Leaning Tower “Field of Miracles” highlights
Food and Drinks in the Field of Miracles
Restaurants, bars, drink kiosks, and snack carts almost surround the park. In fact, as you walk down the main street toward the Tower looming in the distance, there are numerous cafés with outdoor seating that entertains that view. I ate at a pizza/pasta café just off the park square. As a matter of fact, if the Tower had decided then it had had enough and wanted its long-awaited fall, I’d have had chunks of marble on my pizza.
Outside the Field of Miracles
While the great white bell tower is the star attraction in Pisa, I really like the rest that Pisa gives you: it is a small, less crowded tourist town than either Florence or even Siena, and you can see the history of Pisa on its buildings, along the streets, and on restaurant menus.
Like Florence, the city of Pisa straddles the Arno River. It has a university founded in 1343. Napolean I established an academy of fine arts here. There are priceless art treasures in its three historical art museums. The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo exhibits (original) sculptures of Nicola Pisano and Giovanni Pisano, along with cathedral artifacts and treasures. The Museo delle Sinopie exhibits camposanto sinopias, the original drawings for frescoes made with earth-colored pigments. The Museo Nazionale di S. Matteo exhibits sculptures and painting from 12th century through the15th century, including Simone Martini, Nino Pisano and Masaccio. For a full list of sites visit the Pisa city page.
Directions to the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Italian trains are fast, safe, and easy to use. In all the major cities you can purchase a ticket at one of several multilingual, touch-screen automated machines. This means getting to Pisa from Florence is a simple process. Two or three trains leave for Pisa every hour, depending on time of day. In the summer months, the last train out of Pisa headed back to Florence is at 9.30 p.m., giving you plenty of time for dinner and some street entertainment.
In Pisa, I’d like to be able to say that all streets lead to the Tower. They don’t, of course, but most people coming out the train station are headed in the same direction…like ants at a picnic! Follow the main street (name) outside the train station. It’s wide, you cross a few squares, and you’ll soon see the Tower leaning in the background. Disabled visitors will find taxi service outside the train. You can also hire a bicycle-powered rickshaw, an ubiquitous enterprise all across Europe over the past few years. Bus service also runs through the train station. Check the signs or ask the multi-lingual drivers. And if you happen to get on the wrong bus, more to the good: you’ll see all of Pisa and still have plenty of time for the tower.
(return to the Leaning Tower of Pisa main page)