If you plan to see The Leaning Tower of Pisa, before flying out from Italy’s Galilei Airport or before taking the train to Florence from Pisa Centrale Station I’d recommend you don’t hop straight on a bus.  There’s much more to Pisa than the campanile so take time to wander through the city’s streets, people watch in a piazza and take in the atmosphere – and a gelato – along the River Arno.  You’ll see all this and more on the 1.5 km walk from The Leaning Tower back to the main Centrale Station.

How to get from Pisa train station to the Leaning Tower of Pisa - walking route and map

The River Arno, Pisa

Pisa’s River Arno at Sunset

How to get from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to Pisa Centrale Train Station

There are two walking routes and I’m going to take you on the longer one which is easier on the eye and only takes around half an hour depending on how long you linger. But before you leave check out my pictures of The Leaning Tower of Pisa The Field of Miracles and Pisa Cathedral.

From The Leaning Tower point yourself in the direction it’s leaning towards and head down Via Santa Maria.  There are some restaurants and trattorias down here if you want to eat before leaving and plenty more before you arrive at the station.

Via Santa Maria, Pisa

Via Santa Maria, Pisa

I have a thing about old doors and windows and couldn’t resist stopping to take a picture of this lovely old door on Via Santa Maria.  I wonder what lies behind number 108?

Old Door in Pisa

Old Door in Pisa

 

Piazza dei Cavalieri

Continue down Via Santa Maria passing Grand Hotel Duomo on your left; after this take the fourth left onto Via dei Mille, walk to the end and cross over the road onto Via Corsica.  Follow this road until you arrive at the grand Piazza dei Cavalieri or Knights’ Square.  This grand square was the political centre in medieval Pisa, where the citizens would meet to protest or celebrate.  There are statues dotted around and although some of the buildings are currently being restored they’re lovely to look at.

Palazzo della Carovana

Palazzo della Carovana

 

Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, Pisa

Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, Pisa

 

Walk straight through The Knight’s Square into Via Ulisse Dini where the street narrows and the scenery changes.  This street connects Piazza dei Cavalieri with Borgo Stretto and in Etruscan times was a stream.

Looking down Via Ulisse Dini

Rooftops in Via Ulisse Dini

Piazza St Felice, Pisa

Pizzeria in Piazza St Felice, Pisa

 

Medievel Columns in Via Ulisse Dini, Pisa

Medievel Columns in Via Ulisse Dini, Pisa

A small building in Via Ulisse Dini displays the medieval columns of the church of SS Felice e Regolo.  During restoration in the 20th century the columns and stonework of the original medieval building were revealed.  The old stonework really stands out against its backdrop of a modern bank.  At the end of Via Ulisse Dini you’ll come to a T junction.  Turn right and head down Borgo Stretto.

Chiesa di San Michele in Borg

This is a dark, narrow street but after a minute or two you’ll come across the contrasting brightness of the marble façade of Chiesa di San Michele in Borg, a big wedding cake of a of a building.

Chiesa di San Michele in Borgo

Chiesa di San Michele in Borgo

 

Ponte di Mezzo

Keep walking until you come to Piazza Garibaldi  right next to  the Ponte di Mezzo which crosses The River Arno.

Ponte di Mezzo, River Arno, Pisa

Ponte di Mezzo, Pisa

De’ Coltelli gelato shop

Here you have a choice – you can carry on walking over this bridge towards the station or you can take a small detour.  If you turn right from Piazza Garibaldi and walk along the banks of the Arno for about a minute you’ll come to a beautifully ornate red brick building.  But we’re not interested in that.  We’re interested in De’ Coltelli gelato shop that’s next door to it.   I had my first pistachio gelato here – one of the best gelatos I’ve ever tasted – must be due to the organic, seasonal ingredients this gelato artisan uses.  It’s worth walking to the station just for this!

Pistachio Gelato from De' Coltelli , Pisa

Pistachio Gelato from De’ Coltelli

 

I paused on the Ponti di Mezzo to to enjoy my gelato and the sunset which turned the River Arno gold and bathed the beautiful stately homes along its banks in soft sunset hues.

The River Arno, Pisa at Sunset

The River Arno, Pisa at Sunset

 

Once across the bridge carry on down Corso Italia which takes you down a pedestrian shopping street. Perfect for last-minute retail therapy.

Pisa Mover bus ticket

This street leads straight down to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele.  Pisa Centrale Station is right opposite. If you’re going to the airport buy your Pisa Mover bus ticket at the station magazine kiosk in the foyer  (€1.10) You’ll need this before you get on the bus. Take the right-hand subway beneath the rails and exit the  station.  Straight ahead at the end of the path is the bus stop for the Pisa Mover bus service that’ll take you on the 7 minute ride to the Airport.  The bus departs every 10 minutes and stops in front of the departure terminal check-in A.

Pisa Centrale is Pisa’s main station with routes to many of the bigger cities in the region.  Florence is just an hour by fast train at just €7.90 single.

How to get from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to Pisa Centrale Train Station

I’ve made a little map so you can see the exact route.

Map Leaning Tower to Pisa Centrale Station

From Pisa Centrale train station to the leaning tower? Easy just do it all in reverse!

Have you been to Pisa? Did you take a look around the city or did you just visit the Tower?  Do share any other places worth seeing or any tips you might have for visiting the city.

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How to get from Pisa Centrale train station to the Leaning Tower of Pisa - walking route and map included