This is the third post in the series. Pisa - the city with a legendary tower that leans.
We stayed at Camping Village Roma, Via Aurelia, 831, Rome, IT +39066623018, in Rome. It’s a very nice and cozy place bit far from the city center though. You can read my review here. You can learn more about the place here.
Our train for Pisa was from Roma Termini station at 9.57 AM so we had decided to leave hotel at 8.30 AM. To reach city center we had to take a bus for Cornelia station then from there take a metro for Roma Termini station. As luck would have had it we were late by couple of minutes and missed the bus. We were waiting for the next bus but as it was a Sunday the service was less frequent. The crowd at the bus stand also started building up. As minutes ticked we were getting worried. Since the camping village is in outskirts of the city it was difficult to get any other mode of transport. It was already 9.15 and it seemed we would never make it to station in time. The whole day would be ruined. One of my friends started racing up and down the bus stand. Just then I saw a taxi speeding by, without thinking anything else I hailed it. Luckily it was empty and the driver was more than willing to take us to the station. He told us that it would take about 30 minutes to reach station as traffic was comparatively less. We told him about our urgency. He was a nice man, took a few short cuts and dropped us at station within 20 minutes. We gave him some extra for his efforts. At that moment he was god sent for us as finding an empty taxi in Rome is very rare phenomenon. We rushed to the station and found the train to be waiting at the platform. We quickly grabbed some breakfast and settled down in our seats.
The train passes through some of the main cities in Tuscany region. This region has some of the most picturesque countryside in Italy. There were lush green hills on one side and the blue Mediterranean Sea on the other side. The sights out of the train window were a visual treat. We didn’t realize how quickly 3 hours went by. We reached Pisa by 1 pm. The leaning tower is walkable distance (about 2 kms) from the station. Though there are buses called RED LAM (LAM Rosso) which can be availed to reach the tower if you are in a hurry. We wanted to explore the city so we walked. While walking through the streets we did what most tourists do. Click pictures!! Below are a few pictures from that collection .
While researching on the internet we learned about a superb Indian restaurant named ‘Namaste India Ristorante’. And the time was just right for lunch so we walked into the restaurant. You can read more about our experience in the restaurant here. Just have a look at the menu!
Thanks to Mr. Velupandian Devar (owner of Namsate India) for his suggestions and help. We enjoyed the food very much. Actually we packed our dinner too.
After sumptuous lunch we were feeling sleepy but the main attraction the leaning tower was yet to be visited. So we started walking again. We crossed the River Arno. Along the way we came across couple of souvenir shops owned by Bangladeshis. It was while talking to one them we learnt that Pisa has a sizeable number of Bangladeshi immigrants.
Below are images from our walk over the bridge named Ponte Di Mezzo on River Arno.
And finally we reached the iconic tower. I was quite thrilled to actually stand in front of the legendary tower. Again cameras started clicking frantically and frames started getting frozen in time as a proof that we were there at that moment. We strolled around the lawns and other buildings in the complex. Then we entered the tower which was pre-booked by us. It is better to pre-book the entry tickets to skip the long queues at the ticket office. Inside they gave a small presentation about the tower. Then we took 300 odd steps to reach the summit. The view of the city from top will make you forget about the fatigue and efforts taken to reach there. You can read more about the experience in my review here.
Let me share some of those frozen moments with you.
It was time to return and we walked back to the station through the way we came. On the way back we picked up souvenirs and clicked few more pictures.
Lungarnos are the streets of the city that pass beside the river Arno. They are well known in Pisa for wonderful buildings that go along with the river bank until they reach the river outlet in Marina di Pisa.
If you look carefully at the picture above, you will notice the clock at the station showing 5 minutes to 5pm and our train for Rome was at 5.17 pm. So we had reached just in time. As we were waiting for the train I couldn’t help notice signs on platforms saying “Please do not cross railway tracks”. They reminded me of similar signs in India. Maybe some things remain same across the world. We took the 9777 FRECCIABIANCA to Rome. We reached our hotel tired and weary and crashed into our beds dreaming about the excellent trip we had so far.
Before I finish here are a few helpful links.How to get from Pisa central station to leaning tower of Pisa: http://www.livornonow.com/how_to_get_from_pisa_centrale_train_station_to_the_leaning_tower_of_pisa
Route map for getting from Pisa central station to Namaste India restaurant: https://goo.gl/maps/LT31w
To book tour and entry tickets to the leaning tower in advance: http://boxoffice.opapisa.it/Turisti/app
Don’t go anywhere yet. Stay tuned for trip of Rome next.
Our Walking route map
Video from our trip to Pisa, Italy on 29-Jun-2014.