Florence & Pisa – these are two cities in the Tuscany region of Italy and near to Rome. Florence being the capital of Tuscany region is known for it’s cultural & artistic things along with it’s picturesque streets. On the other hand, Pisa is known for it’s lone Leaning Tower and is a small city to explore.

We did a day trip to these two places from Rome. Initially we had only Pisa on our list, but later on we added Florence as well, to make it a tight travelling day. The plan was to take the train to Florence from Rome, roam in Florence for half a day, after that take a train to Pisa, be in Pisa for the rest of the day and return Rome in the late evening.

It was a lovely spring morning in Rome with a bit of sunshine. However, Florence was completely on the opposite end – it was raining non-stop and so badly that we ended up buying 2 one-time-workable-umbrellas for 10€…..and that too after a lot of bargain 🙂

Without thinking too much about the rain, we started with Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo di Firenze), the beautiful city cathedral & Giotto’s Tower.

Florence Cathedral Side View

Florence Cathedral Side View

Giotto's Tower

Giotto’s Tower

Inside Cathedral

Inside Cathedral

Inside Cathedral

Inside Cathedral

To acknowledge the beauty of the cathedral and to enjoy the rain a bit from inside, we took the shelter in a nearby cafe L’Opera Caffè for coffee & Tiramisu.

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After the break we walked south towards Piazza della Signoria and then to the oldest, lone surviving bridge of WWII and probably the most famous bridge – Ponte Vecchio, over the river Arno. There are plenty of shops lined up on the bridge and most of them are jewelry shops.

Fountain of Neptune

Fountain of Neptune

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By this, it was time to take U-turn towards central station, in order to board the train to Pisa.

We were relieved to see clear skies as we reached Pisa and were happy to see the sun out.  The train station in Pisa is  pretty small and to reach the Leaning Tower, it’s a straight walk of around 15-20 minutes from central. After the bridge there were multiple signs showing the way towards the tower. Instead of asking any local, we decided to be over smart and we took left. Only after walking for around 10 minutes we realized that we took the long route (the motor way) to the tower. As a result, we had to search for short cuts in order to reach the right path, which crossed through the Pisa Hospital.

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As soon as we reached the tower, it was quite a weird feel to see something like that. Seeing it on internet or in the books and seeing in person is completely different. But was pretty nice. Not every failure is bad 😛

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Before making the final move back towards the central, we strolled through the small souvenirs shops lined up in front of the tower – nice place to buy some good local stuffs.

There are few other small monumental sights between Leaning Tower & station, one of which was the Cathedral:

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Pisa Cathedral…

Couple of learning, we had from this trip:

* It would have been a smart idea to stay in Pisa instead of Rome – no travelling back to Rome and nicer to stay in a small town, soaked in some of the local things and be away from the big city crowd.

* Florence needs more time to be seen completely. Even though we don’t have much interest in the museums, the sight seeing is easily of at least a day.


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