June 18, 2013, 10:41 PM
June 20, 2013, 04:31 PM
I am glad you're finding the forum useful!
As for your questions: the tower will be open longer hours, it normally closes at sunset but this summer it practically remains open until 11pm, but not for free.... normal cost for the tower is 18 euro (plus any commissions if you buy online beforehand). If you don't know exactly when you'll be there, you could just wait and buy your ticket directly there at the ticket office.
To the sea, the main way to get there is by bus.
From Pisa, the closest area is Marina di Pisa and Tirrenia, both have lovely, sandy beaches. You'll have to check the schedules here: http://www.cpt.pisa.it/ You might be able to get some buses near you or you might have to head to the Centrale train station first. Not sure when you're coming but the site divides "orari" (timetables) between summer (July and August) and the rest of the year (inverno). You can search by "localita'" which means town that way you can see all buses for Marina di Pisa and Tirrenia (and Calambrone)
For other beaches in the area, check out this article on top beaches in Tuscany.
Beaches will generally have an area that is free where you can spread out your towels, umbrella, chairs or whatever you have.... but as you likely won't have these items with you, the rentals are really convenient: cost includes the sunbeds and the umbrella but not towels, you do need to bring these along with you. You basically then get your spot assigned so try to get there early to get a good spot in front closest to the water. You'll be able to identify the "free" parts of the beaches by the area where you see people lying on towels directly on the sand and not on sunbeds.
Let me know if I can help with any other questions, hope this is helpful!