15 September 2012

Italy – Daytrip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa from Florence for 9 Euros!

One of Italy’s most known architectural structures is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It is a freestanding bell tower that tilted to one side because the foundation on ground on one side was too soft to support its own weight.

This campanile is part of the Piazza dei Miracoli otherwise known as Piazza del Duomo where there are four great religious structures – the Duomo, the Baptistery, the Campanile (Leaning Tower) and the Camposanto Monumentale.

How to spend the least amount of money on this daytrip from Florence: 

1.     Find out these two train schedules:

a.     Firenze Santa Maria Novella to Pisa Centrale
b.     Pisa S. Rossore back to Firenze SMN.
Keep in mind that your one-way ticket is good for 4 hours after validation; so pick the ones that will fit this timeframe, so you only pay for a one-way ticket. A one-way ticket will set you back about 8,20€.

EDIT 6/12/2013 - The validity of regional trains have changed to 4 hours - when I did this trip, my ticket was valid for 6 hours - and it was enough time to tour Pisa from Florence and go back on a one-way ticket. Now, you should buy a round trip ticket. Read more about Trenitalia here.
Trenitalia Ticket to Pisa S Rossore


because this is a station that is farther than Pisa Centrale coming from Florence, but take whatever train that goes to Pisa Centrale on your way to Pisa.

3.     Validate your ticket at the last possible moment. 

2 minutes before the train leaves is just about right BUT NEVER GET ON THE TRAIN WITHOUT VALIDATION.

Train ticket validating machine.

4.     Get off Pisa Centrale. 

Click here for walking directions. It takes about 30-45mins walking at a leisurely pace. These are some of the things you will see on the way to the Piazza Dei Miracoli:

Vittorio Emanuele II Statue 
That is NOT Ross Dress for Less.

The sad truth is, you pay a "cover charge" to sit in a lot of places.

5.     You need tickets to get inside the buildings. 

only bought the 2-attraction ticket and just spent time taking pics.

6.     Walk to Pisa S. Rossore Station.

Google maps can’t point the exact way, but here’s anapproximation of how I got there. When you get to Via Andrea Pisano, ask for directions on how to get to the stazioni, just to make sure.

Of course "not eating lunch there" does not mean that I can't stop for dessert! (uhm, snacks?)
Pastries from Salza, the oldest patisserie in Pisa
La Borsa Gelato (I eat gelato every chance I get.)
I didn't eat lunch there, BUT I SNACKED!!!!

I ate my breakfast in Firenze with the intention of having lunch in Firenze AFTER my visit to Pisa to avoid paying for my return ticket. However, there was a fire on the train tracks on my way back and we got stranded at a random stop. Along with the other passengers, we waited for a bus to take us to a different station and caught the train there to get back to Florence.

That's my mom in her hat, keeping her cool and trying to be not
annoyed at me while I grabbed lunch.
Doner Kebab! Yes. I was eating this shawarma-ish snack and I tell you,
it was pretty good!
Other passengers scrambling to get into the bus to get to a different
train station. 

Let me say it again - in the event that something like that happens – follow everyone else, and DON’T GET HYSTERICAL. Every one is stranded just like you – so find out what the wait time is and immediately find a bathroom, get yourself something to eat or drink (if something is available nearby) and try to be friendly with another passenger who understands Italian and can translate what is going on for you.

You'll be fine - and it's a better story to tell when you get home. 

Here are the tourist photos!

It is smaller than you think it is. See the scale?
The Baptistery is the building with the red brick roof,
Duomo in the middle and the Campanile (Leaning Tower) in the back.
Inside the Baptistery (that's how Wiki spells it.)
Camposanto Monumentale from the Baptistery

View of the Duomo from the Baptistery

Leading to the main altar of the Duomo
Yes, that's the magnificent ceiling.

Pews of the Duomo
Urna di San Ranieri (Bones of St. Ranieri, the patron saint of Pisa)

Don't forget to buy presents for all your friends named David. ;)


Other blogposts in this series:

Italy: Practical Travel Advice


  1. excellent shots, seems like you are a professional photographer.. !!
    cool math 4 kids

  2. Im confused...how do you get away with not paying for a ticket from Florence to Pisa?

    Can you explain how you are using 1 one way ticket as a return?

  3. When I went, the tickets were valid for 6 hours. the tickets are now valid for four hours. http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=5da514af5379a110VgnVCM1000003f16f90aRCRD

    The tickets are VALID for 4 hours (IN ANY DIRECTION) from the time you stamp them. Example - if you stamp ticket at 12pm, your TRENITALIA ticket is valid from 12pm-4pm, regardless of where you go.

    let's say you are finished with seeing the sights in Pisa at 2pm, take the train again WITH THE SAME TICKET, and you dont have to pay again.

    Now you just have to pay both ways, because the hours of validity of ticket doesn't allow it anymore.

    In any case, it is still cheaper to do it that way than with a tour.

    Have fun!

  4. Very nice information. Thanks for sharing the wonderful blog. Keep the good work going on...

  5. Very nice pictures...

    Thanks for sharing,Happy blogging.

  6. The Leaning Tower of Pisa Tickets incline construction adds unique beauty to this amazing monument. Since construction, this building has undergone various renovation and repair word. With in advance, you can visit this monuments on holiday.

  7. I'm on a regional train to Pisa as we speak. The validation time window is indeed 6 hours. If you buy your ticket online it's only 4 hours. If you buy at the kiosk then it's still 6 hours. I was very lucky to run into a train conductor who manually validated my ticket after I asked him if I was getting on the correct train. Up until then I had forgotten completely about getting my ticket validated.

  8. Hey great information, thanks for sharing, highly appreciated.!!

  9. Going to Italy next month.... Thanks for the wonderful and helpful information

  10. Hey guys, I have been planning a honeymoon to Italy, and my wife and I purchased some attractions tickets, for the Colosseum and BonAppetour dinners (a dining experience with locals: here is the link: www.bonappetour.com/l/romantic-getaways-in-rome).
    If you guys want it, please let me know, I can sell them to you for a cheaper price!

  11. Can someone tell if this is still valid. Can I get ticket from station and use it for both ways.

  12. Just got back from two wonderful weeks in Europe. 4 days in Milan then on to London and 3 days in Bath and back to London. Hard to believe that was two weeks ago.
    ireland rail pass

  13. Great info. Thanks for the tips to ppl who have commented also.

  14. Great info. Thanks for the tips to ppl who have commented also.

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