After a very short night (4am alarm to make our 6.35am flight), we are now en route to Pisa and this time, we have online checked in with Ryanair! Woop!
Pisa is only a quick stop on our way to Florence. We booked our tickets through Pisa as for some reason it was a lot cheaper than flying in to Florence directly and it also gave us a chance at seeing the leaning tower of Pisa and surrounding buildings, which are pretty bloody amazing. It was great fun watching everyone pose like idiots for ‘the shot’!
A bonus discovery in Pisa was a huge mural painted on the side of a church by pop art icon Keith Haring in 1989 (his last public piece before his death); this is on the way to the tower from the station, the road name is a handy clue if you’re looking for it – ‘Piazzetta Keith Haring’.
The travel to Pisa city center is pretty painless from the airport. You can get a shuttle for 2.70€, drop your bags at the train station for 5€ per bag, go visit the town and return to the train station to catch a 8.60€ direct train to Florence. Trains go regularly (every 30 min) and it takes about 1 hour to get to Florence.
Luckily it only takes us about 10 minutes to reach our accommodation from the train station, which is perfectly located next to the entrance of the old town at Porta Romana.
Just about enough time to drop our bags and we’re off again to hit the streets and explore, this time with a particular goal of visiting the Uffizi museum. When we checked online all of the time slots were fully booked for the day (and it’s closed Mondays), but luckily we went in to book a time at the door and managed to get a time slot an hour later. Pretty easy to waste an hour roaming the streets of Florence; it feels like behind every corner lurks a new fountain or grand building… or in this case a very welcome gelato and some shade! It was 34 degrees, “felt like 36” according to our phones.
The museum is amazing, with gorgeous views over the Ponte Vecchio and full of so many renaissance masterpieces such as The birth of Venus, Laocoon and his sons, and the Doni Madonna.
Nick found a great audioguide app (Rick Steves, free) that we’ve been using and it explained a lot about the museum and provided great insights in to the paintings and sculptures on display.
Despite wanting to do more after finishing the museum, we decided that it was enough for the day. We’ve walked nearly 15km and that early start finally caught up with us.
Time for a quick Carrefour express shop (the day was expensive, we’ll dine in tonight) before some down time to recharge.
We’re super excited to visit the city tomorrow, using that podcast again for a ‘Renaissance tour of Florence’ and learn more about Italy’s history!
- Don’t pay for the toilets in Pisa. They charge between .80€ and 1.50€ but you can get an espresso for 1€ in a cafe and access the toilets for free.
- There are fountains everywhere in the streets in Florence to refill your water bottles with fresh water.
- If all time slots are fully booked online for Uffizi museum, go to the museum directly and book a time then. Keep in mind, the museum is closed every Monday.
Distance walked: 21,542 steps / 14.5km