parking area, it's slightly more expensive than the coop but sometimes has a better choice of products.
Opening times: Monday-Saturday: 7.30-20.30, Sanday: 9-19.30
Address: Via De' Ruggiero
Web: https://plus.google.com/103623810440976719927/about?hl=it&gl=it

Small grocery shops
There are many little corner grocery shops to choose from in Pisa.

La Bottega del parco
This little grocery shop is a must after a walk in the San Rossore park. It offers great sandwiches and platters with hams and cheeses which are fantastic to eat at the tables available outside. There is also a lovely range of goodies to take away for a quieter dinner in your villa.
Opening times: Monday-Sunday: 9.00-20.00
Address: Via delle Cascine Vecchie, 11, Pisa





Enoteca with restaurant
Il Colonnino

Lovely rustic decor and a calm, welcoming atmosphere. The local pasta dishes are rich and tasty. Portion sizes are reasonable. Highly recommended, it's rare to find such a gem in a touristy town.
Closed on Wednesdays
Address: Via S. Andrea 37/41, Pisa

Café/Pastry shop
Salza

If you like cake and chocolate this is the place you want to stop in while visiting Pisa. Not to be missed is the Almond-Fig and Sicilian pistacchio ice-cream.
Address: Borgo Stretto 46, Pisa
Web: www.salza.it

Bar
Millibar Wine and Cocktail Bar

sublime atmosphere and good prices. There are excellent cocktails. Great place to have a pre-dinner drink with a plenty of snacks!
Address: Via Palestro, 39

Café
La Borsa

La Borsa is a bar and gelateria (ice-cream parlour) in a very central position near the San Rossore park. It is an ideal place for a quick lunch.
Address: Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, 1
Web: www.laborsa.it



Butcher
Macelleria Riccardo

High quality meat, sausages from Pisa and local hams. The place is run with a great passion, keeping the old traditions alive within a modern environment.
Address: Via Tosco-Romagnola, Pisa

Bakery
Panificio Fratelli Borelli
This bakery means: kindness, friendliness, quality and experience. These brothers have been running this bakery with dedication for years. Their bread, pizza and focaccia are served in many bars and restaurants in Pisa.
Address: Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 81, Pisa

Banks
There are many banks and ATMs in Pisa. These are a few:

Banca Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena
Opening times: 8:15-13:15 and 14.15-15.45 Monday to Friday
Address: via Filippo Corridoni, 124, Pisa

Deutsche Bank
Opening times: 8.20-13.20 and 14.45-15.45 Monday to Friday
Address: Viale Francesco Bonaini, 115, Pisa

Banca CR Firenze
Opening times: 8.10-20.00 Monday to Friday and 9.00-13.00 on Saturday
Address: Corso Italia, 131, Pisa

Pharmacy
There are many pharmacies around Pisa. Here are three:

Farmacia Bottari
Opening times: Monday to Saturday 9.00-20.00
Address: Borgo Stretto,31

Farmacia Comunale
Opening times: 24 hrs
Address: Via Niccolini, 6 (near the Santa Chiara hospital)

Farmacia Petri
Opening times: Monday-Friday 8.30-13.30 and 15.30-19.30, Saturday 9.00-13.00
Address: Corso Italia, 1

Other shops

Sandwich bar
Il Crudo, panineria

Good selection of sandwiches, cured meats and cheeses. Fresh food with plenty of choice and friendly staff. There is indoor and outdoor seating. Excellent value for money as well!
Address: Piazza Cairoli 7

Lush
Fresh handmade cosmetics
Opening times: Monday-Friday 9.30-20.00, Saturday 10-20.30, Sunday 10-20.00
Address: Corso Italia, 3



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