One of the main reasons why Italy is such as popular holiday destination is because it is home to a number of iconic, unique cities. Venice’s canals and Rome’s cathedrals are world-famous, and Florence is home to some of the most well-known art and architecture on the planet.
Another consideration for Florence in particular is that it’s well located, making it the perfect base from which to visit some other areas, including much-loved Pisa. In this article, we’ll run through the best ways to get from Florence to Pisa – and recommend some of the best things to see and do once you get there.
Private Car Rental
The journey between the two towns is about 50 miles long, making it great for a day trip. Before you run off, however, you should know a few things about transport and travel in the area. While renting a car might seem to give you freedom and independence, you might find driving from Florence to Pisa can be more trouble than it’s worth…
As always, it’s crucial to understand the rules of the road before you set out. First, different types of roads have different speed limits, with 50km/hr the norm in cities and motorways allowing speeds as high as 130km/hr. The downside, though, is that these are rarely signposted, and many unsuspecting tourists find themselves getting caught out with fines.
Other rules include keeping your headlights on at all times of day when out of the city. Again in this case, there’s a fine waiting for you if you’re caught out.
The autostrade are Italy’s fastest and best maintained roads, but sadly they’re not free – any road with an ‘A’ in its name is one for which you’ll have to pay. The A11, for instance, which runs from Florence to Pisa, will charge you for the privilege of driving it.
There are toll-free alternatives, of course, but they’re often in poorer condition, and taking these routes will usually mean your journey time will increase. These roads can also be confusing, with few signs to help you on your way – you’d better make sure you have a decent GPS!
So, driving yourself can be difficult, but what about public transport? Well, while it’s certainly possible, it’s not exactly easy. We’ll run through your options here.
Services run from Florence to Pisa a few times an hour in the week and at least once an hour on the weekend. Fast and slow trains are available, but both are the same price, and the fast one will only save you about 15 minutes.
For train times and booking use this website: www.trenitalia.com
The biggest issue, though, is that Pisa Central station is a mile’s walk from the centre of town, on the wrong side of the river. There’s little signage directing you on the twisting journey across plazas, along busy roads and down pedestrianised side streets – not a great option if you don’t have a good sense of direction!
Buses run every hour throughout the day between the airport and Florence, but the airport is a fair way out from the town. Another thing to consider is that buses are often cramped and uncomfortable, with small seats and little space for luggage.
Walkabout Florence Coach
We don’t like to blow our own trumpet here, but our private coach tour really is the best way to get from Florence to Pisa in comfort and style – and without breaking the bank. We’ll be giving you access to more than just Pisa – our tour visits Siena, San Gimignano and a Tuscan vineyard where we stop for lunch and wine tasting.
Our comfortable new fleet of air-conditioned coaches allow you to sit back and relax as you watch the beautiful Tuscan countryside go by. The price includes tolls and any other costs, and our experienced drivers know the best way to make the journey – this promises to be so much more relaxing than trying to make the drive yourself.
Plus, our drivers stay with the coach at all times, giving you somewhere safe to secure your belongings while you’re exploring the city.
What to See and Do in Pisa
So, now you know our recommendations when it comes to getting from Florence to Pisa, we can get into the reasons why you should take this trip in the first place: the sights on offer in the city itself!
If you travel with us, a guide will escort you to the city centre on arrival in Pisa, where you can find all the most famous historical attractions in the area. The Baptistery and Cathedral are each worth a visit, especially if you’re interested in the influence of religion.
Of course, by far the best attraction in the city is the famous Leaning Tower. Originally intended to stand up straight, the building began to lean during construction as the ground was too unstable to support it. Don’t look down if you decide to brave the climb! Corrections and restoration work make sure it’s safe to visit, which will be reassuring as you climb the 294 steps to the top to enjoy a panoramic view of the city. The tower is still tilted, though, so don’t worry about missing out on great photo opportunities.
We Are Walkabout Florence
Here at Walkabout Florence we’re renowned as one of the most trusted independent tour operators in the industry. If you’d like to find out more about our fantastic day trips from Florence and our other Tuscan experiences, don’t hesitate to get in touch.