June 26, 2013, 02:26 AM
Train to Pisa?
I'll be in Florence in July for 10 days. In those days, I'll be spending 3 days in Rome and 1 in Pisa.
I have my train ticket and tour reservations already for Rome, and now I'm working on Pisa.
Which train(s) goes to Pisa? I bought tickets on Italio for Rome, but it doesn't look like they go to Pisa. Can I buy tickets online for Pisa, like I did for Rome? Is there only one station there (I'm sorta confused about that)
Do you have a recommended itinerary for Pisa? I have the whole day dedicated there. Is it "walkable" from the train station to the leaning tower?
You've helped me so much already, I appreciate all the information in these forums!!
June 26, 2013, 12:46 PM
You can take the train from Rome to Pisa but Italo does not do that route, you have to take Trenitalia. You can also go to Pisa from Florence. You can check timetables on trenitalia.com - you can buy your ticket ahead of time but don't absolutely have to (from Rome) but might not be able to from Florence since it will be a regional train. If you can't, don't sweat it, you can buy your ticket at the station right before getting on. Regional trains don't have reserved seating so tickets are not for a specific seat, you just punch your ticket before getting on and sit wherever you want.
Pisa is definitely walkable! It is a small college town... from the train station just head north, you'll pass by the main shopping streets and arrive at the Arno. You can keep going north and will see signs for the tower... I think it takes about 20 minutes to get there walking if you don't stop along the way .
A whole day in Pisa sounds wonderful - I really like Pisa. I suggest you get a ticket for all of the monuments in the Square of Miracles and climb to the top of the Leaning Tower. It is a unique experience! I also really liked the museum (opera del duomo) and the Camposanto with the frescoes saved from World War II bombings, fascinating!
The baptistery is also very neat - wait and stay until they close the doors (like every 15 minutes) as they do voice demonstrations of the acoustics inside, it sounds wonderful! Of course, also visit the cathedral - the mosaics over the main altar are breathtaking as is just the atmosphere.
They've opened up a walk along the last sections of the medieval wall around Pisa that you see right behind the square - see if you can climb up there to get a special view over the square.
If you still have time after all of this, head to Piazza dei Cavalieri to admire the Palazzo dei Cavalieri (home to the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa) and the Palazzo dell'Orologio with its pretty clock tower.
If you head back toward the Arno river, you can visit the Palazzo Blu and the current exhibition on Artemisia Gentileschi.
Make sure to pass by the small church along the Arno called Santa Maria della Spina, a major masterpiece of gothic architecture in Italy ;-)
June 26, 2013, 04:03 PM
Re: Train to Pisa?
Thank you very much!
I had no idea there was an Artemisia Gentileschi exhibition. I definitely want to see that!
I remember taking the train from Aviano when I lived there long ago - I learned to buy a 1st class ticket if I wanted a seat, is that still the case? I was about 8 months pregnant and on a train ride from Aviano to Livorno with no seat. I sat on the step at the back of a car :-( NOT FUN at all!
It won't be as bad on a 1-hour train - we're leaving out of Florence, but I do want a seat
Also, I was in the site you linked for tickets in Pisa, and "SOLD OUT" is stamped up on top. Does this mean I waited too long to climb the tower? When I was there in the early '90s, it was closed and nobody could climb up (I think they were working to stabilize the tower then). I really want to go to the top!
How can I get tickets without waiting in a long line? I don't want to waste my day in a line.
Please tell me there is hope!
June 26, 2013, 05:57 PM
Oh yes, for long distance travel such as from Aviano to Florence or even from Rome to Florence I suggest buying tickets ahead of time - for the fast speed trains, all seats are assigned so even if you buy last minute if there are spaces available, they'll give you a seat.
This is true for both 1st class and 2nd class.
It is the regional trains that work differently - and by that I mean all trains within Tuscany.
No assigned seating, tickets are valid for 3 months from moment of purchase and much like bus tickets, you need to punch them at the station with date and time before getting on to "validate" them. You should still validate your tickets when you have assigned seating, but those are made out for specific date and train.... so to get a seat on the regional trains, the trick is just to be there at the station ahead of time and get on the train as soon as it arrives on the track.
You're right about the sold out for the tower tickets but I definitely don't think that's the case.... not sure what is up with that, I'll update the link to this one. If you want to order ahead of time, if you order through that link, we get a small commission.... but if you don't want to order ahead of time, I am pretty sure you can also just go that day and when you buy your tickets to the various monuments they'll tell you what times are available for that day for the tower. Since you'll be there all day, you have that flexibility of planning your day around the visit to the top of the tower. This summer they are also keeping the tower open later into the night until 11pm, so I am sure there are more tickets available! Don't worry, you definitely will get a chance to climb it, and I highly recommend it, it is a great experience!
June 26, 2013, 06:38 PM
Re: Train to Pisa?
Thank you Lourdes!
Do I need a reservation too, or just a ticket for the tower? The site you provided looks like I can purchase the ticket, but how do I make the reservation?
Is there a "best time" to do the climb? (or to NOT do the climb)
June 26, 2013, 07:25 PM
climb up the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Sorry if I got your hopes up about the Artemisia exhibit, it seems it is supposed to end on June 30 but sometimes they extend the closing date, so you might still be able to find it open... let's hope so!
The tower can only be visited at the time you purchase the ticket for, so the ticket is also your reservation. Best time I think is early morning or around sunset, so that you can enjoy the sun setting being the cathedral Just avoid doing it in the middle of the day - July can be warm and you have to climb many steps to the top - 297 steps to be exact!
June 26, 2013, 09:45 PM
Re: Train to Pisa?
Thank you very much Lourdes! I really appreciate the information.
And I'm bummed that the exhibit will end. I studied her in Art History, and I'd love to see her work.
Oh well, I'm sure I can find some other great artists works "somewhere" in Florence, Rome, and Pisa.
June 26, 2013, 10:31 PM
Re: Train to Pisa?
You're welcome! and, yeah, just a "little bit" of artworks by some famous artists all over Florence and Tuscany lol
If you really want to see works by Artemisia, make sure to visit the Uffizi and Palatine Gallery in Pitti: http://www.uffizi.org/artworks/judit...a-gentileschi/
June 28, 2013, 12:30 AM
Re: Train to Pisa?
Thanks Lourdes, I have those places on my list of things to do.
Originally Posted by Lourdes
I had another thought! What do you think about (after spending "most" of the day in Pisa) heading to Lucca for dinner? The smaller train station closest to the tower has regional trains to Lucca, right? Then I can catch one from Lucca straight back to Florence?
Is that do-able?
June 28, 2013, 11:26 AM
Pisa to Lucca to Florence
Great idea and definitely doable!! From Pisa San Rossore there are trains to Lucca about every half hour.
But from Lucca to Florence, there are trains only one per hour with the latest being at 10.30pm so just make sure you don't miss that one.... there is another later train but arrives in Florence around 2am.
Check timetables on www.trenitalia.com.