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The Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the reason why many travellers plan to join a Pisa tour from Florence. What should have been just a beautiful bell tower for the 12th century Duomo of Pisa, thanks to a terrible mistake in choosing its location, became first a disgrace, then a symbol and a reason for proud for the city. The Leaning Tower is one of the most astonishing attractions in Italy, something you won’t easily see elsewhere and something you don’t want to miss, especially if your vacation includes Florence, which is just 70 kilometers away. Pisa is a small town with a number of residents of about ninety thousand and if you exclude the Piazza Dei Miracoli (field of miracles), which includes the Leaning Tower, the Duomo, the Baptistery and the Camposanto, it doesn’t have a lot to offer. My suggestion is to visit Pisa while staying in Florence, and it’s not just me: a Pisa tour from Florence is the most requested among the many available day trips from Florence. Travel agencies and tour operators offer several different tours from Florence to Pisa, and this article will help you to choose the one that best fits your needs. If you are unsure about joining a Pisa tour from Florence Italy, read some interesting facts about the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Then come back here, follow my suggestions and choose a Pisa tour from Florence that fits your needs!
Half day Pisa tour from Florence
This is your best option, if Pisa is what you want to see (and nothing else). I live in Florence, and often go to Pisa for a day trip, just to spend a relaxing Sunday and to see if the Leaning Tower is still standing, but often happens that, after having been in front of the stunning attraction, I don’t know what else to do and leave the city to spend the remaining hours elsewhere.
Half day Pisa group tours by coach
You have two possibilities to join a group for a Pisa tour from Florence, both in the afternoon, and they are very similar: one of these tours includes a skip-the-line entrance to the Leaning Tower of Pisa (and, of course, has a higher price), while the other one will just show you the Tower from outside. My suggestion is to join the tour including the entrance to the tower, but there may be valid reasons to choose the other one: first of all, climbing 294 steps to get on top of the tower might not be in your plans; secondly, it might not be in your possibilities and it is certainly not recommended for who has walking difficulties, suffers of claustrophobia, dizziness or has any other issue with high places. Unfortunately, there is no “leaning elevator”!
Apart for this choice, everything else is the same for both tours: you will meet your guide in central Florence, close to the train station, and will hop on your bus to Pisa at around 1:30 pm. The trip to Pisa by coach lasts about 1.5 hours and as an added bonus, you will have a chance to enjoy the beautiful landscape of Tuscany, with hills and villages that will be briefly described by your guide. You will hop off in Pisa, just steps away from Piazza Dei Miracoli and the Leaning Tower: here, your guide will show you the monuments in the square, all from outside. the guided tour will last approximately sixty minutes. The group will then split, you can decide if you want to see the other less famous (but interesting) attractions in Pisa with the tour guide, or enjoy some free time on your own. If you choose the option which includes climbing the Leaning Tower, this will be the last part of the tour. At the pre-arranged time, you will meet to hop on your coach again. You will be back in Florence around 7:00 pm, for a total duration of 5:30 hours.
Full day Pisa tour from Florence
This is your option if you want to see more than just Pisa. I will tell you which destinations are suitable to be visited together with Pisa. My suggestion is not to choose too many things to see in one day, or you will be rushed and everything will end in a disappointment. I would avoid putting Pisa and Siena in the same day unless you are forced to do so because you don’t have time. If this is the case, read this article about choosing a Florence to Siena day trip, which also contains a proposal for a tour including both cities.
Pisa and Lucca from Florence by coach
This is a very good combination. The tour will get you to Pisa in the morning and then naturally stop in Lucca, which is on the way back to Florence. Less famous than Pisa, Lucca has a lovely historical centre enclosed by well-preserved renaissance walls. It’s a charming city, much more than Pisa if you ask me, even without a leaning tower. It has a lot of small streets with points of interest and nice medieval and renaissance churches. It’s the perfect city to walk around and get lost. You will also use different roads to get to Pisa and back to Florence, which adds value as the countryside and the villages you’ll see along the way are an attraction themselves.
The two operators offering a Lucca and Pisa tour from Florence probably copied each other, because there’s almost no difference between the tours. Both start from Florence in a private coach and visit Pisa in the morning and Lucca in the afternoon. The price is very similar, so it’s really up to you, but I will give you my insight. Let’s compare the two tours:
|Tour||Pisa and Lucca Tour #1||Pisa and Lucca Tour #2|
|Start Time||9 am||8:15 am|
|Tour duration||about 9 hours (return at 6 pm)||about 11 hours (return at 7:15 pm)|
|Licensed tour guide||NO (tour leader)||YES (in Pisa)|
|Lunch||NOT INCLUDED||NOT INCLUDED|
|Hotel Pickup||NO||YES (selected Hotels only)|
|Hotel Drop-off||NO (return to Florence train station)||NO (return to Florence train station)|
|Pisa Leaning Tower entrance tickets||NOT INCLUDED||NOT INCLUDED|
|Bonus included||Sample of Lucca typical cake||Wine tasting in Pisa|
|Your choice||Book this tour >>||Book this tour >>|
My suggestion? With a similar price, I would go for tour #2, for the following reasons: you won’t be rushed because of the duration, and you have a licensed local guide for Pisa. I also prefer wine tasting to a sample of cake, but that’s me… On the other hand, if coming back early is better for you, go for tour #1.
Other full day trips from Florence to Pisa
There are several more combinations including Pisa. You can add Pisa to a Cinque Terre day trip from Florence, or choose one of the tours from Florence to Tuscany. In this case, Pisa becomes an addition to the main destination of the tour; be careful booking a Pisa tour from Florence that includes too many things to see and do. The risk is to be rushed all day on a coach without having time to enjoy anything. I will list these possibilities in my next posts and suggest you what to do and what to avoid, hoping to offer a good service.
What other suggestions can you find in this section?
- The best Florence tours and activities reviewed by a tour guide
- Walking tours
- Uffizi tours
- Florence in one day
- Duomo tours
- Vasari Corridor tours
- Inferno tours
- Skip-the-line David tours
- What to do on Mondays
- Tours of Florence from Rome or Venice
- Florence outdoor activities
- Florence food tours
- Wine tours in Tuscany
- Cooking classes
- Wine tours in Florence
- Day trips from Florence to Tuscany countryside
- Day trips from Florence to Pisa
- Day trips from Florence to Siena
- Day trips from Florence to Cinque Terre
- Day trips from Florence to Rome
- Day trips from Florence to Venice