Flights to Pisa
Best known for its Leaning Tower, Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Italy that offers far more than just this one attraction. There are actually over 20 important historic sites to visit and of course the opportunity to experience some of the popular culture of Tuscany.
The Galileo Galilei Airport (airport code: PSA) is where flights to Pisa will land and it is just 5 minutes outside the city when you take the train, or a trip on the public bus will take you 10 minutes. Most flights to Pisa from South Africa have one connection. Lufthansa, for example, has a stop in Munich, while British Airways and Virgin Atlantic both travel through London for their transfers. As an alternative, KLM has a 2-stop route through Amsterdam and Paris. The total time for a flight to Pisa will be around 16 hours, regardless of which airline you decide on.
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The Tourist Attractions of Pisa:
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is undoubtedly the star attraction in this Italian city, though it shouldn’t be considered as the only one! The Leaning Tower is actually part of a complex of buildings that form the top attractions in Pisa, all within the Piazza del Duomo.
Piazza del Duomo
Known as both the Piazza del Duomo (meaning Cathedral Square), and Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Though the Tower is the more famous of the buildings here, the square is actually dominated by the medieval cathedral, the Duomo, of which construction began in 1063. This huge cathedral features a beautiful interior including a coffer ceiling and a frescoed dome.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa though separate from the cathedral is actually the cathedral’s bell tower. It was never intended that the tower would lean but it began to lean a little while after construction started in 1173 because of a badly laid foundation. If they hadn’t stopped building it for a period of one hundred years (due to fighting wars in the meantime) it’s more than likely the tower would never have stood as the foundation had time to settle. The tower has undergone work to straighten it by a few degrees as there was concern that it was going to collapse in the 1990’s.
Facing the western end of the cathedral is the Baptistry. This large round Romanesque building is dedicated to St John the Baptist and was constructed from the mid 12th century. Though the inside is huge, it really lacks in the character that the cathedral has.
Also in the square are the Campo Santo, a beautiful walled cemetery, and the New Hospital of Holy Spirit (Spedale Nuovo de Santo Spirito).
Pisa’s Other Landmarks
Pisa has many other landmarks and important historical buildings. This includes numerous churches and palaces, such as the Palazzo della Carovana, and Palazzo Real (Royal Palace). The latter was where Galileo Galilei showed the planets he had discovered to the Grand Duke of Tuscany.
Museums in Pisa
Of course there are many museums in Pisa too where you can find out more about the history and culture of the city and surrounding region.
When Should You Visit?:
Pisa has nice weather that makes this a city you can visit throughout the year. During the summer temperatures are fairly high, peaking in July with an average high of 29C. The summer months are also the driest of the year, while September to December are the wettest. Winter temperatures are mild, getting down to an average high of 11C in January.